PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize recent advances in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA). RECENT FINDINGS: Less common manifestations of GCA include corneal edema, proptosis from lacrimal gland ischemia and sensorineuronal hearing loss. Histology studies have suggested that temporal artery biopsies (TAB) with fixed specimen lengths of 15 mm may be adequate to prevent false negative biopsies. In centers with appropriate radiologic expertise, a European rheumatology consensus guideline has proposed Doppler ultrasound as a first-line confirmatory test for GCA in lieu of temporal artery biopsy. Finding extracranial large vessel disease can help to diagnose GCA. Statistical prediction rules can help risk stratify patients with suspected GCA. Age and platelet level when maintained as continuous variables are the strongest predictors for GCA. SUMMARY: GCA can present with diverse ophthalmic and systemic presentations and expedient recognition of same can avoid diagnostic delay and possible vision loss, among other complications. TAB remains the conventional diagnostic standard test for GCA. The use of statistical prediction models and increased expertise in noninvasive imaging techniques such as ultrasound may decrease reliance on TAB, especially in patients determined to be at low risk for GCA.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the role of the ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) from Pascal dynamic contour tonometry in predicting the temporal artery biopsy (TABx) result in patients with suspected giant cell arteritis (GCA). DESIGN: Prospective validation study. PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged 50 years or older who underwent TABx from March 2015 to April 2017. METHODS: Subjects on high-dose glucocorticoids more than 14 days or without serology before glucocorticoid initiation were excluded. The OPA from both eyes was obtained and averaged just before TABx of the predominantly symptomatic side. The variables chosen for the a priori prediction model were age, average OPA, and C-reactive protein (CRP). Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), platelets, jaw claudication, and eye findings were also recorded. In this study, subjects with a negative biopsy were considered not to have GCA, and contralateral biopsy was performed if the clinical suspicion for GCA remained high. An external validation set (XVAL) was obtained. RESULTS: Of 109 TABx, 19 were positive and 90 were negative. On univariate logistic regression, the average OPA had 0.60 odds for positive TABx (p = 0.03), with no statistically significant difference in age, sex, CRP, ESR, or jaw claudication. In suspected GCA, an OPA of 1 mm Hg had positive likelihood ratio 4.74 and negative likelihood ratio 0.87 for positive TABx. Multivariate regression of the prediction model using optimal mathematical transforms (inverse OPA, log CRP, age >65 years) had area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) = 0.85 and AUROC = 0.81. CONCLUSIONS: OPA is lower in subjects with biopsy-proven GCA and is a statistically significant predictor of GCA.
PURPOSE: To determine the positive yield (utility rate) of temporal artery biopsy (TAB) in patients with suspected giant cell arteritis (GCA). STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review (CRD42017078508) and meta-regression. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All articles concerning TAB for suspected GCA with English language abstracts from 1998 to 2017 were retrieved. Articles were excluded if they exclusively reported positive TAB, or only cases of known GCA. Where available, the pre-specified predictors of age, sex, vision symptoms, jaw claudication, duration of steroid treatment prior to TAB, specimen length, bilateral TAB, and use of ultrasound/MRI (imaging) were recorded for meta-regression. RESULTS: One hundred and thirteen articles met eligibility criteria. The was 92%, and with such high heterogeneity, meta-analysis is unsuitable. The median yield of TAB was 0.25 (95% confidence interval 0.21 to 0.27), with interquartile range 0.17 to 0.34. On univariate meta-regression age (coefficient 0.012, = 0.025) was the only statistically significant patient factor associated with TAB yield. CONCLUSIONS: Systematic review revealed high heterogeneity in the yield of TAB. The median utility rate of 25% and its interquartile range provides a benchmark for decisions regarding the under/overutilization of TAB and aids in the evaluation of non-invasive alternatives for the investigation of GCA.
Background: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is characterized by leukoencephalopathy leading to cognitive impairment. Subtle cognitive deficits can be observed early in the course of the disease, before the occurrence of the first stroke. Therefore, markers that can predict disease progression at this early stage, when interventions are likely to alter disease course, are needed. We aimed to examine the biological cascade of microstructural and macrostructural white matter (WM) abnormalities underlying cognitive deficits in CADASIL. Methods: We examined 20 nondemented CADASIL mutation carriers and 23 noncarriers who underwent neuropsychological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging. Using probabilistic tractography of key WM tracts, we examined group differences in diffusivity measures and WM hyperintensity volume. Successive mediation models examined whether tract-specific WM abnormalities mediated subtle cognitive differences between CADASIL mutation carriers and noncarriers. Results: The largest effect size differentiating the two groups was observed for left superior longitudinal fasciculus-temporal (SLFt) diffusivity (Cohen's f = 0.49). No group differences were observed with a global diffusion measure. These specific microstructural differences in the SLFt were associated with higher WM hyperintensities burden, and subtle executive deficits in CADASIL mutation carriers. Discussion: Worse diffusivity in the left SLFt is related to greater severity of small vessel disease and worse executive functioning in the asymptomatic stage of the disease. Worse diffusivity of the left SLFt may potentially hold promise as an indicator of disease progression. Impact statement Diffusion tensor imaging outperforms conventional imaging of subcortical small vessel disease as a potential marker of future disease progression. Here we identified the left superior longitudinal temporal fasciculus as a critical white matter fiber bundle, of which worse diffusivity can link presence of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy mutations to greater severity of small vessel disease and worse executive functioning in asymptomatic stages of the disease. This tract may hold promise and deserves further examination as an early indicator of disease progression.
Motor, sensory, and integrative activities of the brain are coordinated by a series of midline-bridging neuronal commissures whose development is tightly regulated. Here we report a new human syndrome in which these commissures are widely disrupted, thus causing clinical manifestations of horizontal gaze palsy, scoliosis, and intellectual disability. Affected individuals were found to possess biallelic loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the axon-guidance receptor 'deleted in colorectal carcinoma' (DCC), which has been implicated in congenital mirror movements when it is mutated in the heterozygous state but whose biallelic loss-of-function human phenotype has not been reported. Structural MRI and diffusion tractography demonstrated broad disorganization of white-matter tracts throughout the human central nervous system (CNS), including loss of all commissural tracts at multiple levels of the neuraxis. Combined with data from animal models, these findings show that DCC is a master regulator of midline crossing and development of white-matter projections throughout the human CNS.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Congenital anomalies of the optic nerve are rare but significant causes of visual dysfunction in children and adults. Accurate diagnosis is dependent on a thorough funduscopic examination, but can be enhanced by imaging information garnered from optical coherence tomography (OCT). We review common congenital optic nerve anomalies, including optic disc pit, optic nerve coloboma, morning glory disc anomaly, and hypoplasia of the optic nerve, review their systemic associations, and discuss insights from OCT imaging. RECENT FINDINGS: Optic disc pits are a result of a defect in the lamina cribrosa and abnormal vitreomacular adhesions have been shown to cause maculopathy. In patients with optic nerve colobomas, OCT can be instrumental in diagnosing choroidal neovascularization, a rare but visually devastating complication. The pathogenesis of morning glory disc anomaly has been more clearly elucidated by OCT as occurring from a secondary postnatal mesenchymal abnormality rather than only the initial neuroectodermal dysgenesis of the terminal optic stalk in isolation. OCT studies of optic nerve hypoplasia have demonstrated significant thinning of the inner and outer retinal layers of the perifoveal region and thicker layers in the fovea itself, resulting in a foveal hypoplasia-like pathology, that is, significantly correlated to poorer visual outcomes. SUMMARY: OCT provides detailed in-vivo analysis of these anatomic anomalies and their resulting pathologies, shedding new insights on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and potential visual outcomes of these conditions in children. Further study employing OCT to elucidate structure-function relationships of congenital optic nerve anomalies will help expand the role of OCT in clinical practice related to diagnosis, prognosis, and management of these entities.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes maladaptive changes to nociceptive synaptic circuits within the injured spinal cord. Changes also occur at remote regions including the brain stem, limbic system, cortex, and dorsal root ganglia. These maladaptive nociceptive synaptic circuits frequently cause neuronal hyperexcitability in the entire nervous system and enhance nociceptive transmission, resulting in chronic central neuropathic pain following SCI. The underlying mechanism of chronic neuropathic pain depends on the neuroanatomical structures and electrochemical communication between pre- and postsynaptic neuronal membranes, and propagation of synaptic transmission in the ascending pain pathways. In the nervous system, neurons are the only cell type that transmits nociceptive signals from peripheral receptors to supraspinal systems due to their neuroanatomical and electrophysiological properties. However, the entire range of nociceptive signaling is not mediated by any single neuron. Current literature describes regional studies of electrophysiological or neurochemical mechanisms for enhanced nociceptive transmission post-SCI, but few studies report the electrophysiological, neurochemical, and neuroanatomical changes across the entire nervous system following a regional SCI. We, along with others, have continuously described the enhanced nociceptive transmission in the spinal dorsal horn, brain stem, thalamus, and cortex in SCI-induced chronic central neuropathic pain condition, respectively. Thus, this review summarizes the current understanding of SCI-induced neuronal hyperexcitability and maladaptive nociceptive transmission in the entire nervous system that contributes to chronic central neuropathic pain.
Nerve growth factor (NGF), the prototypical neurotrophin first discovered in the 1950s, has recently garnered increased interest as a therapeutic agent promoting neuronal health and regeneration. After gaining orphan drug status within the last decade, NGF-related research and drug development has accelerated. The purpose of this article is to review the preclinical and clinical evidence of NGF in various applications, including central and peripheral nervous system, skin, and ophthalmic disorders. We focus on the ophthalmic applications including not only the FDA-approved indication of neurotrophic keratitis but also retinal disease and glaucoma. NGF represents a promising therapy whose therapeutic profile is evolving. The challenges related to this therapy are reviewed, along with possible solutions and future directions.
Astrocytic glutamate transporter excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) 1, also known as glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) in rodents, is one of two glial glutamate transporters that are responsible for removing excess glutamate from synaptic clefts to prevent excitotoxic neuronal death. Despite its important role in neurophysiological functions, the molecular mechanisms of EAAT1 regulation at the transcriptional level remain to be established. Here, we report that NF-κB is a main positive transcription factor for EAAT1, supported by the following: 1) EAAT1 contains two consensus sites for NF-κB, 2) mutation of NF-κB binding sites decreased EAAT1 promoter activity, and 3) activation of NF-κB increased, whereas inhibition of NF-κB decreased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels. EGF increased EAAT1 mRNA/protein levels and glutamate uptake via NF-κB. The transcription factor yin yang 1 (YY1) plays a role as a critical negative regulator of EAAT1, supported by the following: 1) the EAAT1 promoter contains multiple consensus sites for YY1, 2) overexpression of YY1 decreased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels, and 3) knockdown of YY1 increased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels. Manganese decreased EAAT1 expression via YY1. Epigenetic modifiers histone deacetylases (HDACs) served as co-repressors of YY1 to further decrease EAAT1 promoter activity, whereas inhibition of HDACs reversed manganese-induced decrease of EAAT1 expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that NF-κB is a critical positive regulator of EAAT1, mediating the stimulatory effects of EGF, whereas YY1 is a negative regulator of EAAT1 with HDACs as co-repressors, mediating the inhibitory effects of manganese on EAAT1 regulation.
SUMMARY: While Duane retraction syndrome (DRS) is relatively common, surgical management of the associated strabismus can be challenging because of the lack of abduction/adduction, the variable severity of muscle contracture, and the variety of clinical presentations. In this workshop a panel of experienced surgeons provide their perspective and practical tips on the management of strabismus in patients with DRS.
BACKGROUND: Prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment is an effective, nonsurgical therapeutic option for patients with ocular surface disease related to cranial nerve deficits secondary to skull base tumor resection. METHODS: This case series describes the impact of PROSE treatment in patients with symptomatic exposure keratopathy or neurotrophic keratitis after skull base tumor surgery. RESULTS: All patients improved symptomatically and functionally with PROSE treatment, and have had sustained improvement for as long as 3 years. CONCLUSIONS: In postneurosurgical cases in which neurologic function may recover, PROSE treatment offers a safe, nonsurgical treatment option to support the ocular surface during the period of observation awaiting neurologic recovery.
The diagnosis of many neuro-ophthalmic conditions is facilitated with neuro-imaging. The two main modalities are Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Clinicians who refer patients for either of these techniques must not only know which of them to choose, but also where the imaging should be performed (e.g. brain, orbit), whether or not contrast is indicated, and if angiography should be supplemented. These complexities often result in imaging studies that are either unneeded or unhelpful. The goal of this manuscript is to provide a practical set of guidelines for the general ophthalmologist of how to choose the correct parameters for neuro-imaging studies.
Neurodegenerative diseases demonstrate the progressive decline of brain functions resulting in a significant deterioration in the quality of patient's life. With increasing life expectancy, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of these diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are devastating and afflicts a large world population. Eye, given the similar neural and vascular similarity to the brain, demonstrates many pathological hallmarks of some of these neurological diseases. Moreover, these diseases create an economic and social burden to society. Despite tremendous efforts made in the drug discovery, there is no cure for these fatal diseases. Thus, there is an unmet need to understand cellular and molecular pathophysiology of these diseases. All these diseases demonstrate damage to a large number of seemingly disparate cellular processes and functions such as Ca homeostasis, lipid metabolism, axonal transport, unfolded protein response, autophagy and inflammatory responses. Mitochondria are closely associated with Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ER-mitochondrial cross-talk regulates many of these cellular processes and functions damaged in neurodegenerative and eye diseases. Several studies have implicated the disruption of ER-mitochondria contacts in these diseases. This review is aimed at understanding and summarizing the role of ER-mitochondria interacting proteins in major neurodegenerative and eye diseases studied so far.
Although neurons are normally unable to regenerate their axons after injury to the CNS, this situation can be partially reversed by activating the innate immune system. In a widely studied instance of this phenomenon, proinflammatory agents have been shown to cause retinal ganglion cells, the projection neurons of the eye, to regenerate lengthy axons through the injured optic nerve. However, the role of different molecules and cell populations in mediating this phenomenon remains unclear. We show here that neutrophils, the first responders of the innate immune system, play a central role in inflammation-induced regeneration. Numerous neutrophils enter the mouse eye within a few hours of inducing an inflammatory reaction and express high levels of the atypical growth factor oncomodulin (Ocm). Immunodepletion of neutrophils diminished Ocm levels in the eye without altering levels of CNTF, leukemia inhibitory factor, or IL-6, and suppressed the proregenerative effects of inflammation. A peptide antagonist of Ocm suppressed regeneration as effectively as neutrophil depletion. Macrophages enter the eye later in the inflammatory process but appear to be insufficient to stimulate extensive regeneration in the absence of neutrophils. These data provide the first evidence that neutrophils are a major source of Ocm and can promote axon regeneration in the CNS.
INTRODUCTION: Congenital facial weakness (CFW) can result from facial nerve paresis with or without other cranial nerve and systemic involvement, or generalized neuropathic and myopathic disorders. Moebius syndrome is one type of CFW. In this study we explored the utility of electrodiagnostic studies (EDx) in the evaluation of individuals with CFW. METHODS: Forty-three subjects enrolled prospectively into a dedicated clinical protocol and had EDx evaluations, including blink reflex and facial and peripheral nerve conduction studies, with optional needle electromyography. RESULTS: MBS and hereditary congenital facial paresis (HCFP) subjects had low-amplitude cranial nerve 7 responses without other neuropathic or myopathic findings. Carriers of specific pathogenic variants in TUBB3 had, in addition, a generalized sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy with demyelinating features. Myopathic findings were detected in individuals with Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, other undefined myopathies, or CFW with arthrogryposis, ophthalmoplegia, and other system involvement. DISCUSSION: EDx in CFW subjects can assist in characterizing the underlying pathogenesis, as well as guide diagnosis and genetic counseling.
: A critical review of the literature indicates that idiopathic opticochiasmatic arachnoiditis, once considered an important consideration in patients with otherwise unexplained optic atrophy, is not a valid disease entity.
Spinal cord injury in mammals is thought to trigger scar formation with little regeneration of axons. Here we show that a crush injury to the spinal cord in neonatal mice leads to scar-free healing that permits the growth of long projecting axons through the lesion. Depletion of microglia in neonatal mice disrupts this healing process and stalls the regrowth of axons, suggesting that microglia are critical for orchestrating the injury response. Using single-cell RNA sequencing and functional analyses, we find that neonatal microglia are transiently activated and have at least two key roles in scar-free healing. First, they transiently secrete fibronectin and its binding proteins to form bridges of extracellular matrix that ligate the severed ends of the spinal cord. Second, neonatal-but not adult-microglia express several extracellular and intracellular peptidase inhibitors, as well as other molecules that are involved in resolving inflammation. We transplanted either neonatal microglia or adult microglia treated with peptidase inhibitors into spinal cord lesions of adult mice, and found that both types of microglia significantly improved healing and axon regrowth. Together, our results reveal the cellular and molecular basis of the nearly complete recovery of neonatal mice after spinal cord injury, and suggest strategies that could be used to facilitate scar-free healing in the adult mammalian nervous system.