Bouffard MA, Caplan LR, Torun N. Divergence Palsy due to Divalproex and Oxcarbazepine. Clin Neuropharmacol 2017;Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This case series is the first to describe divergence palsy as an adverse effect of antiepileptic drug use. Diplopia is a common adverse effect of antiepileptic drugs, but no explanatory motility deficit has ever been reported. METHODS: We present 2 patients, 1 on oxcarbazepine and 1 on divalproex, each with a normal examination result between spells and divergency palsy when symptomatic. RESULTS: Discontinuation of the antiepileptic medication led to resolution of the episodes in both cases. Rechallenge with the offending agent after washout in one patient resulted in recurrence of diplopia and divergence palsy, both resolving after subsequent withdrawal of the antiepileptic. CONCLUSIONS: Antiepileptic drugs may cause divergence palsy.

Bujakowska KM, Liu Q, Pierce EA. Photoreceptor Cilia and Retinal Ciliopathies. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2017;9(10)Abstract
Photoreceptors are sensory neurons designed to convert light stimuli into neurological responses. This process, called phototransduction, takes place in the outer segments (OS) of rod and cone photoreceptors. OS are specialized sensory cilia, with analogous structures to those present in other nonmotile cilia. Deficient morphogenesis and/or dysfunction of photoreceptor sensory cilia (PSC) caused by mutations in a variety of photoreceptor-specific and common cilia genes can lead to inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs). IRDs can manifest as isolated retinal diseases or syndromic diseases. In this review, we describe the structure and composition of PSC and different forms of ciliopathies with retinal involvement. We review the genetics of the IRDs, which are monogenic disorders but genetically diverse with regard to causality.
Alkharashi M, Dagi AF, Dagi LR. Pericardial patch graft repair of severe localized scleral thinning encountered during strabismus surgery. J AAPOS 2017;21(2):156-156.e1.Abstract

This article presents a surgical technique using a pericardial patch for the permanent repair of severe scleral thinning encountered during strabismus surgery. In the present case scleral thinning resulted from buckle removal. Familiarity with this technique may prove important for the strabismus surgeon treating patients with a history of surface ocular hardware or disease-induced scleral thinning. This video article may be viewed

Argüeso P. Proteolytic activity in the meibomian gland: Implications to health and disease. Exp Eye Res 2017;163:53-57.Abstract
The function of the meibomian gland in the upper and lower eyelids is critical to maintaining homeostasis at the ocular surface. Highly specialized meibocytes within the gland must differentiate and accumulate intracellular lipid droplets that are released into the tear film following rupture of the cell membrane. Proteases and their inhibitors have been recognized as key players in remodeling extracellular matrices and promoting the normal integrity of glandular tissue. They modulate a wide range of biological processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation, and can contribute to disease when aberrantly expressed. Deciphering the role of proteolytic activity in the meibomian gland offers an opportunity to gain a more comprehensive and fundamental understanding of the developmental, physiological, and pathological processes associated with this gland.
You C, Lamba N, Lasave AF, Ma L, Diaz MH, Foster SC. Rituximab in the treatment of ocular cicatricial pemphigoid: a retrospective cohort study. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2017;255(6):1221-1228.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of rituximab (RTX) for the treatment of patients with aggressive ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP). METHODS: A review of patient records at a tertiary referral center with biopsy confirmed OCP who presented between 2006 and 2016. Sixty-one eyes of 32 patients with symptomatic OCP who received treatment with RTX monotherapy or RTX in combination with additional immunomodulatory treatment (IMT) were evaluated. Main outcomes included clinically evident remission of disease, the percentage of corticosteroid sparing patients, stage of OCP (Foster), best corrected visual acuity, and treatment complications. Remission was defined as absence of progressive scarring and active ocular inflammation for ≥ 2 months. Partial remission/responding was defined as disease control and clinical improvement for ≥ 2 months. RESULTS: Mean age at the initiation of RTX treatment was 59.1 years (range, 24-80 years) with a median follow-up time after RTX initiation of 32 months (range, 14 to 127 months). Twenty-six patients achieved clinical remission with an average sustained remission of 24.5 months (from 9 months to 84 months). RTX monotherapy was used in six patients, RTX in combination with intravenous immunoglobulin in 14 patients, and RTX with intravenous immunoglobulin and/or with other IMT agent in six patients. Seven eyes (11.5%) of six patients had favorable response to RTX and achieved response and partial remission, while inflammation remained active in the other seven eyes (11.5%) of four patients though there was no progressive scarring. At the last visit, three patients (9.4%) were on topical corticosteroid, three patients (9.4%) were treated with systemic corticosteroid treatments, and the other 26 patients (81.2%) achieved corticosteroid sparing therapy. Five eyes (8.2%) progressed one Foster stage. No other cicatrization progression or worsening of LogMAR visual acuity (p = 0.641) was observed during the follow-up period. Adverse events included leukopenia in three patients (9.4%), anemia in two patients (6.2%), liver enzyme elevation in three patients (9.4%) who were also on another concomitant IMT drug, and Epstein-Barr Virus infection and sinus infection in one patient each (3.1%). No other severe adverse events were noted during the follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: These retrospective data suggest that RTX is efficacious and well tolerated when included for the treatment of OCP. Controlled studies are necessary to identify the role of this IMT agent in the therapeutic arsenal, especially its optimum dose and duration of administration.
Sadaka A, Durand ML, Sisk R, Gilmore MS. Staphylococcus aureus and its Bearing on Ophthalmic Disease. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2017;25(1):111-121.Abstract

PURPOSE: To review antibiotic resistance associated with S. aureus endophthalmitis and the virulence of S. aureus. METHODS: Review of the current and prospective approaches for treating S. aureus endophthalmitis. RESULTS: Bacterial endophthalmitis remains to be a major threat for vision. S. aureus endophthalmitis specifically, carries a poor visual prognosis making early diagnosis and treatment crucial. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) endophthalmitis represents a significant number of S. aureus endophthalmitis cases. MRSA with reduced susceptibility to glycopeptide antibiotics such as vancomycin (vancomycin intermediate S. aureus, VISA) have also emerged in the ocular infections, and there has been a rise in S. aureus resistance to new and old generation fluoroquinolones that are commonly used for prophylaxis after intravitreal injections and intraocular surgeries. CONCLUSIONS: With the rise in the number of penetrating procedures in the ophthalmology practice and the parallel rise in antibiotic resistance, prophylaxis and awareness of the antimicrobial resistance profiles remain crucial and the identification of novel antimicrobials is essential.

Turalba A, Cakiner-Egilmez T, Payal AR, Gonzalez-Gonzalez LA, Chomsky AS, Vollman DE, Baze EF, Lawrence MG, Daly MK. Outcomes after cataract surgery in eyes with pseudoexfoliation: Results from the Veterans Affairs Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Data Project. Can J Ophthalmol 2017;52(1):61-68.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To compare clinical outcomes of cataract surgery in eyes with and without pseudoexfoliation (PXF). DESIGN: Retrospective deidentified data analysis. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 123 PXF and 4776 non-PXF eyes of patients who underwent cataract surgery. METHODS: We compared data on visual acuity, Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ)-based quality of life, and complications in PXF and non-PXF eyes from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Data Project across 5 VA medical centres. RESULTS: Pupillary expansion devices were used in 31 (25.2%) PXF cases and 398 (8.4%) non-PXF cases (p < 0.0001). Capsular tension rings were used in 6 (4.9%) PXF cases and 55 (1.2%) non-PXF cases (p < 0.004). The following complications occurred more frequently in PXF cases: zonular dehiscence without vitrectomy (4 [3.3%] PXF cases vs 40 [0.8%] non-PXF cases p = 0.02), persistent inflammation (28 [24.1%] vs 668 [14.5%]; p = 0.007), and persistent intraocular pressure elevation (5 [4.3%] vs 68 [1.5%]; p = 0.03). Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) improved in both groups after 1 month, but 87 (83.7%) PXF cases achieved postoperative BCVA better than or equal to 20/40 compared to 3991 (93.8%) non-PXF cases (p = 0.0003). There was no significant difference in the postoperative composite VFQ scores between PXF (82.1 ± 16.9) and non-PXF cases (84.2 ± 16.8, p = 0.09). CONCLUSIONS: Several complications occurred more frequently in the PXF group compared to the non-PXF group, and fewer PXF cases achieved BCVA better than or equal to 20/40. Despite this, both groups experienced similar improvement in vision-related quality of life after cataract surgery.

Wang R, Seifert P, Jakobs TC. Astrocytes in the Optic Nerve Head of Glaucomatous Mice Display a Characteristic Reactive Phenotype. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(2):924-932.Abstract

Purpose: Optic nerve head astrocytes, a subtype of white-matter astrocytes, become reactive early in the course of glaucoma. It was shown recently that in the DBA/2J mouse model of inherited glaucoma optic nerve astrocytes extend new longitudinal processes into the axon bundles before ganglion cell loss becomes apparent. The present study aims at testing whether this behavior of astrocytes is typical of early glaucomatous damage. Methods: Mice expressing green fluorescent protein in individual astrocytes were used to evaluate the early response of astrocytes in the glial lamina of the optic nerve head after increasing the IOP using the microbead occlusion method. Tissue sections from the glial lamina were imaged consecutively by confocal and electron microscopy. Results: Confocal and electron microscope images show that astrocytes close to the myelination transition zone in the hypertensive nerve heads extend new processes that follow the longitudinal axis of the optic nerve and invade axon bundles in the nerve head. Ultrastructurally, the longitudinal processes were largely devoid of subcellular organelles except for degenerating mitochondria. Conclusions: The longitudinal processes are a common feature of glaucomatous optic nerve astrocytes, whereas they are not observed after traumatic nerve injury. Thus, astrocytes appear to fine-tune their responses to the nature and/or timing of the injury to the neurons that they surround.

Pan B, Askew C, Galvin A, Heman-Ackah S, Asai Y, Indzhykulian AA, Jodelka FM, Hastings ML, Lentz JJ, Vandenberghe LH, Holt JR, Géléoc GS. Gene therapy restores auditory and vestibular function in a mouse model of Usher syndrome type 1c. Nat Biotechnol 2017;35(3):264-272.Abstract

Because there are currently no biological treatments for hearing loss, we sought to advance gene therapy approaches to treat genetic deafness. We focused on Usher syndrome, a devastating genetic disorder that causes blindness, balance disorders and profound deafness, and studied a knock-in mouse model, Ush1c c.216G>A, for Usher syndrome type IC (USH1C). As restoration of complex auditory and balance function is likely to require gene delivery systems that target auditory and vestibular sensory cells with high efficiency, we delivered wild-type Ush1c into the inner ear of Ush1c c.216G>A mice using a synthetic adeno-associated viral vector, Anc80L65, shown to transduce 80-90% of sensory hair cells. We demonstrate recovery of gene and protein expression, restoration of sensory cell function, rescue of complex auditory function and recovery of hearing and balance behavior to near wild-type levels. The data represent unprecedented recovery of inner ear function and suggest that biological therapies to treat deafness may be suitable for translation to humans with genetic inner ear disorders.

Syed ZA, Sutula FC. Dynamic Intraductal Meibomian Probing: A Modified Approach to the Treatment of Obstructive Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2017;Abstract

PURPOSE: Obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction is a leading cause of ocular morbidity and its treatment remains a challenge. Meibomian gland probing was initially described in 2010. Here, the authors describe a modified technique, dynamic intraductal meibomian probing, which offers several advantages over the traditional approach including increased magnification, greater eyelid stabilization, enhanced anesthesia, and easier identification of gland orifices through the expression of meibum. METHODS: The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of 70 eyelids with treatment-resistant obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction undergoing dynamic intraductal meibomian probing between January 2013 and April 2015. RESULTS: Immediately after the procedure, 91.4% of cases experienced symptomatic improvement, and no complications were noted. CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic intraductal meibomian probing is an effective and safe treatment for obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction that is resistant to traditional therapies.

Van Tyne D, Gilmore MS. Raising the Alarmone: Within-Host Evolution of Antibiotic-Tolerant Enterococcus faecium. MBio 2017;8(1)Abstract

Enterococci are ancient commensal bacteria that recently emerged as leading causes of antibiotic-resistant, hospital-acquired infection. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) epitomize why drug-resistant enterococcal infections are a problem: VRE readily colonize the antibiotic-perturbed gastrointestinal (GI) tract where they amplify to large numbers, and from there, they infect other body sites, including the bloodstream, urinary tract, and surgical wounds. VRE are resistant to many antimicrobials and host defenses, which facilitates establishment at the site of infection and confounds therapeutic clearance. Having evolved to colonize the GI tract, VRE are comparatively ill adapted to the human bloodstream. A recent study by Honsa and colleagues (E. S. Honsa et al., mBio 8:e02124-16, 2017, found that a strain of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium evolved antibiotic tolerance within the bloodstream of an immunocompromised host by activating the stringent response through mutation of relA Precisely how VRE colonize and infect and the selective pressures that led to the outgrowth of relA mutants are the subjects of ongoing research.

Landegger LD, Pan B, Askew C, Wassmer SJ, Gluck SD, Galvin A, Taylor R, Forge A, Stankovic KM, Holt JR, Vandenberghe LH. A synthetic AAV vector enables safe and efficient gene transfer to the mammalian inner ear. Nat Biotechnol 2017;35(3):280-284.Abstract

Efforts to develop gene therapies for hearing loss have been hampered by the lack of safe, efficient, and clinically relevant delivery modalities. Here we demonstrate the safety and efficiency of Anc80L65, a rationally designed synthetic vector, for transgene delivery to the mouse cochlea. Ex vivo transduction of mouse organotypic explants identified Anc80L65 from a set of other adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors as a potent vector for the cochlear cell targets. Round window membrane injection resulted in highly efficient transduction of inner and outer hair cells in mice, a substantial improvement over conventional AAV vectors. Anc80L65 round window injection was well tolerated, as indicated by sensory cell function, hearing and vestibular function, and immunologic parameters. The ability of Anc80L65 to target outer hair cells at high rates, a requirement for restoration of complex auditory function, may enable future gene therapies for hearing and balance disorders.