2019

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Pearsall EA, Cheng R, Matsuzaki S, Zhou K, Ding L, Ahn B, Kinter M, Humphries KM, Quiambao AB, Farjo RA, Ma J-X. Neuroprotective effects of PPARα in retinopathy of type 1 diabetes. PLoS One 2019;14(2):e0208399.Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common neurovascular complication of type 1 diabetes. Current therapeutics target neovascularization characteristic of end-stage disease, but are associated with significant adverse effects. Targeting early events of DR such as neurodegeneration may lead to safer and more effective approaches to treatment. Two independent prospective clinical trials unexpectedly identified that the PPARα agonist fenofibrate had unprecedented therapeutic effects in DR, but gave little insight into the physiological and molecular mechanisms of action. The objective of the present study was to evaluate potential neuroprotective effects of PPARα in DR, and subsequently to identify the responsible mechanism of action. Here we reveal that activation of PPARα had a robust protective effect on retinal function as shown by Optokinetic tracking in a rat model of type 1 diabetes, and also decreased retinal cell death, as demonstrated by a DNA fragmentation ELISA. Further, PPARα ablation exacerbated diabetes-induced decline of visual function as demonstrated by ERG analysis. We further found that PPARα improved mitochondrial efficiency in DR, and decreased ROS production and cell death in cultured retinal neurons. Oxidative stress biomarkers were elevated in diabetic Pparα-/- mice, suggesting increased oxidative stress. Mitochondrially mediated apoptosis and oxidative stress secondary to mitochondrial dysfunction contribute to neurodegeneration in DR. Taken together, these findings identify a robust neuroprotective effect for PPARα in DR, which may be due to improved mitochondrial function and subsequent alleviation of energetic deficits, oxidative stress and mitochondrially mediated apoptosis.
, Holmes JM, Manny RE, Lazar EL, Birch EE, Kelly KR, Summers AI, Martinson SR, Raghuram A, Colburn JD, Law C, Marsh JD, Bitner DP, Kraker RT, Wallace DK. A Randomized Trial of Binocular Dig Rush Game Treatment for Amblyopia in Children Aged 7 to 12 Years. Ophthalmology 2019;126(3):456-466.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare visual acuity (VA) improvement in children aged 7 to 12 years with amblyopia treated with a binocular iPad game plus continued spectacle correction vs. continued spectacle correction alone. DESIGN: Multicenter randomized clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-eight participants aged 7 to 12 years with amblyopia (33-72 letters, i.e., approximately 20/200 to 20/40) resulting from strabismus, anisometropia, or both. Participants were required to have at least 16 weeks of optical treatment in spectacles if needed or demonstrate no improvement in amblyopic-eye visual acuity (VA) for at least 8 weeks prior to enrollment. METHODS: Eligible participants (mean age 9.6 years, mean baseline VA of 59.6 letters, history of prior amblyopia treatment other than spectacles in 96%) were randomly assigned to treatment for 8 weeks with the dichoptic binocular Dig Rush iPad game (prescribed for 1 hour per day 5 days per week) plus spectacle wear if needed (n = 69) or continued spectacle correction alone if needed (n = 69). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Change in amblyopic-eye VA from baseline to 4 weeks, assessed by a masked examiner. RESULTS: At 4 weeks, mean amblyopic-eye VA letter score improved from baseline by 1.3 (2-sided 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.1-2.6; 0.026 logMAR) with binocular treatment and by 1.7 (2-sided 95% CI: 0.4-3.0; 0.034 logMAR) with continued spectacle correction alone. After adjusment for baseline VA, the letter score difference between groups (binocular minus control) was -0.3 (95% CI: -2.2 to 1.5, P = 0.71, difference of -0.006 logMAR). No difference in letter scores was observed between groups when the analysis was repeated after 8 weeks of treatment (adjusted mean: -0.1, 98.3% CI: -2.4 to 2.1). For the binocular group, adherence data from the iPad indicated that slightly more than half of the participants (58% and 56%) completed >75% of prescribed treatment by the 4- and 8-week visits, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In children aged 7 to 12 years who have received previous treatment for amblyopia other than spectacles, there was no benefit to VA or stereoacuity from 4 or 8 weeks of treatment with the dichoptic binocular Dig Rush iPad game.
Peng Y-R, Shekhar K, Yan W, Herrmann D, Sappington A, Bryman GS, van Zyl T, Do MTH, Regev A, Sanes JR. Molecular Classification and Comparative Taxonomics of Foveal and Peripheral Cells in Primate Retina. Cell 2019;176(5):1222-1237.e22.Abstract
High-acuity vision in primates, including humans, is mediated by a small central retinal region called the fovea. As more accessible organisms lack a fovea, its specialized function and its dysfunction in ocular diseases remain poorly understood. We used 165,000 single-cell RNA-seq profiles to generate comprehensive cellular taxonomies of macaque fovea and peripheral retina. More than 80% of >60 cell types match between the two regions but exhibit substantial differences in proportions and gene expression, some of which we relate to functional differences. Comparison of macaque retinal types with those of mice reveals that interneuron types are tightly conserved. In contrast, projection neuron types and programs diverge, despite exhibiting conserved transcription factor codes. Key macaque types are conserved in humans, allowing mapping of cell-type and region-specific expression of >190 genes associated with 7 human retinal diseases. Our work provides a framework for comparative single-cell analysis across tissue regions and species.
Pennington MR, Saha A, Painter DF, Gavazzi C, Ismail AM, Zhou X, Chodosh J, Rajaiya J. Disparate Entry of Adenoviruses Dictates Differential Innate Immune Responses on the Ocular Surface. Microorganisms 2019;7(9)Abstract
Human adenovirus infection of the ocular surface is associated with severe keratoconjunctivitis and the formation of subepithelial corneal infiltrates, which may persist and impair vision for months to years following infection. Long term pathology persists well beyond the resolution of viral replication, indicating that the prolonged immune response is not virus-mediated. However, it is not clear how these responses are sustained or even initiated following infection. This review discusses recent work from our laboratory and others which demonstrates different entry pathways specific to both adenovirus and cell type. These findings suggest that adenoviruses may stimulate specific pattern recognition receptors in an entry/trafficking-dependent manner, leading to distinct immune responses dependent on the virus/cell type combination. Additional work is needed to understand the specific connections between adenoviral entry and the stimulation of innate immune responses by the various cell types present on the ocular surface.
Perepelkina T, Kegeles E, Baranov PY. Optimized conditions and use of synthetic matrix for retinal differentiation from pluripotent cells. Tissue Eng Part C Methods 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: Since it was first introduced in 2011, three-dimensional "Sasai" method for retinal differentiation became a strategy of choice for retinal tissue and neuron production. It is based on the recapitulation of retinal development and requires several stages: aggregate formation, neuroectoderm induction, and eye field induction, followed by retinal maturation. In order to achieve the consistency of retinal differentiation needed for drug discovery and cell transplantation we have attempted to improve spheroid formation as well as approach xeno-free conditions. METHODS: In this study we compared the effect of cell culture plate shape and material, medium viscosity, lipid and bovine serum albumin concentrations on aggregate formation from mouse embryonic stem cells. We have also assessed the possibility of substituting Matrigel with the synthetic vitronectin-mimicking oligopeptide. RX-GFP mES cell line used for experiments. The dose-response of synthetic ECM has been assessed and quantified by live fluorescence microscopy, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and qPCR for early retinal development genes (Rx, Pax6, Lhx2, Sox2, Six6). RESULTS: The comparison of seeding conditions at 24hr. post seeding showed the dose-dependent effects of lipids (lipids concentration of 2% resulted in 100% efficiency of aggregate formation and significant increase in size to 532.8 ± 31.87um, p< 0.05); and viscosity (methylcellulose concentration of 0.06% in OV medium showed 100% efficiency and increase in aggregate size 532±19.23 um, p<0.01). The addition of synthetic matrix resulted in retinal differentiation (34.47% of RX as detected by flow cytometry compared to 33.8%, observed with Matrigel). The early retinal genes expression at day 7 was confirmed by qPCR. CONCLUSIONS: We present the optimized conditions for 3D retinal differentiation including the option of xeno-free extracellular matrix. These defined medium conditions significantly decrease the variability within and between batches and allow substantial scale up of retinal tissue and cell production for drug discovery, disease modeling and transplantation purposes.
Peter VG, Quinodoz M, Pinto-Basto J, Sousa SB, Di Gioia SA, Soares G, Ferraz Leal G, Silva ED, Pescini Gobert R, Miyake N, Matsumoto N, Engle EC, Unger S, Shapiro F, Superti-Furga A, Rivolta C, Campos-Xavier B. The Liberfarb syndrome, a multisystem disorder affecting eye, ear, bone, and brain development, is caused by a founder pathogenic variant in thePISD gene. Genet Med 2019;21(12):2734-2743.Abstract
PURPOSE: We observed four individuals in two unrelated but consanguineous families from Portugal and Brazil affected by early-onset retinal degeneration, sensorineural hearing loss, microcephaly, intellectual disability, and skeletal dysplasia with scoliosis and short stature. The phenotype precisely matched that of an individual of Azorean descent published in 1986 by Liberfarb and coworkers. METHODS: Patients underwent specialized clinical examinations (including ophthalmological, audiological, orthopedic, radiological, and developmental assessment). Exome and targeted sequencing was performed on selected individuals. Minigene constructs were assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and Sanger sequencing. RESULTS: Affected individuals shared a 3.36-Mb region of autozygosity on chromosome 22q12.2, including a 10-bp deletion (NM_014338.3:c.904-12_904-3delCTATCACCAC), immediately upstream of the last exon of the PISD (phosphatidylserine decarboxylase) gene. Sequencing of PISD from paraffin-embedded tissue from the 1986 case revealed the identical homozygous variant. In HEK293T cells, this variant led to aberrant splicing of PISD transcripts. CONCLUSION: We have identified the genetic etiology of the Liberfarb syndrome, affecting brain, eye, ear, bone, and connective tissue. Our work documents the migration of a rare Portuguese founder variant to two continents and highlights the link between phospholipid metabolism and bone formation, sensory defects, and cerebral development, while raising the possibility of therapeutic phospholipid replacement.
Pistilli M, Joffe MM, Gangaputra SS, Pujari SS, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Begum H, Fitzgerald TD, Dreger KA, Altaweel MM, Holbrook JT, Kempen JH, for Group SITED (SITE) R. Visual Acuity Outcome over Time in Non-Infectious Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-8.Abstract
: We evaluated visual acuity (VA) over 5 years in a subspecialty noninfectious uveitis population.: Retrospective data from 5,530 noninfectious uveitis patients with anterior, intermediate, posterior or panuveitis were abstracted by expert reviewers. Mean VA was calculated using inverse probability of censoring weighting to account for losses to follow-up.: Patients were a median of 41 years old, 65% female, and 73% white. Initial mean VA was worse among panuveitis (20/84) than posterior (20/64), intermediate (20/47), and anterior (20/37) uveitides. On average, mean VA improved by 0.62, 0.51, 0.37, and 0.26 logMAR-equivalent lines over 2 years, respectively (each < .001), then remained stable, except posterior uveitis mean VA worsened to initial levels.: Mean VA of uveitic eyes improved and, typically, improvement was sustained under uveitis subspecialty care. Because VA tends to improve under tertiary care, mean VA change appears a better outcome for clinical studies than time-to-loss of VA.
Pivodic A, Hård A-L, Löfqvist C, Smith LEH, Wu C, Bründer M-C, Lagrèze WA, Stahl A, Holmström G, Albertsson-Wikland K, Johansson H, Nilsson S, Hellström A. Individual Risk Prediction for Sight-Threatening Retinopathy of Prematurity Using Birth Characteristics. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019;:1-9.Abstract
Importance: To prevent blindness, repeated infant eye examinations are performed to detect severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), yet only a small fraction of those screened need treatment. Early individual risk stratification would improve screening timing and efficiency and potentially reduce the risk of blindness. Objectives: To create and validate an easy-to-use prediction model using only birth characteristics and to describe a continuous hazard function for ROP treatment. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this retrospective cohort study, Swedish National Patient Registry data from infants screened for ROP (born between January 1, 2007, and August 7, 2018) were analyzed with Poisson regression for time-varying data (postnatal age, gestational age [GA], sex, birth weight, and important interactions) to develop an individualized predictive model for ROP treatment (called DIGIROP-Birth [Digital ROP]). The model was validated internally and externally (in US and European cohorts) and compared with 4 published prediction models. Main Outcomes and Measures: The study outcome was ROP treatment. The measures were estimated momentary and cumulative risks, hazard ratios with 95% CIs, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (hereinafter referred to as AUC), sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). Results: Among 7609 infants (54.6% boys; mean [SD] GA, 28.1 [2.1] weeks; mean [SD] birth weight, 1119 [353] g), 442 (5.8%) were treated for ROP, including 142 (40.1%) treated of 354 born at less than 24 gestational weeks. Irrespective of GA, the risk for receiving ROP treatment increased during postnatal weeks 8 through 12 and decreased thereafter. Validations of DIGIROP-Birth for 24 to 30 weeks' GA showed high predictive ability for the model overall (AUC, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.89-0.92] for internal validation, 0.94 [95% CI, 0.90-0.98] for temporal validation, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.84-0.89] for US external validation, and 0.90 [95% CI, 0.85-0.95] for European external validation) by calendar periods and by race/ethnicity. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV were numerically at least as high as those obtained from CHOP-ROP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia-ROP), OMA-ROP (Omaha-ROP), WINROP (weight, insulinlike growth factor 1, neonatal, ROP), and CO-ROP (Colorado-ROP), models requiring more complex postnatal data. Conclusions and Relevance: This study validated an individualized prediction model for infants born at 24 to 30 weeks' GA, enabling early risk prediction of ROP treatment based on birth characteristics data. Postnatal age rather than postmenstrual age was a better predictive variable for the temporal risk of ROP treatment. The model is an accessible online application that appears to be generalizable and to have at least as good test statistics as other models requiring longitudinal neonatal data not always readily available to ophthalmologists.
Pollack S, Igo RP, Jensen RA, Christiansen M, Li X, Cheng C-Y, Ng MCY, Smith AV, Rossin EJ, Segrè AV, Davoudi S, Tan GS, Chen Y-DI, Kuo JZ, Dimitrov LM, Stanwyck LK, Meng W, Hosseini MS, Imamura M, Nousome D, Kim J, Hai Y, Jia Y, Ahn J, Leong A, Shah K, Park KH, Guo X, Ipp E, Taylor KD, Adler SG, Sedor JR, Freedman BI, Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes-Eye Research Group DCCT/EDICRG, Lee I-T, Sheu WH-H, Kubo M, Takahashi A, Hadjadj S, Marre M, Tregouet D-A, McKean-Cowdin R, Varma R, McCarthy MI, Groop L, Ahlqvist E, Lyssenko V, Agardh E, Morris A, Doney ASF, Colhoun HM, Toppila I, Sandholm N, Groop P-H, Maeda S, Hanis CL, Penman A, Chen CJ, Hancock H, Mitchell P, Craig JE, Chew EY, Paterson AD, Grassi MA, Palmer C, Bowden DW, Yaspan BL, Siscovick D, Cotch MF, Wang JJ, Burdon KP, Wong TY, Klein BEK, Klein R, Rotter JI, Iyengar SK, Price AL, Sobrin L. Multiethnic Genome-Wide Association Study of Diabetic Retinopathy Using Liability Threshold Modeling of Duration of Diabetes and Glycemic Control. Diabetes 2019;68(2):441-456.Abstract
To identify genetic variants associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR), we performed a large multiethnic genome-wide association study. Discovery included eight European cohorts ( = 3,246) and seven African American cohorts ( = 2,611). We meta-analyzed across cohorts using inverse-variance weighting, with and without liability threshold modeling of glycemic control and duration of diabetes. Variants with a value <1 × 10 were investigated in replication cohorts that included 18,545 European, 16,453 Asian, and 2,710 Hispanic subjects. After correction for multiple testing, the C allele of rs142293996 in an intron of nuclear VCP-like () was associated with DR in European discovery cohorts ( = 2.1 × 10), but did not reach genome-wide significance after meta-analysis with replication cohorts. We applied the Disease Association Protein-Protein Link Evaluator (DAPPLE) to our discovery results to test for evidence of risk being spread across underlying molecular pathways. One protein-protein interaction network built from genes in regions associated with proliferative DR was found to have significant connectivity ( = 0.0009) and corroborated with gene set enrichment analyses. These findings suggest that genetic variation in as well as variation within a protein-protein interaction network that includes genes implicated in inflammation, may influence risk for DR.
Ponce CR, Xiao W, Schade PF, Hartmann TS, Kreiman G, Livingstone MS. Evolving Images for Visual Neurons Using a Deep Generative Network Reveals Coding Principles and Neuronal Preferences. Cell 2019;177(4):999-1009.e10.Abstract
What specific features should visual neurons encode, given the infinity of real-world images and the limited number of neurons available to represent them? We investigated neuronal selectivity in monkey inferotemporal cortex via the vast hypothesis space of a generative deep neural network, avoiding assumptions about features or semantic categories. A genetic algorithm searched this space for stimuli that maximized neuronal firing. This led to the evolution of rich synthetic images of objects with complex combinations of shapes, colors, and textures, sometimes resembling animals or familiar people, other times revealing novel patterns that did not map to any clear semantic category. These results expand our conception of the dictionary of features encoded in the cortex, and the approach can potentially reveal the internal representations of any system whose input can be captured by a generative model.
Prasad S. Neuro-Ophthalmology. Semin Neurol 2019;39(6):671-672.
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Raghuram A, Hunter DG, Gowrisankaran S, Waber DP. Self-reported visual symptoms in children with developmental dyslexia. Vision Res 2019;155:11-16.Abstract
Although there are many anecdotal reports of children with developmental dyslexia complaining of vision symptoms when reading, empirical studies are lacking. The primary aim of the present study was to document self-reported vision-related symptoms in children with developmental dyslexia and typically reading peers. We also explored whether vision symptoms were correlated with sensorimotor measures of vergence, accommodation and ocular motor tracking skills. Using a prospective group comparison observational design, we assessed 28 children with developmental dyslexia (DD) and 33 typically reading children (TR) 7-11 years of age. Participants completed psychoeducational testing, a comprehensive sensorimotor eye examination, and the Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey (CISS), which includes 9 items pertaining to vision-related symptoms (CISS-V) and 6 that could have cognitive influence (CISS-C). CISS-V were significantly greater in DD than TR children. Ocular motor tracking, assessed by an infra-red limbal eye tracker while reading text, was most clearly associated with the visual symptoms, but only within the DD group. Vision-related symptom surveys followed by a comprehensive eye examination with detailed evaluation of sensorimotor functioning for those who report a high prevalence of symptoms may be clinically relevant for children with DD.
Raghuram A, Cotter S, Gowrisankaran S, Kanji J, Howell DR, Meehan WP, Shah AS. Post-Concussion: Receded Near Point of Convergence is Not Diagnostic of Convergence Insufficiency. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the frequency of receded near point of convergence (NPC) in patients with chronic concussion-related symptoms, and among those with receded NPC to enumerate the frequency of convergence insufficiency and other oculomotor disorders. STUDY: Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study METHODS: Clinic charts were retrospectively reviewed for the prior 3.5 years to identify all patients <21 years old who were >28 days post-concussion, had chronic concussion-related symptoms, had normal visual acuity, and received a comprehensive sensorimotor examination. The frequency of receded NPC and oculomotor diagnoses were determined. RESULTS: Of the 83 eligible patients, 74 (89%) had receded NPC. Of these, 70 (95%) had oculomotor disorders; 30 (41%) had disorders of accommodation only, 21 (28%) had convergence insufficiency and accommodation deficits, and 6 (8%) had convergence insufficiency only. Six (8%) had a convergence deficit other than convergence insufficiency (all with concurrent accommodative disorders), 4 (5%) had both a non-specific vergence dysfunction and accommodation deficits, 2 (3%) had convergence excess only, and 1 (1%) had both convergence excess and accommodative deficits. CONCLUSION: A receded NPC was present in the majority of young patients with chronic post-concussion symptoms. Associated with numerous underlying oculomotor dysfunctions, the clinical finding of a receded NPC is not synonymous with the diagnosis of convergence insufficiency. Because treatment options for the various oculomotor dysfunctions differ, it is prudent that these patients undergo a thorough examination of their vergence and accommodative systems so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment prescribed.
Raghuram A, Hunter DG, Waber DP. Accurately Assessing Visual Deficits in Children With Developmental Dyslexia-Reply. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019;
Ramos Y, Rocha J, Hael AL, van Gestel J, Vlamakis H, Cywes-Bentley C, Cubillos-Ruiz JR, Pier GB, Gilmore MS, Kolter R, Morales DK. PolyGlcNAc-containing exopolymers enable surface penetration by non-motile Enterococcus faecalis. PLoS Pathog 2019;15(2):e1007571.Abstract
Bacterial pathogens have evolved strategies that enable them to invade tissues and spread within the host. Enterococcus faecalis is a leading cause of local and disseminated multidrug-resistant hospital infections, but the molecular mechanisms used by this non-motile bacterium to penetrate surfaces and translocate through tissues remain largely unexplored. Here we present experimental evidence indicating that E. faecalis generates exopolysaccharides containing β-1,6-linked poly-N-acetylglucosamine (polyGlcNAc) as a mechanism to successfully penetrate semisolid surfaces and translocate through human epithelial cell monolayers. Genetic screening and molecular analyses of mutant strains identified glnA, rpiA and epaX as genes critically required for optimal E. faecalis penetration and translocation. Mechanistically, GlnA and RpiA cooperated to generate uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) that was utilized by EpaX to synthesize polyGlcNAc-containing polymers. Notably, exogenous supplementation with polymeric N-acetylglucosamine (PNAG) restored surface penetration by E. faecalis mutants devoid of EpaX. Our study uncovers an unexpected mechanism whereby the RpiA-GlnA-EpaX metabolic axis enables production of polyGlcNAc-containing polysaccharides that endow E. faecalis with the ability to penetrate surfaces. Hence, targeting carbohydrate metabolism or inhibiting biosynthesis of polyGlcNAc-containing exopolymers may represent a new strategy to more effectively confront enterococcal infections in the clinic.
Reshef ER, Habib LA, Rao R, Modjtahedi BS, Eliott D, Freitag SK, Reinshagen KL, Lee NG. Clinical and radiographic features of hydrolyzed MIRAgel scleral buckles: A comparative analysis. Clin Imaging 2019;60(1):10-15.Abstract
The MIRAgel (hydrogel) scleral buckle, introduced in the 1980s, was a novel material to repair retinal detachments. It was later discontinued due to the frequency of long-term complications related to buckle hydrolysis and expansion. These complications included pain, limited extraocular motility, and more serious complications such as infection or scleral perforation, which ultimately necessitated surgical extraction as late as 20-30 years after placement. Prompt and proper diagnosis and treatment is often delayed as these buckle-associated complications frequently mimic other orbital pathologies such as tumors or infections. The hydrolyzed MIRAgel buckle exhibits distinct radiographic features that are helpful in arriving at the correct diagnosis, particularly in cases of ambiguous clinical presentation or history. Here, we expand on the previously described radiographic features of hydrolyzed MIRAgel and compare them to features of common, mimicking orbital pathology.
Reshef ER, Schiff ND, Brown EN. A Neurologic Examination for Anesthesiologists: Assessing Arousal Level during Induction, Maintenance, and Emergence. Anesthesiology 2019;130(3):462-471.Abstract
Anesthetics have profound effects on the brain and central nervous system. Vital signs, along with the electroencephalogram and electroencephalogram-based indices, are commonly used to assess the brain states of patients receiving general anesthesia and sedation. Important information about the patient's arousal state during general anesthesia can also be obtained through use of the neurologic examination. This article reviews the main components of the neurologic examination focusing primarily on the brainstem examination. It details the components of the brainstem examination that are most relevant for patient management during induction, maintenance, and emergence from general anesthesia. The examination is easy to apply and provides important complementary information about the patient's arousal level that cannot be discerned from vital signs and electroencephalogram measures.
Rico-Sánchez L, Garzón I, González-Andrades M, Ruíz-García A, Punzano M, Lizana-Moreno A, Muñoz-Ávila JI, Sánchez-Quevedo MDC, Martínez-Atienza J, Lopez-Navas L, Sanchez-Pernaute R, Oruezabal RI, Medialdea S, Gonzalez-Gallardo MDC, Carmona G, Sanbonmatsu-Gámez S, Perez M, Jimenez P, Cuende N, Campos A, Alaminos M. Successful development and clinical translation of a novel anterior lamellar artificial cornea. J Tissue Eng Regen Med 2019;13(12):2142-2154.Abstract
Blindness due to corneal diseases is a common pathology affecting up to 23 million individuals worldwide. The tissue-engineered anterior human cornea, which is currently being tested in a Phase I/II clinical trial to treat severe corneal trophic ulcers with preliminary good feasibility and safety results. This bioartificial cornea is based on a nanostructured fibrin-agarose biomaterial containing human allogeneic stromal keratocytes and cornea epithelial cells, mimicking the human native anterior cornea in terms of optical, mechanical, and biological behavior. This product is manufactured as a clinical-grade tissue engineering product, fulfilling European requirements and regulations. The clinical translation process included several phases: an initial in vitro and in vivo preclinical research plan, including preclinical advice from the Spanish Medicines Agency followed by additional preclinical development, the adaptation of the biofabrication protocols to a good manufacturing practice manufacturing process, including all quality controls required, and the design of an advanced therapy clinical trial. The experimental development and successful translation of advanced therapy medicinal products for clinical application has to overcome many obstacles, especially when undertaken by academia or SMEs. We expect that our experience and research strategy may help future researchers to efficiently transfer their preclinical results into the clinical settings.
Rizzo JF. Unraveling the Enigma of Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. J Neuroophthalmol 2019;39(4):529-544.Abstract
Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAON) is the second most common optic neuropathy in adults. Despite extensive study, the etiology of NAION is not definitively known. The best evidence suggests that NAION is caused by an infarction in the region of the optic nerve head (ONH), which is perfused by paraoptic short posterior ciliary arteries (sPCAs) and their branches. To examine the gaps in knowledge that defies our understanding of NAION, a historical review was performed both of anatomical investigations of the ONH and its relevant blood vessels and the evolution of clinical understanding of NAION. Notably, almost all of the in vitro vascular research was performed prior our current understanding of NAION, which has largely precluded a hypothesis-based laboratory approach to study the etiological conundrum of NAION. More recent investigative techniques, like fluorescein angiography, have provided valuable insight into vascular physiology, but such light-based techniques have not been able to image blood vessels located within or behind the dense connective tissue of the sclera and laminar cribrosa, sites that are likely culpable in NAION. The lingering gaps in knowledge clarify investigative paths that might be taken to uncover the pathogenesis of NAION and possibly glaucoma, the most common optic neuropathy for which evidence of a vascular pathology also exists.
Rodriguez JD, Wallstrom G, Narayanan D, Welch D, Abelson MB. An Alternative Psychophysical Diagnostic Indicator of the Aging Eye. J Ophthalmol 2019;2019:2036192.Abstract
Purpose: Impaired adaptation to changes in lighting levels as well as mesopic visual function is a common complaint in those over the age of 65. The use of photostress is a well-established method to test the adaption rate and the response of the visual cycle. In this study, we test visual function recovery to mesopic luminance stimuli following a long duration photostress in young and elderly subjects. If successful in strongly differentiating aging macular function, these methods may also be useful in the study of pathologies such as age-related macular degeneration. Methods: A group of 12 older normal subjects (mean age 75.1 ± 4.79) and a control group of 5 younger normal subjects (mean age 26.2 ± 4.19) were subjected to macular photostress using the OraLux photostress system. The OraLux system provides a diffuse light source bleaching 84% of cone photopigment while maintaining an exposure safety factor of 200 times less than the maximum safe exposure. After each photostressing session, macular recovery was tracked using a foveal, variable contrast, flickering stimulus of mean luminance in the high mesopic range. Recovery was tracked for 300 seconds. The endpoint was time to recovery to each individual's baseline sensitivity as determined by two static sensitivity trials prior to photostress. Results: Proportional hazards analysis of recovery time yielded a statistically significant difference between the older group and the young group (HR = 0.181; =0.0289). The estimated hazard ratio of 0.181 indicates that older subjects return to baseline at less than one-fifth the rate of younger subjects. The hazards ratio remained statistically significant after adjusting for visual acuity (HR = 0.093; =0.0424). Conclusion: Photostress recovery of flicker sensitivity under mesopic conditions is a strong differentiator of aging macular function. This agrees with subject-reported complaints in reduced luminance conditions after exposure to bright lights such as night driving. The qualitative similarity between the aging retina and changes in early AMD suggests that flicker recovery following photostress may be useful as a surrogate endpoint in AMD clinical trials.

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