OBJECTIVE: To explore the role of cardiovascular risk factors and the different NOTCH-3 mutations to explain the variability observed in the clinical presentation of CADASIL. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of 331 individuals, 90 were carriers of four mutations in the NOTCH3 gene. These four mutations are the ones identified in our region from the genetic evaluation of probands. Cox proportional hazards models were fitted to estimate the effect of genetic and cardiovascular factors on the onset of migraine, first stroke, and dementia. Competing risk regression models considered death as risk. RESULTS: Noncarriers (healthy controls from the same families without NOTCH3 mutations) and NOTCH3 mutation carriers had similar frequencies for all cardiovascular risk factors. Diabetes (SHR 2.74, 95% CI 1.52-4.94) was associated with a younger age at onset of strokes among carriers. Additionally, a genotype-phenotype relationship was observed among C455R mutation carriers, with higher frequency of migraines (100%), younger age at onset of migraine (median age 7 years, IQR 8) and strokes (median age 30.5 years, IQR 26). Moreover, fewer carriers of the R141C mutation exhibited migraines (20%), and it was even lower than the frequency observed in the noncarrier group (44.8%). CONCLUSIONS: This study characterizes extended family groups, allowing us a comparison in the genotype-phenotype. The results suggest a complex interplay of genetic and cardiovascular risk factors that may help explain the variability in the clinical presentation and severity of CADASIL.
Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) often presents with deficits associated with higher order visual processing. We report a case of an individual with CVI who uses a verbal mediation strategy to perceive and interact with his visual surroundings. Visual perceptual performance was assessed using a virtual reality based visual search task combined with eye tracking. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was employed to identify the neural correlates associated with this strategy. We found that when using verbal mediation, the individual could readily detect and track the target within the visual scene which was associated with robust activation within a network of occipito-parieto-temporal visual cortical areas. In contrast, when not using verbal mediation, the individual was completely unable to perform the task, and this was associated with dramatically reduced visual cortical activation. This unique compensatory strategy may be related to the individual's use of verbal working memory for the purposes of understanding complex visual information.
A 44-year-old man with neurofibromatosis type 1 had been aware that his right eye pulsated. His visual acuity was 20/15 in both eyes and his intraocular pressures were normal. He had 4 mm of right exophthalmos and there was pulse-synchronous pulsation of the right eye (video on the Neurology® Web site at www.neurology.org). No bruit was heard. Lisch nodules were present on both irides. CT showed a large osseous defect of the greater wing of the right sphenoid bone. The differential diagnosis of pulsatile proptosis includes absence of the sphenoid wing in patients with neurofibromatosis 1,(1) carotid-cavernous fistula, orbital roof fractures, and arteriovenous malformations.(2.)
INTRODUCTION: Orbital lymphatic malformations (OLMs) are a unique subset of head and neck low flow vascular malformations, located either in the periorbital region or in the closed orbital cavity. We discuss our experience of minimally invasive strategies of treatment using advanced imaging and Bleomycin sclerotherapy to effectively treat these malformations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 2008 and 2013, we have treated 54 cases of orbital low flow vascular malformations including 22 cases of OLMs of which 16 were treated using Bleomycin. This retrospective analysis was performed from patient charts, operative reports, operative images, pre-operative, and post-operative MR imaging. Bleomycin was used for sclerotherapy in all the cases with a maximum dose per session of treatment limited to 15 mgs. DIRECT PUNCTURE SCLEROTHERAPY TECHNIQUE: OLMs target was determined using pre-procedure MR imaging and direct puncture either per-cutaneous or per-conjunctival was achieved using ultrasound or i-guide guidance. In most lymphatic fluid was drained else the position confirmed with constrast injection under fluoroscopy. Bleomycin was used either undiluted or in various concentrations mixed with saline, or contrast material and recently we favor the use of Bleofoam mixed with 25% Human albumin and air. Microcystic LMs, were treated using gravity technique, the needle track was sealed with Surgiflo or Floseal. In cases of intra cystic or intra ocular haemorrhage with elevated orbital pressure, lateral canthotomy was performed to prevent permanent damage to vision and the contents of the orbit. Postoperatively, the patients recover in ICU and monitored for vision and orbital swelling. Bleomycin skin precautions were followed for 72 h in order to avoid skin hyperpigmentation. Optimal results were obtained at 6 to 8 weeks and assessed using follow-up MRI and ophthalmologic evaluation. RESULTS: The patient's age ranged from 1 to 45 years, with equal male to female ratio. Most cases (13/16) (80%) presented non acutely while three patients (20%) presented acutely with proptosis, visual disturbance and double vision due to haemorrhage within the malformation. Treatment completed in 14, one lost to follow up and the other is yet to be followed. The follow up period ranged from 6weeks to 6 months. 65% (9/14) needed less than three procedures while the remaining five patients needed between 3-5 procedures. All patients had improvement in proptosis; vision either remained stable or improved; volume reduction of more than 80% was noted in 57% (8/14), while the remaining patients 43% had volume reduction of 50-79%. One patient had transient mydriasis post procedure that completely recovered at three months. Another developed haemorrhage within the malformation immediate post sclerotherapy requiring lateral canthotomy, drainage and redo sclerotherapy. None of our patients developed skin pigmentation or pulmonary complication related to bleomycin usage. CONCLUSION: Bleomycin sclerotherapy combined with appropriate image guidance for precise target localization is an effective and safe treatment for OLMs. Bleomycin is a preferred sclerosant as it induces minimal inflammation and post procedure swelling. Standard precautions must be instituted to prevent cutaneous pigmentation and pulmonary fibrosis. DISCLOSURES: S. Paramasivam: None. A. Fay: None. J. Fifi: None. A. Berenstein: None.
IMPORTANCE: The sensitivity of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody testing is thought to be lower in ocular myasthenia gravis (OMG) compared with generalized disease, although estimates in small-scale studies vary. There is little information in the literature about the implications of AChR antibody levels and progression from OMG to generalized myasthenia gravis. OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that serum AChR antibody testing is more sensitive in OMG than previously reported and to examine the association between AChR antibody levels and progression from OMG to generalized myasthenia gravis. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective, observational cohort study was conducted of 223 patients (mean [SD] age, 59.2 [16.4] years; 139 [62.3%] male) diagnosed with OMG between July 1, 1986, and May 31, 2013, at 2 large, academic medical centers. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Baseline characteristics, OMG symptoms, results of AChR antibody testing, and progression time to generalized myasthenia gravis (if this occurred) were recorded for each patient. Multiple logistic regression was used to measure the association between all clinical variables and antibody result. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to examine time to generalization. RESULTS: Among the 223 participants, AChR antibody testing results were positive in 158 participants (70.9%). In an adjusted model, increased age at diagnosis (odds ratio [OR], 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04; P = .007) and progression to generalized myasthenia gravis (OR, 2.92; 95% CI, 1.18-7.26; P = .02) were significantly associated with positive antibody test results. Women were less likely to have a positive antibody test result (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.19-0.68; P = .002). Patients who developed symptoms of generalized myasthenia gravis had a significantly higher mean (SD) antibody level than those who did not develop symptoms of generalized myasthenia gravis (12.7 [16.5] nmol/L vs 4.2 [7.9] nmol/L; P = .002). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: We demonstrate a higher sensitivity of AChR antibody testing than previously reported in the largest cohort of patients with OMG available to date. Older age, male sex, and progression to generalized myasthenia gravis were significantly associated with a positive antibody test result. In addition, to our knowledge, this is the first report of an association between high AChR antibody levels and progression from OMG to generalized disease.
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.
Supraspinal mechanisms of pain are increasingly understood to underlie neuropathic ocular conditions previously thought to be exclusively peripheral in nature. Isolating individual causes of centralized chronic conditions and differentiating them is critical to understanding the mechanisms underlying neuropathic eye pain and ultimately its treatment. Though few functional imaging studies have focused on the eye as an end-organ for the transduction of noxious stimuli, the brain networks related to pain processing have been extensively studied with functional neuroimaging over the past 20 years. This article will review the supraspinal mechanisms that underlie pain as they relate to the eye.
BACKGROUND: Tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf) is a potent immunosuppressant, which inhibits cytokine synthesis and blocks T-cell development. Optic neuropathy from tacrolimus toxicity is very uncommon but, when present, can result in severe vision loss.
METHODS: Case series and review of the literature.
RESULTS: We present 3 patients with tacrolimus optic neuropathy after bone marrow transplantation complicated by graft-vs-host disease and demonstrate the differing clinical and radiologic presentation of this presumed toxic optic neuropathy.
CONCLUSIONS: Tacrolimus optic neuropathy can manifest in a multitude of clinical presentations and can have devastating visual consequences.
The Tolosa-Hunt syndrome is a rare clinical condition characterized by painful opthalmoparesis associated with idiopathic granulomatous inflammation of the orbital apex and cavernous sinus. Historically, this condition was thought to result from arteritic changes in the internal carotid artery and cavernous sinus. Modern digital angiographic techniques were unavailable when THS was initially described, and few reports exist on its high-resolution angiographic findings. Painful ophthalmoparesis, especially of the oculomotor nerve, warrants vascular imaging because of the concern for an underlying aneurysm. Here, we describe angiographic findings of THS which may be useful for clinicians when encountering patients presenting with painful ophthalmoplegia.
Optic neuritis (ON) is an inflammatory attack of the optic nerve that leads to visual disability. It is the most common optic neuropathy affecting healthy young adults, most commonly women aged 20-45 years. It can be idiopathic and monophasic or as part of a neurologic disease such as multiple sclerosis with recurrence and cumulative damage. Currently, there is no therapy to repair the damage from optic neuritis. Animal models are an essential tool for the understanding of the pathogenesis of optic neuritis and for the development of potential treatment strategies. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the most commonly used experimental rodent model for human autoimmune inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). In this review, we discuss the latest rodent models regarding optic neuritis, focusing on EAE model, and on its recent achievements and developments.
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.
The human cerebral cortex is asymmetrically organized with hemispheric lateralization pervading nearly all neural systems of the brain. Whether the lack of normal visual development affects hemispheric specialization subserving the deployment of visuospatial attention asymmetries is controversial. In principle, indeed, the lack of early visual experience may affect the lateralization of spatial functions, and the blind may rely on a different sensory input compared to the sighted. In this review article, we thus present a current state-of-the-art synthesis of empirical evidence concerning the effects of visual deprivation on the lateralization of various spatial processes (i.e., including line bisection, mirror symmetry, and localization tasks). Overall, the evidence reviewed indicates that spatial processes are supported by a right hemispheric network in the blind, hence, analogously to the sighted. Such a right-hemisphere dominance, however, seems more accentuated in the blind as compared to the sighted as indexed by the greater leftward bias shown in different spatial tasks. This is possibly the result of the more pronounced involvement of the right parietal cortex during spatial tasks in blind individuals compared to the sighted, as well as of the additional recruitment of the right occipital cortex, which would reflect the cross-modal plastic phenomena that largely characterize the blind brain.
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.
BACKGROUND: Embolic events leading to retinal ischemia or cerebral ischemia share common risk factors; however, it has been well documented that the rate of concurrent cerebral infarction is higher in patients with a history of transient ischemic attack (TIA) than in those with monocular vision loss (MVL) due to retinal ischemia. Despite the fact that emboli to the ophthalmic artery (OA) and middle cerebral artery share the internal carotid artery (ICA) as a common origin or transit for emboli, the asymmetry in their final destination has not been fully explained. We hypothesize that the anatomic location of the OA takeoff from the ICA may contribute to the differential flow of small emboli to the retinal circulation vs the cerebral circulation. METHODS: We report a retrospective, comparative, case-control study on 28 patients with retinal ischemia and 26 patients with TIA or cerebral infarction caused by embolic events. All subjects underwent either computed tomography angiography or MRA. The location of the ipsilateral OA origin off the ICA was then graded in a blinded fashion and compared between cohorts. Vascular risk factors were collected for all patients, including age, sex, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arrhythmia, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and smoking. RESULTS: We find that in patients with retinal ischemia of embolic etiology, the ipsilateral OA takeoff from the ICA is more proximal than in patients with cerebral infarcts or TIA (P = 0.0002). We found no statistically significant differences in demographic, vascular, or systemic risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: We find that the mean anatomical location of the OA takeoff from the ICA is significantly more proximal in patients with MVL due to retinal ischemia compared with patients with TIA or cerebral ischemia. This finding contributes significantly to our understanding of a long observed but poorly understood phenomenon that patients with MVL are less likely to have concurrent cerebral ischemia than are patients with TIA.
Vision loss due to ocular diseases such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, are generally considered an exclusive affair of the retina and/or optic nerve. However, the brain, through multiple indirect influences, has also a major impact on functional visual impairment. Such indirect influences include intracerebral pressure, eye movements, top-down modulation (attention, cognition), and emotionally triggered stress hormone release affecting blood vessel dysregulation. Therefore, vision loss should be viewed as the result of multiple interactions within a "brain-eye-vascular triad", and several eye diseases may also be considered as brain diseases in disguise. While the brain is part of the problem, it can also be part of the solution. Neuronal networks of the brain can "amplify" residual vision through neuroplasticity changes of local and global functional connectivity by activating, modulating and strengthening residual visual signals. The activation of residual vision can be achieved by different means such as vision restoration training, non-invasive brain stimulation, or blood flow enhancing medications. Modulating brain functional networks and improving vascular regulation may offer new opportunities to recover or restore low vision by increasing visual field size, visual acuity and overall functional vision. Hence, neuroscience offers new insights to better understand vision loss, and modulating brain and vascular function is a promising source for new opportunities to activate residual vision to achieve restoration and recovery to improve quality of live in patients suffering from vision loss.