BACKGROUND: Retinovascular changes are reported on fundus imaging in schizophrenia (SZ). This is the first study to use swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) to comprehensively examine retinal microvascular changes in SZ. METHODS: This study included 30 patients with SZ/schizoaffective disorder (8 early and 15 chronic) and 22 healthy controls (HCs). All assessments were performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. All participants underwent swept-source OCT-A of right (oculus dextrus [OD]) and left (oculus sinister [OS]) eye, clinical, and cognitive assessments. Macular OCT-A images (6 × 6 mm) were collected with the DRI Topcon Triton for superficial, deep, and choriocapillaris vascular regions. Microvasculature was quantified using vessel density (VD), skeletonized vessel density (SVD), fractal dimension (FD), and vessel diameter index (VDI). RESULTS: Twenty-one HCs and 26 SZ subjects were included. Compared to HCs, SZ patients demonstrated higher overall OD superficial SVD, OD choriocapillaris VD, and OD choriocapillaris SVD, which were primarily observed in the central, central and outer superior, and central and outer inferior/superior, respectively. Early-course SZ subjects had significantly higher OD superficial VD, OD choriocapillaris SVD, and OD choriocapillaris FD compared to matched HCs. Higher bilateral (OU) superficial VD correlated with lower Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) positive scores, and higher OU deep VDI was associated with higher PANSS negative scores. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These results suggest the presence of microvascular dysfunction associated with early-stage SZ. Clinical associations with microvascular alterations further implicate this hypothesis, with higher measures being associated with worse symptom severity and functioning in early stages and with lower symptom severity and better functioning in later stages.
The cerebral cortex needs to maintain information for long time periods while at the same time being capable of learning and adapting to changes. The degree of stability of physiological signals in the human brain in response to external stimuli over temporal scales spanning hours to days remains unclear. Here, we quantitatively assessed the stability across sessions of visually selective intracranial field potentials (IFPs) elicited by brief flashes of visual stimuli presented to 27 subjects. The interval between sessions ranged from hours to multiple days. We considered electrodes that showed robust visual selectivity to different shapes; these electrodes were typically located in the inferior occipital gyrus, the inferior temporal cortex, and the fusiform gyrus. We found that IFP responses showed a strong degree of stability across sessions. This stability was evident in averaged responses as well as single-trial decoding analyses, at the image exemplar level as well as at the category level, across different parts of visual cortex, and for three different visual recognition tasks. These results establish a quantitative evaluation of the degree of stationarity of visually selective IFP responses within and across sessions and provide a baseline for studies of cortical plasticity and for the development of brain-machine interfaces.
Sensory signals must be interpreted in the context of goals and tasks. To detect a target in an image, the brain compares input signals and goals to elicit the correct behavior. We examined how target detection modulates visual recognition signals by recording intracranial field potential responses from 776 electrodes in 10 epileptic human subjects. We observed reliable differences in the physiological responses to stimuli when a cued target was present versus absent. Goal-related modulation was particularly strong in the inferior temporal and fusiform gyri, two areas important for object recognition. Target modulation started after 250 ms post stimulus, considerably after the onset of visual recognition signals. While broadband signals exhibited increased or decreased power, gamma frequency power showed predominantly increases during target presence. These observations support models where task goals interact with sensory inputs via top-down signals that influence the highest echelons of visual processing after the onset of selective responses.
Methods to deliver gene editing agents in vivo as ribonucleoproteins could offer safety advantages over nucleic acid delivery approaches. We report the development and application of engineered DNA-free virus-like particles (eVLPs) that efficiently package and deliver base editor or Cas9 ribonucleoproteins. By engineering VLPs to overcome cargo packaging, release, and localization bottlenecks, we developed fourth-generation eVLPs that mediate efficient base editing in several primary mouse and human cell types. Using different glycoproteins in eVLPs alters their cellular tropism. Single injections of eVLPs into mice support therapeutic levels of base editing in multiple tissues, reducing serum Pcsk9 levels 78% following 63% liver editing, and partially restoring visual function in a mouse model of genetic blindness. In vitro and in vivo off-target editing from eVLPs was virtually undetected, an improvement over AAV or plasmid delivery. These results establish eVLPs as promising vehicles for therapeutic macromolecule delivery that combine key advantages of both viral and nonviral delivery.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects 415 million people worldwide. Despite treatment advances, diabetic eye disease remains a leading cause of vision loss worldwide. Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a common cause of vision loss in diabetic patients. The pathophysiology is complex and involves multiple pathways that ultimately lead to central retinal thickening and, if untreated, visual loss. First-line treatment of DME has evolved from focal/grid laser established by the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) to intravitreous pharmacologic therapy. Landmark prospective clinical trials examining the effect of intravitreous injections of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors in the treatment of DME have demonstrated improved visual outcomes over focal grid laser. This review focuses on the scientific evidence treatment of DME, disease pathophysiology, clinical disease course, current treatment standards, and emerging novel therapeutic approaches.
Second harmonic generation is a process through which nonlinear materials such as collagen can absorb two photons and scatter one with twice the energy. Collagen upconverts 730 nm (near-IR) to 365 nm (UV) through second harmonic generation, which cleaves a molecule bound to collagen via a UV-sensitive linker.
In the study presented by D. S. Kohane and co-workers on page 1159, fluorescein molecules are initially bound to collagen fibers through UV-sensitive bonds. Collagen fibers are exposed to NIR light, which is upconverted to UV light through second harmonic generation. The UV-sensitive bonds absorb the upconverted UV light and undergo an irreversible cleavage releasing the fluorescein molecules.
PURPOSE: To document a unique case of granular cell tumor of the orbit, located lateral to and abutting the optic nerve, that benefited from treatment with proton beam irradiation, with a comprehensive review of the literature on granular cell tumor of the orbit. METHODS: Clinicopathologic case report with detailed imaging features and histopathologic and immunohistochemical evaluation for cytoplasmic tumor biomarkers differentiating granular cell tumor (GCT) from it mimicking lesions with relevant literature citations. The authors reviewed 20 cases of orbital GCT from 2011 to 2020 in addition to 40 cases from 1948 to 2011 and included a summary of imaging and clinical features, outcomes, and recommended treatment modalities. RESULTS: A 32-year-old man with 1-year history of left retrobulbar pain and diplopia on lateral gaze, intermittent left eyelid swelling, and a tonic left pupil was found to have a fusiform intraconal mass extending toward the orbital apex and abutting the optic nerve. Histopathologic and immunohistochemical investigations collectively supplied data diagnostic of a GCT with an initial low proliferation rate. GCT is a soft tissue neoplasm that originates in the nervous system and can occur anywhere in the body. This enhancing tumor is isointense to gray matter on T1-weighted MRI, hypointense on T2. After an incisional biopsy, the patient's symptoms persisted, and follow-up imaging several months later revealed further growth of the mass. The impossibility of complete surgical removal prompted the decision to treat with proton beam radiation therapy, which resulted in substantial regression in the size of the residual tumor. Most frequently involving the inferior rectus muscle (42%), orbital GCT is usually benign with only 4 reported cases of malignant orbital GCT (7%). Wide surgical resection with complete removal is usually curative for benign orbital GCT, and proton beam radiation therapy can aid in tumor shrinkage. CONCLUSIONS: GCT should be considered in the differential diagnosis when encountering patients with mass lesions involving the extraocular muscles, peripheral nerves, or less frequently, the optic nerve or orbital apex. Immunohistochemical analysis of biopsied tissue is required for the definitive diagnosis of GCT. Consideration of adjuvant therapies such as proton beam radiation therapy may be appropriate in cases of incomplete surgical resection of benign GCT. Proton beam radiation therapy can be an excellent therapeutic option for symptomatic relief and residual tumor size reduction with an acceptable toxicity profile.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is the leading cause of childhood blindness in very-low-birthweight and very preterm infants in the United States. With improved survival of smaller babies, more infants are at risk for ROP, yet there is an increasing shortage of providers to screen and treat ROP. Through a literature review of new and emerging technologies, screening criteria, and analysis of a national survey of pediatric ophthalmologists and retinal specialists, the authors found the shortage of ophthalmology workforce for ROP a serious and growing concern. When used appropriately, emerging technologies have the potential to mitigate gaps in the ROP workforce.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Spatial neglect is asymmetric orienting and action after a brain lesion, causing functional disability. It is common after a stroke; however, it is vastly underdocumented and undertreated. This article addresses the implementation gap in identifying and treating spatial neglect, to reduce disability and improve healthcare costs and burden. RECENT FINDINGS: Professional organizations published recommendations to implement spatial neglect care. Physicians can lead an interdisciplinary team: functionally relevant spatial neglect assessment, evidence-based spatial retraining, and integrated spatial and vision interventions can optimize outcomes. Research also strongly suggests spatial neglect adversely affects motor systems. Spatial neglect therapy might thus "kick-start" rehabilitation and improve paralysis recovery. Clinicians can implement new techniques to detect spatial neglect and lead interdisciplinary teams to promote better, integrated spatial neglect care. Future studies of brain imaging biomarkers to detect spatial neglect, and real-world applicability of prism adaptation treatment, are needed.
Lipopeptide daptomycin is a last-line cell-membrane-targeting antibiotic to treat multidrug-resistant Alarmingly, daptomycin-resistant isolates have emerged. The mechanisms underlying daptomycin resistance are diverse and share similarities with resistances to cationic antimicrobial peptides and other lipopeptides, but they remain to be fully elucidated. We selected mutants with increased resistance to daptomycin from a library of transposon insertions in sequent type 8 (ST8) HG003. Insertions conferring increased daptomycin resistance were localized to two genes, one coding for a hypothetical lipoprotein (SAOUHSC_00362, Dsp1), and the other for an alkaline shock protein (SAOUHSC_02441, Asp23). Markerless loss-of-function mutants were then generated for comparison. All transposon mutants and knockout strains exhibited increased daptomycin resistance compared to those of wild-type and complemented strains. Null and transposon insertion mutants also exhibited increased resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides. Interestingly, the mutant also showed increased resistance to vancomycin, a cell-wall-targeting drug with a different mode of action. Null mutations in both and resulted in increased tolerance as reflected by reduced killing to both daptomycin and vancomycin, as well as an increased tolerance to surfactant (Triton X-100). Neither mutant exhibited increased resistance to lysostaphin, a cell-wall-targeting endopeptidase. These findings identified two genes core to the species that make previously uncharacterized contributions to antimicrobial resistance and tolerance in .
PURPOSE: To examine the efficacy of laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) in patients who received a diagnosis of primary angle-closure suspect (PACS). DESIGN: Prospective, randomized controlled trial. PARTICIPANTS: This multicenter, randomized controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00347178) enrolled 480 patients older than 50 years from glaucoma clinics in Singapore with bilateral asymptomatic PACS (defined as having ≥2 quadrants of appositional angle closure on gonioscopy). METHODS: Each participant underwent prophylactic LPI in 1 randomly selected eye, whereas the fellow eye served as a control. Patients were followed up yearly for 5 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was development of primary angle closure (PAC; defined as presence of peripheral anterior synechiae, intraocular pressure [IOP] of >21 mmHg, or both or acute angle closure [AAC]) or primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG) over 5 years. RESULTS: Of the 480 randomized participants, most were Chinese (92.7%) and were women (75.8%) with mean age of 62.8 ± 6.9 years. Eyes treated with LPI reached the end point less frequently after 5 years (n = 24 [5.0%]; incidence rate [IR], 11.65 per 1000 eye-years) compared with control eyes (n = 45 [9.4%]; IR, 21.84 per 1000 eye-years; P = 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for progression to PAC was 0.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37-0.83; P = 0.004) in LPI-treated eyes compared with control eyes. Older participants (per year; HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.10; P < 0.001) and eyes with higher baseline IOP (per millimeter of mercury; HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.22-1.50; P < 0.0001) were more likely to reach an end point. The number needed to treat to prevent an end point was 22 (95% CI, 12.8-57.5). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with bilateral asymptomatic PACS, eyes that underwent prophylactic LPI reached significantly fewer end points compared with control eyes over 5 years. However, the overall incidence of PAC or PACG was low.
Growing evidence demonstrates dramatic structural and functional neuroplastic changes in individuals born with early-onset blindness. For example, cross-modal sensory processing at the level of the occipital cortex appears to be associated with adaptive behaviors in the blind. However, detailed studies examining the structural properties of key white matter pathways in other regions of the brain remain limited. Given that blind individuals rely heavily on their sense of hearing, we examined the structural properties of two important pathways involved with auditory processing, namely the uncinate and arcuate fasciculi. High angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) tractography was used to examine structural parameters (i.e., tract volume and quantitative anisotropy, or QA) of these two fasciculi in a sample of 13 early blind individuals and 14 normally sighted controls. Compared to controls, early blind individuals showed a significant increase in the volume of the left uncinate fasciculus. A small area of increased QA was also observed halfway along the right arcuate fasciculus in the blind group. These findings contribute to our knowledge regarding the broad neuroplastic changes associated with profound early blindness.
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are associated with widespread changes in brain structure and function, as indicated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) morphometry and 18-fluorodeoxyglucose position emission tomography (FDG PET) metabolism. Nevertheless, the ability to differentiate between AD, MCI and normal aging groups can be difficult. Thus, the goal of this study was to identify the combination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, MRI morphometry, FDG PET metabolism and neuropsychological test scores to that best differentiate between a sample of normal aging subjects and those with MCI and AD from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The secondary goal was to determine the neuroimaging variables from MRI, FDG PET and CSF biomarkers that can predict future cognitive decline within each group. To achieve these aims, a series of multivariate stepwise logistic and linear regression models were generated. Combining all neuroimaging modalities and cognitive test scores significantly improved the index of discrimination, especially at the earliest stages of the disease, whereas MRI gray matter morphometry variables best predicted future cognitive decline compared to other neuroimaging variables. Overall these findings demonstrate that a multimodal approach using MRI morphometry, FDG PET metabolism, neuropsychological test scores and CSF biomarkers may provide significantly better discrimination than any modality alone.
BACKGROUND: Deterministic diffusion tractography obtained from high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) requires user-defined quantitative anisotropy (QA) thresholds. Most studies employ a common threshold across all subjects even though there is a strong degree of individual variation within groups. We sought to explore whether it would be beneficial to use individual thresholds in order to accommodate individual variance. To do this, we conducted two independent experiments. METHOD: First, tractography of the arcuate fasciculus and network connectivity measures were examined in a sample of 14 healthy participants. Second, we assessed the effects of QA threshold on group differences in network connectivity measures between healthy young (n=19) and old (n=14) individuals. RESULTS: The results of both experiments were significantly influenced by QA threshold. Common thresholds set too high failed to produce sufficient reconstructions in most subjects, thus decreasing the likelihood of detecting meaningful group differences. On the other hand, common thresholds set too low resulted in spurious reconstructions, providing deleterious results. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS: Subject specific thresholds acquired using our QA threshold selection method (QATS) appeared to provide the most meaningful networks while ensuring that data from all subjects contributed to the analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Together, these results support the use of a subject-specific threshold to ensure that data from all subjects are included in the analyses being conducted.
Cortical (cerebral) visual impairment (CVI) is characterized by visual dysfunction associated with damage to the optic radiations and/or visual cortex. Typically it results from pre- or perinatal hypoxic damage to postchiasmal visual structures and pathways. The neuroanatomical basis of this condition remains poorly understood, particularly with regard to how the resulting maldevelopment of visual processing pathways relates to observations in the clinical setting. We report our investigation of 2 young adults diagnosed with CVI and visual dysfunction characterized by difficulties related to visually guided attention and visuospatial processing. Using high-angular-resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI), we characterized and compared their individual white matter projections of the extrageniculo-striate visual system with a normal-sighted control. Compared to a sighted control, both CVI cases revealed a striking reduction in association fibers, including the inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus as well as superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi. This reduction in fibers associated with the major pathways implicated in visual processing may provide a neuroanatomical basis for the visual dysfunctions observed in these patients.
Children born preterm with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) demonstrate increased difficulties with tasks requiring visuomotor integration. The visuomotor integration network encompasses brain regions within frontal, parietal, and occipital cortices. Because of their proximity to the lateral ventricle the underlying white matter pathways are at a high risk of damage following PVL-related hypoxic-ischemic white matter injury. This study provides an exploratory analysis of the structural and functional connections within the visuomotor integration network, along with an a priori evaluation of the superior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and frontal aslant tract. For each pathway, tracts within both hemispheres revealed decreased volume and number of reconstructed fibers and an increase in quantitative anisotropy and generalized fractional anisotropy. The connectivity results also indicate that there may be changes to both the structural integrity and functional integration of neural networks involved with visuomotor integration functions in children with PVL.