Neuro-ophthalmology

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Rasool N, Boudreault K, Lessell S, Prasad S, Cestari DM. Tacrolimus Optic Neuropathy. J Neuroophthalmol 2018;38(2):160-166.Abstract
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.
Ravindran K, Schmalz P, Torun N, Ronthal M, Chang Y-M, Thomas AJ. Angiographic Findings in the Tolosa-Hunt Syndrome and Resolution after Corticosteroid Treatment. Neuroophthalmology 2018;42(3):159-163.Abstract
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.
Redler Y, Levy M. Rodent Models of Optic Neuritis. Front Neurol 2020;11:580951.Abstract
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.
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.
Rinaldi L, Ciricugno A, Merabet LB, Vecchi T, Cattaneo Z. The Effect of Blindness on Spatial Asymmetries. Brain Sci 2020;10(10)Abstract
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.
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.
Rizzo JF. Festschrift for Simmons Lessell, MD. J Neuroophthalmol 2013;33(4):e26-7.
Rosenvald OR, Lessell S. Pupillary sign of aberrant regeneration of the third nerve. Neurology 2016;86(18):1746.
Rossi A, Gnesi M, Montomoli C, Chirico G, Malerba L, Merabet LB, Merabet LB, Fazzi E. Neonatal Assessment Visual European Grid (NAVEG): Unveiling neurological risk. Infant Behav Dev 2017;49:21-30.
Rossin EJ, Gilbert AL, Koen N, Leslie-Mazwi TM, Cunnane ME, Rizzo JF. Site of Origin of the Ophthalmic Artery Influences the Risk for Retinal Versus Cerebral Embolic Events. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(1):24-28.Abstract
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.
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Sabel BA, Flammer J, Merabet LB. Residual vision activation and the brain-eye-vascular triad: Dysregulation, plasticity and restoration in low vision and blindness - a review. Restor Neurol Neurosci 2018;Abstract
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.
Saber Tehrani AS, Kattah JC, Kerber KA, Gold DR, Zee DS, Urrutia VC, Newman-Toker DE. Diagnosing Stroke in Acute Dizziness and Vertigo: Pitfalls and Pearls. Stroke 2018;49(3):788-795.
Saitakis G, Chwalisz BK. The neurology of IGG4-related disease. J Neurol Sci 2021;424:117420.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is emerging as a fibro-inflammatory entity affecting multiple organs, including manifold neurologic manifestations. This review discusses general characteristics of IgG4-RD neurologic disease including epidemiology, histology, clinical picture and treatment approaches. RECENT FINDINGS: IgG4-RD is increasingly recognized as an important underlying pathophysiology in multiple disorders of neurologic interest, including orbital inflammation, infundibulo-hypophysitis, hypertrophic pachymeningitis, and even in rare cases CNS parenchymal disease and cranial vascular involvement. These were previously considered idiopathic and unrelated to any systemic disease but now known to share a common histopathology. New knowledge regarding the pathogenesis, clinical features and epidemiology of IgG4 is emerging, and new neurological manifestations continue to be described. Diagnostic progress includes CT-PET imaging, the use of flow cytometry for plasmablast quantification, and the use of reverse passive latex agglutination aiming to overcome the prozone phenomenon. Histopathologic confirmation of IgG4-RD remains the gold standard method of diagnosis but new diagnostic criteria for systemic and organ-specific disease are being proposed. Though glucorticoids remain the mainstay of therapy, relapses and incomplete recovery are frequent. Rituximab is a promising treatment in IgG4-RD that is severe, refractory or glucocorticoid dependent. Initiation of immunosuppression at an early stage of disease should be considered in order to avoid development of refractory fibrosis. SUMMARY: The current review emphasizes the neurologic manifestations of IgG4-RD.
Sangaré LO, Yang N, Konstantinou EK, Lu D, Mukhopadhyay D, Young LH, Saeij JPJ. GRA15 Activates the NF-κB Pathway through Interactions with TNF Receptor-Associated Factors. MBio 2019;10(4)Abstract
The protozoan parasite secretes proteins from specialized organelles, the rhoptries, and dense granules, which are involved in the modulation of host cell processes. Dense granule protein GRA15 activates the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway, which plays an important role in cell death, innate immunity, and inflammation. Exactly how GRA15 activates the NF-κB pathway is unknown. Here we show that GRA15 interacts with tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factors (TRAFs), which are adaptor proteins functioning upstream of the NF-κB transcription factor. We identified several TRAF binding sites in the GRA15 amino acid sequence and showed that these are involved in NF-κB activation. Furthermore, a TRAF2 knockout cell line has impaired GRA15-mediated NF-κB activation. Thus, we determined the mechanism for GRA15-dependent NF-κB activation. The parasite can cause birth defects and severe disease in immunosuppressed patients. Strain differences in pathogenicity exist, and these differences are due to polymorphic effector proteins that secretes into the host cell to coopt host cell functions. The effector protein GRA15 of some strains activates the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway, which plays an important role in cell death, innate immunity, and inflammation. We show that GRA15 interacts with TNF receptor-associated factors (TRAFs), which are adaptor proteins functioning upstream of the NF-κB transcription factor. Deletion of TRAF-binding sites in GRA15 greatly reduces its ability to activate the NF-κB pathway, and TRAF2 knockout cells have impaired GRA15-mediated NF-κB activation. Thus, we determined the mechanism for GRA15-dependent NF-κB activation.
Schoemaker D, Zuluaga Y, Viswanathan A, Shrimer M, Torrico-Teave H, Velilla L, Ospina C, Ospina GG, Lopera F, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Quiroz YT. The INECO Frontal Screening for the Evaluation of Executive Dysfunction in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease: Evidence from Quantitative MRI in a CADASIL Cohort from Colombia. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2020;26(10):1006-1018.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Executive dysfunction is a predominant cognitive symptom in cerebral small vessel disease (SVD). The Institute of Cognitive Neurology Frontal Screening (IFS) is a well-validated screening tool allowing the rapid assessment of multiple components of executive function in Spanish-speaking individuals. In this study, we examined performance on the IFS in subjects with cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), an inherited condition leading to the early onset of SVD. We further explored associations between performance on the IFS and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers of SVD. METHODS: We recruited 24 asymptomatic CADASIL subjects and 23 noncarriers from Colombia. All subjects underwent a research MRI and a neuropsychological evaluation, including the IFS. Structural MRI markers of SVD were quantified in each subject, together with an SVD Sum Score representing the overall burden of cerebrovascular alterations. General linear model, correlation, and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were used to explore group differences on the IFS and relationships with MRI markers of SVD. RESULTS: CADASIL subjects had a significantly reduced performance on the IFS Total Score. Performance on the IFS correlated with all quantified markers of SVD, except for brain atrophy and perivascular spaces enlargement. Finally, while the IFS Total Score was not able to accurately discriminate between carriers and noncarriers, it showed adequate sensitivity and specificity in detecting the presence of multiple MRI markers of SVD. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the IFS may be a useful screening tool to assess executive function and disease severity in the context of SVD.
Schoemaker D, Quiroz YT, Torrico-Teave H, Arboleda-Velasquez JF. Clinical and research applications of magnetic resonance imaging in the study of CADASIL. Neurosci Lett 2019;698:173-179.Abstract
Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is an inherited small vessel disease that leads to early cerebrovascular events and functional disability. It is the most common single-gene disorder leading to stroke. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a central component of the diagnosis and monitoring of CADASIL. Here we provide a descriptive review of the literature on three important aspects pertaining to the use of MRI in CADASIL. First, we review past research exploring MRI markers for this disease. Secondly, we describe results from studies investigating associations between neuroimaging abnormalities and neuropathology in CADASIL. Finally, we discuss previous findings relating MRI markers to clinical symptoms. This review thus provides a summary of the current state of knowledge regarding the use of MRI in CADASIL as well as suggestions for future research.
Schoemaker D, Velilla L, Zuluaga Y, Baena A, Ospina C, Bocanegra Y, Alvarez S, Ochoa-Escudero M, Guzmán-Vélez E, Martinez J, Lopera F, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Quiroz YT. Global Cardiovascular Risk Profile and Cerebrovascular Abnormalities in Presymptomatic Individuals with CADASIL or Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer's Disease. J Alzheimers Dis 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular risk factors increase the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. OBJECTIVE: Studying individuals with autosomal dominant mutations leading to the early onset of dementia, this study examines the effect of the global cardiovascular risk profile on early cognitive and neuroimaging features of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. METHODS: We studied 85 non-demented and stroke-free individuals, including 20 subjects with Presenilin1 (PSEN1) E280A mutation leading to the early onset of autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease (ADAD), 20 subjects with NOTCH3 mutations leading to cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) and to the early onset of vascular dementia, and 45 non-affected family members (non-carriers). All subjects underwent clinical and neuropsychological evaluations and an MRI. The global cardiovascular risk profile was estimated using the office-based Framingham Cardiovascular Risk Profile (FCRP) score. RESULTS: In individuals with CADASIL, a higher FCRP score was associated with a reduced hippocampal volume (B = -0.06, p <  0.05) and an increased severity of cerebral microbleeds (B = 0.13, p <  0.001), lacunes (B = 0.30, p <  0.001), and perivascular space enlargement in the basal ganglia (B = 0.50, p <  0.05). There was no significant association between the FCRP score and neuroimaging measures in ADAD or non-carrier subjects. While the FCRP score was related to performance in executive function in non-carrier subjects (B = 0.06, p <  0.05), it was not significantly associated with cognitive performance in individuals with CADASIL or ADAD. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that individuals with CADASIL and other forms of vascular cognitive impairment might particularly benefit from early interventions aimed at controlling cardiovascular risks.
Scott NL, Stryjewski TP, Rizzo JF. A Young Woman With Headaches and Blurry Vision. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017;135(6):663-664.
Seay M, Fortin E, Digre K. Great Conversations: Dr. Barrett Katz. J Neuroophthalmol 2019;39(3):e13-e14.
Sepulveda-Falla D, Sanchez JS, Almeida MC, Boassa D, Acosta-Uribe J, Vila-Castelar C, Ramirez-Gomez L, Baena A, Aguillon D, Villalba-Moreno ND, Littau JL, Villegas A, Beach TG, White CL, Ellisman M, Krasemann S, Glatzel M, Johnson KA, Sperling RA, Reiman EM, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kosik KS, Lopera F, Quiroz YT. Distinct tau neuropathology and cellular profiles of an APOE3 Christchurch homozygote protected against autosomal dominant Alzheimer's dementia. Acta Neuropathol 2022;Abstract
We describe in vivo follow-up PET imaging and postmortem findings from an autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease (ADAD) PSEN1 E280A carrier who was also homozygous for the APOE3 Christchurch (APOE3ch) variant and was protected against Alzheimer's symptoms for almost three decades beyond the expected age of onset. We identified a distinct anatomical pattern of tau pathology with atypical accumulation in vivo and unusual postmortem regional distribution characterized by sparing in the frontal cortex and severe pathology in the occipital cortex. The frontal cortex and the hippocampus, less affected than the occipital cortex by tau pathology, contained Related Orphan Receptor B (RORB) positive neurons, homeostatic astrocytes and higher APOE expression. The occipital cortex, the only cortical region showing cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), exhibited a distinctive chronic inflammatory microglial profile and lower APOE expression. Thus, the Christchurch variant may impact the distribution of tau pathology, modulate age at onset, severity, progression, and clinical presentation of ADAD, suggesting possible therapeutic strategies.

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