The optic nerve conveys information about the outside world from the retina to multiple subcortical relay centers. Until recently, the optic nerve was widely believed to be incapable of re-growing if injured, with dire consequences for victims of traumatic, ischemic, or neurodegenerative diseases of this pathway. Over the past 10-20 years, research from our lab and others has made considerable progress in defining factors that normally suppress axon regeneration and the ability of retinal ganglion cells, the projection neurons of the retina, to survive after nerve injury. Here we describe research from our lab on the role of inflammation-derived growth factors, suppression of inter-cellular signals among diverse retinal cell types, and combinatorial therapies, along with related studies from other labs, that enable animals with optic nerve injury to regenerate damaged retinal axons back to the brain. These studies raise the possibility that vision might one day be restored to people with optic nerve damage.
A ring-enhancing lesion is an uncommon cause of a dorsal midbrain syndrome. Here, we describe the case of a 60-year-old man with eye movement and pupillary findings consistent with dorsal midbrain syndrome, and in whom neuroimaging showed a single ring-enhancing lesion in the right midbrain and thalamus. Further investigation revealed a longstanding right groin mass which proved to be a malignant melanoma. His intracranial lesion was presumed to be a metastatic lesion, and treated with stereotactic radiosurgery. We report the patient's clinical course, and discuss the diagnosis and management of the solitary midbrain lesion.
We describe 2 patients who developed postoperative orbital cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection after orbitozygomatic pterional craniotomy. An 18-year-old woman underwent exploratory pterional-orbitozygomatic craniotomy. Five days postoperatively, after removal of a lumbar drain, proptosis and a compressive optic neuropathy developed. Computed tomography demonstrated a CSF collection contiguous with the craniotomy site. Resolution followed percutaneous aspiration and replacement of the lumbar drain. A 57-year-old woman underwent a pterional-orbitozygomatic craniotomy for removal of a left anterior clinoid meningioma, complicated by a large left hemorrhagic stroke requiring decompressive hemicraniectomy. Extracranial CSF collections accumulated in both the orbit and subgaleal spaces. Resolution followed placement of an external ventricular drain. Based on these cases, the mechanism seems to be the combination of iatrogenic formation of a communication with the subarachnoid space and elevated intracranial pressure. Resolution was achieved by normalizing intracranial pressure.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: REALITY is an international observational retrospective registry of LHON patients evaluating the visual course and outcome in Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). SUBJECTS/METHODS: Demographics and visual function data were collected from medical charts of LHON patients with visual loss. The study was conducted in 11 study centres in the United States of America and Europe. The collection period extended from the presymptomatic stage to at least more than one year after onset of vision loss (chronic stage). A Locally Weighted Scatterplot Smoothing (LOWESS) local regression model was used to analyse the evolution of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) over time. RESULTS: 44 LHON patients were included; 27 (61%) carried the m.11778G>A ND4 mutation, 8 (18%) carried the m.3460G>A ND1 mutation, and 9 (20%) carried the m.14484T>C ND6 mutation. Fourteen (32%) patients were under 18 years old at onset of vision loss and 5 (11%) were below the age of 12. The average duration of follow-up was 32.5 months after onset of symptoms. At the last observed measure, mean BCVA was 1.46 LogMAR in ND4 patients, 1.52 LogMAR in ND1 patients, and 0.97 LogMAR in ND6 patients. The worst visual outcomes were reported in ND4 patients aged at least 15 years old at onset, with a mean BCVA of 1.55 LogMAR and no tendency for spontaneous recovery. The LOESS modelling curve depicted a severe and permanent deterioration of BCVA. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst LHON patients with the three primary mtDNA mutations, adult patients with the m.11778G>A ND4 mutation had the worst visual outcomes, consistent with prior reports.
Whole-brain networks derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data require the identification of seed and target regions of interest (ROIs) to assess connectivity patterns. This study investigated how initiating tracts from gray matter (GM) or white matter (WM) seed ROIs impacts (1) structural networks constructed from DTI data from healthy elderly (control) and individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and (2) between-group comparisons using these networks. DTI datasets were obtained from the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative database. Deterministic tractography was used to build two whole-brain networks for each subject; one in which tracts were initiated from WM ROIs and another in which they were initiated from GM ROIs. With respect to the first goal, in both groups, WM-seeded networks had approximately 400 more connections and stronger connections (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) than GM-seeded networks, but shared 94% of the connections found in the GM-seed networks. With respect to the second goal, between-group comparisons revealed a stronger subnetwork (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) in controls compared to AD using both WM-seeded and GM-seeded networks. The comparison using WM-seeded networks produced a larger (i.e., a greater number of connections) and more significant subnetwork in controls versus AD. Global, local, and nodal efficiency were greater in controls compared to AD, and between-group comparisons of these measures using WM-seeded networks had larger effect sizes than those using GM-seeded networks. These findings affirm that seed location significantly affects the ability to detect between-group differences in structural networks.
Superior oblique myokymia (SOM) is a rare condition of unclear etiology. We discuss the history, etiology, clinical features, differential diagnoses, management and prognosis of SOM. We conducted a meta-analysis of all 116 cases published since SOM was first described in 1906. The age at examination was 17-72 years (mean 42 years.) There was a right-sided preponderance in 61% of cases (P < 0.02) that was statistically significant in females (63%, P < 0.04) but not in males (59%, P = 0.18). The pathophysiology of SOM may be neurovascular compression and/or ephaptic transmission. Although various pharmacological and surgical approaches to SOM treatment have been proposed, the rarity of the condition has made it impossible to conduct clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of these approaches. Recently, topical beta-blockers have managed SOM symptoms in a number of cases, including the first case treated with levobunolol. Systemic medications, strabismus surgery, and neurosurgery have been used to control symptoms, with strabismus surgery carrying a moderate risk of post-operative diplopia in down-gaze. While there is no established treatment for SOM, we encourage clinicians to attempt topical levobunolol therapy before considering systemic therapy or surgery.
BACKGROUND: Optic nerve astrocytomas (ONAs) are neurological neoplasms in the central nervous system (CNS), and they have the highest incidence rate among all the tumor types in the visual pathway. In this study, we conducted a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) -based research to explore the demographic, survival, and prognostic factors of patients diagnosed with ONAs. METHODS: Utilizing the SEER database, we retrospectively evaluated data of patients diagnosed with ONAs of all ages from 1984 to 2016. We used the Student's t distribution to test variables of patients and various characteristics, and Kaplan-Meier curve to illustrate overall survival (OS) with 95.0% confidence intervals (CIs). We also performed univariate and multivariate analyses to evaluate various variables' validity on overall survival. RESULTS: A total of 1004 cases were analyzed, and revealed that age (P<0.001, hazard ratio (HR) = 8.830, 95% CI: 4.088-19.073), tumor grade (P<0.001, HR = 1.927, 95% CI: 1.516-2.450), diagnostic confirmation (P<0.001, HR = 2.444, 95% CI: 1.632-3.660), and histology type (P = 0.046, HR = 1.563, 95% CI: 1.008-2.424) of the tumor were associated with decreased survival. CONCLUSIONS: From this large, comparative study of ONAs, we found that younger age may be considered as a protective indicator, while high-grade astrocytic tumors have a worse prognosis. We also found that diagnostic confirmation and tumor grade were independent prognostic factors in this patient population.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: No MR imaging measurement criteria are available for the diagnosis of optic nerve atrophy. We determined a threshold optic nerve area on MR imaging that predicts a clinical diagnosis of optic nerve atrophy and assessed the relationship between optic nerve area and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness measured by optical coherence tomography, an ancillary test used to evaluate optic nerve disorders. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We evaluated 26 patients with suspected optic nerve atrophy (8 with unilateral, 13 with bilateral and 5 with suspected but not demonstrable optic nerve atrophy) who had both orbital MR imaging and optical coherence tomography examinations. Forty-five patients without optic nerve atrophy served as controls. Coronal inversion recovery images were used to measure optic nerve area on MR imaging. Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness was determined by optical coherence tomography. Individual eyes were treated separately; however, bootstrapping was used to account for clustering when appropriate. Correlation coefficients were used to evaluate relationships; receiver operating characteristic curves, to investigate predictive accuracy. RESULTS: There was a significant difference in optic nerve area between patients' affected eyes with optic nerve atrophy (mean, 3.09 ± 1.09 mm), patients' unaffected eyes (mean, 5.27 ± 1.39 mm; = .008), and control eyes (mean, 6.27 ± 2.64 mm; < .001). Optic nerve area ≤ 4.0 mm had a sensitivity of 0.85 and a specificity of 0.83 in predicting the diagnosis of optic nerve atrophy. A significant relationship was found between optic nerve area and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness ( = 0.68, < .001). CONCLUSIONS: MR imaging-measured optic nerve area ≤ 4.0 mm has moderately high sensitivity and specificity for predicting optic nerve atrophy, making it a potential diagnostic tool for radiologists.
While experience is continuous, memories are organized as discrete events. Cognitive boundaries are thought to segment experience and structure memory, but how this process is implemented remains unclear. We recorded the activity of single neurons in the human medial temporal lobe (MTL) during the formation and retrieval of memories with complex narratives. Here, we show that neurons responded to abstract cognitive boundaries between different episodes. Boundary-induced neural state changes during encoding predicted subsequent recognition accuracy but impaired event order memory, mirroring a fundamental behavioral tradeoff between content and time memory. Furthermore, the neural state following boundaries was reinstated during both successful retrieval and false memories. These findings reveal a neuronal substrate for detecting cognitive boundaries that transform experience into mnemonic episodes and structure mental time travel during retrieval.