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Doherty AL, Peli E, Luo G. Hazard detection with a monocular bioptic telescope. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2015;35(5):530-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: The safety of bioptic telescopes for driving remains controversial. The ring scotoma, an area to the telescope eye due to the telescope magnification, has been the main cause of concern. This study evaluates whether bioptic users can use the fellow eye to detect in hazards driving videos that fall in the ring scotoma area. METHODS: Twelve visually impaired bioptic users watched a series of driving hazard perception training videos and responded as soon as they detected a hazard while reading aloud letters presented on the screen. The letters were placed such that when reading them through the telescope the hazard fell in the ring scotoma area. Four conditions were tested: no bioptic and no reading, reading without bioptic, reading with a bioptic that did not occlude the fellow eye (non-occluding bioptic), and reading with a bioptic that partially-occluded the fellow eye. Eight normally sighted subjects performed the same task with the partially occluding bioptic detecting lateral hazards (blocked by the device scotoma) and vertical hazards (outside the scotoma) to further determine the cause-and-effect relationship between hazard detection and the fellow eye. RESULTS: There were significant differences in performance between conditions: 83% of hazards were detected with no reading task, dropping to 67% in the reading task with no bioptic, to 50% while reading with the non-occluding bioptic, and 34% while reading with the partially occluding bioptic. For normally sighted, detection of vertical hazards (53%) was significantly higher than lateral hazards (38%) with the partially occluding bioptic. CONCLUSIONS: Detection of driving hazards is impaired by the addition of a secondary reading like task. Detection is further impaired when reading through a monocular telescope. The effect of the partially-occluding bioptic supports the role of the non-occluded fellow eye in compensating for the ring scotoma.

Campbell AA, Cunnane ME, Dunn GP, Gray ST, Lefebvre DR. Spontaneous Resorption of a Penetrating Orbital Bone Fracture Fragment. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(5):e123-5.Abstract

The authors describe a 20-year-old man who sustained multiple facial fractures in a high-speed motor vehicle crash, including a bone fragment from a skull base fracture that penetrated the orbital soft tissues superomedially. Serial CT scans documented spontaneous resorption over a 6-month period. While it is known that autologous bone grafts used in craniofacial reconstruction exhibit variable amounts of bone resorption, the complete resorption of an intraorbital fracture fragment has not been documented in the literature. His clinical care and the report of his case were undertaken in a fashion in accordance with the principles of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations.

Mayer C, Jaglin XH, Cobbs LV, Bandler RC, Streicher C, Cepko CL, Hippenmeyer S, Fishell G. Clonally Related Forebrain Interneurons Disperse Broadly across Both Functional Areas and Structural Boundaries. Neuron 2015;87(5):989-98.Abstract

The medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) gives rise to the majority of mouse forebrain interneurons. Here, we examine the lineage relationship among MGE-derived interneurons using a replication-defective retroviral library containing a highly diverse set of DNA barcodes. Recovering the barcodes from the mature progeny of infected progenitor cells enabled us to unambiguously determine their respective lineal relationship. We found that clonal dispersion occurs across large areas of the brain and is not restricted by anatomical divisions. As such, sibling interneurons can populate the cortex, hippocampus striatum, and globus pallidus. The majority of interneurons appeared to be generated from asymmetric divisions of MGE progenitor cells, followed by symmetric divisions within the subventricular zone. Altogether, our findings uncover that lineage relationships do not appear to determine interneuron allocation to particular regions. As such, it is likely that clonally related interneurons have considerable flexibility as to the particular forebrain circuits to which they can contribute.

Drokhlyansky E, Soh TK, Cepko CL. Preferential Budding of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus from the Basolateral Surface of Polarized Epithelial Cells Is Not Solely Directed by Matrix Protein or Glycoprotein. J Virol 2015;89(22):11718-22.Abstract

Vesicular stomatitis virus has been shown to bud basolaterally, and the matrix protein, but not glycoprotein, was proposed to mediate this asymmetry. Using polarized T84 monolayers, we demonstrate that no single viral protein is sufficient for polarized budding. Particles are released from the apical and basolateral surfaces and are indistinguishable, indicating that there is no apical assembly defect. We propose that aspects of host cell polarity create a more efficient budding process at the basolateral surface.

Moreno-Ramos OA, Olivares AM, Haider NB, de Autismo LC, Lattig MC. Whole-Exome Sequencing in a South American Cohort Links ALDH1A3, FOXN1 and Retinoic Acid Regulation Pathways to Autism Spectrum Disorders. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0135927.Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a range of complex neurodevelopmental conditions principally characterized by dysfunctions linked to mental development. Previous studies have shown that there are more than 1000 genes likely involved in ASD, expressed mainly in brain and highly interconnected among them. We applied whole exome sequencing in Colombian-South American trios. Two missense novel SNVs were found in the same child: ALDH1A3 (RefSeq NM_000693: c.1514T>C (p.I505T)) and FOXN1 (RefSeq NM_003593: c.146C>T (p.S49L)). Gene expression studies reveal that Aldh1a3 and Foxn1 are expressed in ~E13.5 mouse embryonic brain, as well as in adult piriform cortex (PC; ~P30). Conserved Retinoic Acid Response Elements (RAREs) upstream of human ALDH1A3 and FOXN1 and in mouse Aldh1a3 and Foxn1 genes were revealed using bioinformatic approximation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay using Retinoid Acid Receptor B (Rarb) as the immunoprecipitation target suggests RA regulation of Aldh1a3 and Foxn1 in mice. Our results frame a possible link of RA regulation in brain to ASD etiology, and a feasible non-additive effect of two apparently unrelated variants in ALDH1A3 and FOXN1 recognizing that every result given by next generation sequencing should be cautiously analyzed, as it might be an incidental finding.

Jakobiec FA, Stagner AM, Sutula FC, Freitag SK, Yoon MK. Pigmentation of the Lacrimal Sac Epithelium. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe the patterns of the melanocytic populations of 3 cases of lacrimal sac benign melanosis and 1 of atypical primary-acquired sac melanosis with a melanomatous nodule secondary to spread of atypical conjunctival primary-acquired melanosis to the sac. METHODS: Clinical records, photographs, and paraffin sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin and the Fontana reaction were critically reviewed. Additional sections were immunoreacted for melanoma antigen recognized by T cells and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor. Five nonpigmented pterygia and 4 nonpigmented lacrimal sacs served as controls. RESULTS: Three patients with obstructive dacryocystitis and benign melanosis were African-Americans whose sacs disclosed the presence of nonclustering, melanoma antigen recognized by T cells, and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor-positive intraepithelial dendritic melanocytes at all levels of the epithelium. The transferred melanin granules were concentrated in the adlumenal apical region of the epithelial cells. No fusiform melanocytes were found in the lamina propria. The fourth patient, a Caucasian, had atypical conjunctival and sac primary-acquired melanosis and conjunctival and sac melanomas. The intraepithelial sac melanocytes in this case were strikingly atypical and profusely distributed in a back to back fashion at all levels of a thickened epithelial layer focally approximating the appearance of a melanoma in situ. Five nonpigmented pterygia and 4 nonpigmented lacrimal sacs served as controls. Each displayed nonnesting dendritic melanocytes of various densities without back to back contact. CONCLUSION: Low densities of intraepithelial melanocytes were discovered in all controls and therefore represent a normal subpopulation within the conjunctival and lacrimal sacs. Due to the pseudostratification of the sac epithelium, melanocytes can move to higher levels without implying atypia. Benign melanosis is produced by small diffusely distributed individual intraepithelial melanocytes, whereas primary-acquired melanosis with atypia exhibits back to back, dense proliferations of large atypical melanocytes.

Jakobiec FA, Rai R, Rashid A, Sutula FC. Bilateral Eyelid Pseudoptosis From Lipogranulomas of the Preaponeurotic Fat Pads. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(5):e125-31.Abstract

Lipogranulomas of the periocular tissues with fulminant fibrotic and lymphohistiocytic responses were initially described in cases of exogenous paraffin or petrolatum jelly injections ("paraffinomas"). A 49-year-old Cambodian woman slowly developed bilateral pseudoptosis with intact levator function and redundant, taut upper eyelid skin. At surgery, vesiculations or "bubbles" in the preaponeurotic fat were encountered and were demonstrated histopathologically to be empty locules surrounded by a thin collagenous lamina. Outside these extracellular spaces were CD68/CD163-positive mononucleated and univacuolated histiocytes simulating damaged fat cells or neoplastic lipoblasts in hematoxylin and eosin sections. Giant cells and chronic sclerosing inflammation were absent. The patient denied any previous injections. The bland character of the lipogranulomas in comparison with that of other injectable agents, the absence of any residual particles associated with other cosmetic fillers, and the distinctive histiocytic response of lipoblast-like cells that were sufficiently characteristic to compel the diagnosis of surreptitious silicone injections. Other conditions were excluded based on comparative clinicopathologic criteria.

Graeber CP, Hunter DG. Changes in Lateral Comitance After Asymmetric Horizontal Strabismus Surgery. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(11):1241-6.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Asymmetric horizontal strabismus surgery is often performed to correct primary gaze alignment without considering the symptoms that may result from misalignment in the patient's side gaze. Surgical choices influence alignment in side gaze and may contribute to functional and social deficits. OBJECTIVE: To identify the surgical procedures associated with changes of alignment in side gaze to help inform surgical planning for patients with horizontal strabismus. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The medical records of 1081 horizontal strabismus surgical procedures that were performed at Boston Children's Hospital during a 2-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Only records with strabismus measurements recorded in the right and left gaze before and after surgery were included. Data analysis was conducted from September 1, 2012, through June 7, 2015. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Change in comitance (CIC), determined by measuring the horizontal comitance (the difference between right- and left-gaze strabismus measurements) before and after surgery. RESULTS: The review identified 569 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Of the 491 patients with comitant preoperative alignment, 59 developed postoperative incomitance, of whom 53 (89.9%) had asymmetric surgery. Of the 78 patients with incomitant preoperative alignment, 36 patients' (46.2%) deviation had improved to comitance after surgery; 32 (88.9%) of these patients had asymmetric surgery. Asymmetric 2-muscle surgery had a median CIC of 4.0 while symmetric 2-muscle surgery had a median CIC of 1.5 (difference in CIC, 2.5; 95% CI, 2.0-3.0; P < .001). A CIC of 25 prism diopters or more was observed in 6 patients who underwent asymmetric surgery (0 with symmetric surgery). New postoperative incomitance was symptomatic in at least 17 patients (28.8%). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Asymmetric strabismus surgery can treat incomitant deviations, but it can also create symptomatic incomitant deviations in patients who were previously comitant. Surgical planning should include consideration of the potential for CIC, including the potential for unsatisfactory appearance in side gaze. Patients with binocular vision will be sensitive to diplopia in any gaze direction; in such cases, the consequences of asymmetric surgery should be considered with particular care.

Kheirkhah A, Muller R, Mikolajczak J, Ren A, Kadas EM, Zimmermann H, Pruess H, Paul F, Brandt AU, Hamrah P. Comparison of Standard Versus Wide-Field Composite Images of the Corneal Subbasal Layer by In Vivo Confocal Microscopy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(10):5801-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate whether the densities of corneal subbasal nerves and epithelial immune dendritiform cells (DCs) are comparable between a set of three representative standard images of in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and the wide-field mapped composite IVCM images. METHODS: This prospective, cross-sectional, and masked study included 110 eyes of 58 patients seen in a neurology clinic who underwent laser-scanning IVCM (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph 3) of the central cornea. Densities of subbasal corneal nerves and DCs were compared between the average of three representative standard images and the wide-field mapped composite images, which were reconstructed by automated mapping. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences between the average of three representative standard images (0.16 mm2 each) and the wide-field composite images (1.29 ± 0.64 mm2) in terms of mean subbasal nerve density (17.10 ± 6.10 vs. 17.17 ± 5.60 mm/mm2, respectively, P = 0.87) and mean subbasal DC density (53.2 ± 67.8 vs. 49.0 ± 54.3 cells/mm2, respectively, P = 0.43). However, there were notable differences in subbasal nerve and DC densities between these two methods in eyes with very low nerve density or very high DC density. CONCLUSIONS: There are no significant differences in the mean subbasal nerve and DC densities between the average values of three representative standard IVCM images and wide-field mapped composite images. Therefore, these standard images can be used in clinical studies to accurately measure cellular structures in the subbasal layer.

Bronstad MP, Albu A, Bowers AR, Goldstein R, Peli E. Driving with Central Visual Field Loss II: How Scotomas above or below the Preferred Retinal Locus (PRL) Affect Hazard Detection in a Driving Simulator. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0136517.Abstract

We determined whether binocular central scotomas above or below the preferred retinal locus affect detection of hazards (pedestrians) approaching from the side. Seven participants with central field loss (CFL), and seven age-and sex-matched controls with normal vision (NV), each completed two sessions of 5 test drives (each approximately 10 minutes long) in a driving simulator. Participants pressed the horn when detecting pedestrians that appeared at one of four eccentricities (-14°, -4°, left, 4°, or 14°, right, relative to car heading). Pedestrians walked or ran towards the travel lane on a collision course with the participant's vehicle, thus remaining in the same area of the visual field, assuming participant's steady forward gaze down the travel lane. Detection rates were nearly 100% for all participants. CFL participant reaction times were longer (median 2.27s, 95% CI 2.13 to 2.47) than NVs (median 1.17s, 95%CI 1.10 to 2.13; difference p<0.01), and CFL participants would have been unable to stop for 21% of pedestrians, compared with 3% for NV, p<0.001. Although the scotomas were not expected to obscure pedestrian hazards, gaze tracking revealed that scotomas did sometimes interfere with detection; late reactions usually occurred when pedestrians were entirely or partially obscured by the scotoma (time obscured correlated with reaction times, r = 0.57, p<0.001). We previously showed that scotomas lateral to the preferred retinal locus delay reaction times to a greater extent; however, taken together, the results of our studies suggest that any binocular CFL might negatively impact timely hazard detection while driving and should be a consideration when evaluating vision for driving.

Peeler CE, De Lott LB, Nagia L, Lemos J, Eggenberger ER, Cornblath WT. Clinical Utility of Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody Testing in Ocular Myasthenia Gravis. JAMA Neurol 2015;72(10):1170-4.Abstract

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.

Lagali N, Poletti E, Patel DV, McGhee CNJ, Hamrah P, Kheirkhah A, Tavakoli M, Petropoulos IN, Malik RA, Utheim TP, Zhivov A, Stachs O, Falke K, Peschel S, Guthoff R, Chao C, Golebiowski B, Stapleton F, Ruggeri A. Focused Tortuosity Definitions Based on Expert Clinical Assessment of Corneal Subbasal Nerves. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(9):5102-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: We examined agreement among experts in the assessment of corneal subbasal nerve tortuosity. METHODS: Images of corneal subbasal nerves were obtained from investigators at seven sites (Auckland, Boston, Linköping, Manchester, Oslo, Rostock, and Sydney) using laser-scanning in vivo confocal microscopy. A set of 30 images was assembled and ordered by increasing tortuosity by 10 expert graders from the seven sites. In a first experiment, graders assessed tortuosity without a specific definition and performed grading three times, with at least 1 week between sessions. In a second experiment, graders assessed the same image set using four focused tortuosity definitions. Intersession and intergrader repeatability for the experiments were determined using the Spearman rank correlation. RESULTS: Expert graders without a specific tortuosity definition had high intersession (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.80), but poor intergrader (0.62) repeatability. Specific definitions improved intergrader repeatability to 0.79. In particular, tortuosity defined by frequent small-amplitude directional changes (short range tortuosity) or by infrequent large-amplitude directional changes (long range tortuosity), indicated largely independent measures and resulted in improved repeatability across the graders. A further refinement, grading only the most tortuous nerve in a given image, improved the average correlation of a given grader's ordering of images with the group average to 0.86 to 0.90. CONCLUSIONS: Definitions of tortuosity specifying short or long-range tortuosity and considering only the most tortuous nerve in an image improved the agreement in tortuosity grading among a group of expert observers. These definitions could improve accuracy and consistency in quantifying subbasal nerve tortuosity in clinical studies.

Müller RT, Abedi F, Cruzat A, Witkin D, Baniasadi N, Cavalcanti BM, Jamali A, Chodosh J, Dana R, Pavan-Langston D, Hamrah P. Degeneration and Regeneration of Subbasal Corneal Nerves after Infectious Keratitis: A Longitudinal InVivo Confocal Microscopy Study. Ophthalmology 2015;122(11):2200-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the longitudinal alterations of subbasal corneal nerves in patients with infectious keratitis (IK) during the acute phase, cessation of treatment, and the recovery phase by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal, case-control, single-center study. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-six eyes of 56 patients with the diagnosis of bacterial (n = 28), fungal (n = 15), or Acanthamoeba (n = 13) keratitis were included in the study. Thirty eyes of 30 normal volunteers constituted the control group. METHODS: Corneal sensation and serial IVCM of the central cornea were performed prospectively using the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph 3/Rostock Cornea Module (Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany). The IVCM images were assessed at 3 time points: at the acute phase (first visit to the cornea service), at cessation of antimicrobial treatment, and up to 6 months after the resolution of infection. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total nerve number and length, main nerve trunks, branching, and corneal sensation were assessed during the follow-up period. RESULTS: Corneal nerves were reduced significantly during the acute phase in eyes with IK compared with controls across all subgroups, with total nerve length of 5.47±0.69 mm/mm(2) versus 20.59±1.06 mm/mm(2) (P <0.0001). At the cessation of treatment, corneal nerves in patients with IK had regenerated, including total nerve length (8.49±0.94 mm/mm(2); P = 0.02) and nerve branch length (4.80±0.37 mm/mm(2); P = 0.005). During the recovery phase, after resolution of infection, corneal nerves regenerated further, including total nerve length (12.13±1.97 mm/mm(2); P = 0.005), main nerve trunk length (5.80±1.00 mm/mm(2); P = 0.01), and nerve branch length (6.33±0.76 mm/mm(2); P = 0.003) as compared with the acute phase, but were still significantly lower when compared with controls (P < 0.05 for all parameters). Corneal degeneration and regeneration correlated with corneal sensation (r = 0.47; P = 0.0009). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with IK who sustain profound loss of corneal nerves during the acute phase of infection demonstrate increased corneal nerve density during the first 6 months after the resolution of infection. However, despite significant nerve regeneration, corneal nerve density does not recover fully and remains low compared to controls. By providing an objective methodology to monitor corneal re-innervation, IVCM adds potentially important findings that may have implications for clinical management and surgical planning.

Abramov E, Cassiola F, Schwob O, Karsh-Bluman A, Shapero M, Ellis J, Luyindula D, Adini I, D'Amato RJ, Benny O. Cellular mechanism of oral absorption of solidified polymer micelles. Nanomedicine 2015;11(8):1993-2002.Abstract

UNLABELLED: Oral delivery of poorly soluble and permeable drugs represents a significant challenge in drug development. The oral delivery of drugs remains to be the ultimate route of any drugs. However, in many cases, drugs are not absorbed well in the gastrointestinal tract, or they lose their activity. Polymer micelles were recognized as an effective carrier system for drug encapsulation, and are now studied as a vehicle for oral delivery of insoluble compounds. We characterized the properties of monomethoxy polyethylene glycol-poly lactic acid (mPEG-PLA) micelles, and visualized their internalization in mouse small intestine. Using Caco-2 cells as a cellular model, we studied the kinetics of particle uptake, their transport, and the molecular mechanism of their intestinal absorption. Moreover, by inhibiting specific endocytosis pathways, pharmacologically and genetically, we found that mPEG-PLA nanoparticle endocytosis is mediated by clathrin in an energy-dependent manner, and that the low-density lipoprotein receptor is involved. FROM THE CLINICAL EDITOR: Many current drugs used are non-water soluble and indeed, the ability to deliver these drugs via the gastrointestinal tract remains the holy grail for many researchers. The authors in this paper developed monomethoxy polyethylene glycol-poly lactic acid (mPEG-PLA) micelles as a drug nanocarrier, and studied the mechanism of uptake across intestinal cells. The findings should improve our current understanding and point to the development of more nanocarriers.

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