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Hikage F, Lennikov A, Mukwaya A, Lachota M, Ida Y, Utheim TP, Chen DF, Huang H, Ohguro H. NF-κB activation in retinal microglia is involved in the inflammatory and neovascularization signaling in laser-induced choroidal neovascularization in mice. Exp Cell Res 2021;403(1):112581.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate Nuclear Factor NF-κB (NF-κB) signaling on microglia activation, migration, and angiogenesis in laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV). METHODS: Nine-week-old C57BL/6 male mice were randomly assigned to IMD-0354 treated or untreated groups (5 mice, 10 eyes per group). CNV was induced with a 532-nm laser. Laser spots (power 250 mW, spot size 100 μm, time of exposure 50 ms) were created in each eye using a slit-lamp delivery system. Selective inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit beta (IKK2) inhibitor IMD-0354 (10 μg) was delivered subconjunctivally; vehicle-treated mice were the control. The treatment effect on CNV development was assessed at five days post-CNV induction in vivo in C57BL/6 and Cx3cr1gfp/wt mice by fluorescent angiography, fundus imaging, and ex vivo by retinal flatmounts immunostaining and Western blot analysis of RPE/Choroidal/Scleral complexes (RCSC) lysates. In vitro evaluations of IMD-0354 effects were performed in the BV-2 microglial cell line using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. RESULTS: IMD-0354 caused a significant reduction in the fluorescein leakage and size of the laser spot, as well as a reduction in microglial cell migration and suppression of phospho-IκBα, Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A), and Prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (COX-2). In vivo and ex vivo observations demonstrated reduced lesion size in mice, CD68, and Allograft inflammatory factor 1 (IBA-1) positive microglia cells migration to the laser injury site in IMD-0354 treated eyes. The data further corroborate with GFP-positive cells infiltration of the CNV site in Cx3cr1wt/gfp mice. In vitro IMD-0354 (10-25 ng/ml) treatment reduced NF-κB activation, expression of COX-2, caused decreased Actin-F presence and organization, resulting in reduced BV-2 cells migration capacity. CONCLUSION: The present data indicate that NF-κB activation in microglia and it's migration capacity is involved in the development of laser CNV in mice. Its suppression by NF-κB inhibition might be a promising therapeutic strategy for wet AMD.
van der Heide C, Goar W, Meyer KJ, Alward WLM, Boese EA, Sears NC, Roos BR, Kwon YH, DeLuca AP, Siggs OM, Gonzaga-Jauregui C, Sheffield VC, Wang K, Stone EM, Mullins RF, Anderson MG, Fan BJ, Ritch R, Craig JE, Wiggs JL, Scheetz TE, Fingert JH. Exome-based investigation of the genetic basis of human pigmentary glaucoma. BMC Genomics 2021;22(1):477.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Glaucoma is a leading cause of visual disability and blindness. Release of iris pigment within the eye, pigment dispersion syndrome (PDS), can lead to one type of glaucoma known as pigmentary glaucoma. PDS has a genetic component, however, the genes involved with this condition are largely unknown. We sought to discover genes that cause PDS by testing cohorts of patients and controls for mutations using a tiered analysis of exome data. RESULTS: Our primary analysis evaluated melanosome-related genes that cause dispersion of iris pigment in mice (TYRP1, GPNMB, LYST, DCT, and MITF). We identified rare mutations, but they were not statistically enriched in PDS patients. Our secondary analyses examined PMEL (previously linked with PDS), MRAP, and 19 other genes. Four MRAP mutations were identified in PDS cases but not in controls (p = 0.016). Immunohistochemical analysis of human donor eyes revealed abundant MRAP protein in the iris, the source of pigment in PDS. However, analysis of MRAP in additional cohorts (415 cases and 1645 controls) did not support an association with PDS. We also did not confirm a link between PMEL and PDS in our cohorts due to lack of reported mutations and similar frequency of the variants in PDS patients as in control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: We did not detect a statistical enrichment of mutations in melanosome-related genes in human PDS patients and we found conflicting data about the likely pathogenicity of MRAP mutations. PDS may have a complex genetic basis that is not easily unraveled with exome analyses.
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.
Shoji MK, Cousins CC, Saini C, Silva RNE, Wang M, Brauner SC, Greenstein SH, Pasquale LR, Shen LQ. Paired Optic Nerve Microvasculature and Nailfold Capillary Measurements in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2021;10(7):13.Abstract
Purpose: To assess microvascular beds in the optic nerve head (ONH), peripapillary tissue, and the nailfold in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) versus controls. Methods: Patients with POAG (n = 22) and controls (n = 12) underwent swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography of ophthalmic microvasculature and nailfold video capillaroscopy of the hand. The main outcomes were vessel density (VD) and blood flow of the ONH, the peripapillary and the nailfold microvasculatures. Results: Patients with POAG were younger than controls (63.5 ± 9.4 vs. 69.9 ± 6.5 years, P = 0.03). Deep ONH VD and blood flow were lower in patients with POAG than controls (39.1% ± 3.5% vs. 43.8% ± 5.7%; 37.8% ± 5.3% vs. 46.0% ± 7.8%, respectively, P < 0.02 for both); similar results were observed with peripapillary VD (37.9 ± 2.6%, 43.4 ± 7.6%, respectively, P = 0.03). Nailfold capillary density and blood flow were lower in patients with POAG than controls (8.8 ± 1.0 vs. 9.8 ± 0.9 capillaries/mm; 19.9 ± 9.4 vs. 33.7 ± 9.8 pL/s, respectively; P < 0.009 for both). After adjusting for age and gender, deep ONH VD and blood flow, peripapillary VD, and nailfold capillary blood flow were lower in POAG than controls (β = -0.04, -0.07, -0.05, -13.19, respectively, P ≤ 0.046 for all). Among all participants, there were positive correlations between deep ONH and nailfold capillary blood flow (Pearson's correlation coefficient r = 0.42, P = 0.02), peripapillary and nailfold capillary density (r = 0.43, P = 0.03), and peripapillary and nailfold capillary blood flow (r = 0.49, P = 0.01). Conclusions: Patients with POAG demonstrated morphologic and hemodynamic alterations in both ophthalmic and nailfold microvascular beds compared to controls. Translational Relevance: The concomitant abnormalities in nailfold capillaries and relevant ocular vascular beds in POAG suggest that the microvasculature may be a target for POAG treatment.
Chiou CA, Reshef ER, Freitag SK. Teprotumumab for the treatment of mild compressive optic neuropathy in thyroid eye disease: A report of two cases. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2021;22:101075.Abstract
Purpose: To report two cases of thyroid eye disease (TED) associated compressive optic neuropathy (CON) that resolved after treatment with teprotumumab. Observation: Two patients presented with active TED resulting in mild CON with the typical corresponding visual field (VF) defects. Both patients were initiated on intravenous (IV) corticosteroid therapy but despite treatment had persistent VF defects. Both patients were then treated with teprotumumab and demonstrated marked clinical improvement and complete resolution of TED-CON VF defects early in their infusion course. Conclusions and importance: These cases suggest that teprotumumab can be a rapid and effective treatment for TED-CON, and raises the question of whether it may be superior to IV corticosteroid therapy.
Nguyen HV, Gilbert AL, Fortin E, Vodopivec I, Torun N, Chwalisz BK, Cestari DM, Rizzo JF. Elevated Intracranial Pressure Associated With Exogenous Hormonal Therapy Used for Gender Affirmation. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(2):217-223.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Addison disease, corticosteroid withdrawal, and taking synthetic growth hormone have been linked with development of intracranial hypertension, but there is still debate on whether administration of other exogenous hormones plays a role in precipitating elevated pressure. The growing use of hormonal therapy for gender affirmation provides an opportunity to explore this possibility. METHODS: All transgender patients taking exogenous hormones for female-to-male (FTM) and male-to-female (MTF) transitions who were diagnosed with intracranial hypertension at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center between August 2014 and November 2018 were included in a retrospective review. Visual acuity, type, and dose of exogenous hormone, visual field testing, clinical exam, results of neuroimaging and lumbar puncture, and treatment modalities were catalogued and analyzed. RESULTS: Six transgender individuals were identified. Five were FTM, with an average hormone treatment time of 18.4 months, and one was MTF who had been treated with hormones for 4 years. The average age of all patients was 23.5 years. The average time between onset of symptoms and presentation was 5 months. Fifty percent of the patients reported pulse-synchronous tinnitus, 83% reported positional headache, 33% reported transient visual obscurations, and 16% reported diplopia. Lumbar punctures performed on 4 of the patients revealed elevated opening pressures and normal cerebrospinal fluid constituents. MRI findings consistent with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) were present in the other 2 patients in whom lumbar puncture was unsuccessful. Four patients were treated with acetazolamide and one was treated with topiramate, with an average follow-up time of 15.7 months. All patients demonstrated bilateral optic disc swelling, and all maintained normal acuity and color vision. Performance on visual field testing was not significantly affected in any patient. CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest reported series to date of gender-transitioning patients with intracranial hypertension, including one novel MTF conversion. These observations warrant further investigation into the possible link of exogenous hormonal therapy and elevated ICP and any mechanisms or confounders underlying this potential association.
Whitmore HAB, Kim LA. Understanding the Role of Blood Vessels in the Neurologic Manifestations of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Am J Pathol 2021;191(11):1946-1954.Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was originally identified as an outbreak in Wuhan, China, toward the end of 2019 and quickly became a global pandemic, with a large death toll. Originally identified as a respiratory disease, similar to previously discovered SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), concern has since been raised about the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the vasculature. This viral-vascular involvement is of particular concern with regards to the small vessels present in the brain, with mounting evidence demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Severe symptoms, termed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), often result in neurologic complications, regardless of patient age. These neurologic complications range from mild to severe across all demographics; however, the long-term repercussions of neurologic involvement on patient health are still unknown.
Whitman MC. Axonal Growth Abnormalities Underlying Ocular Cranial Nerve Disorders. Annu Rev Vis Sci 2021;7:827-850.Abstract
Abnormalities in cranial motor nerve development cause paralytic strabismus syndromes, collectively referred to as congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders, in which patients cannot fully move their eyes. These disorders can arise through one of two mechanisms: (a) defective motor neuron specification, usually by loss of a transcription factor necessary for brainstem patterning, or (b) axon growth and guidance abnormalities of the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nerves. This review focuses on our current understanding of axon guidance mechanisms in the cranial motor nerves and how disease-causing mutations disrupt axon targeting. Abnormalities of axon growth and guidance are often limited to a single nerve or subdivision, even when the causative gene is ubiquitously expressed. Additionally, when one nerve is absent, its normal target muscles attract other motor neurons. Study of these disorders highlights the complexities of axon guidance and how each population of neurons uses a unique but overlapping set of axon guidance pathways.
Ashraf M, Rageh A, Gilbert M, Tolls D, Fleming A, Souka A, El-Baha S, Cavallerano JD, Sun JK, Aiello LP, Silva PS. Factors Affecting Predominantly Peripheral Lesion Identification and Grading. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2021;10(7):6.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine factors affecting predominantly peripheral lesion (PPL) grading, such as qualitative versus quantitative assessment, device type, and severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in ultrawide field color images (UWF-CIs). Methods: Patients with DR had UWF-CI qualitatively graded for PPL using standardized techniques and had hemorrhages/microaneurysms (H/Mas) individually annotated for quantitative PPL grading on two different ultrawide field devices. Results: Among 791 eyes of 481 patients, 38.2% had mild nonproliferative DR (NPDR), 34.7% had moderate NPDR, and 27.1% had severe NPDR to proliferative DR (PDR). The overall agreement between qualitative and quantitative PPL grading was moderate (ĸ = 0.423, P < 0.001). Agreement rates were fair in eyes with mild NPDR (ĸ = 0.336, P < 0.001) but moderate in eyes with moderate NPDR (ĸ = 0.525, P < 0.001) and severe NPDR-PDR (ĸ = 0.409, P < 0.001). Increasing thresholds for quantitative PPL determination improved agreement rates, with peak agreements at H/Ma count differences of six for mild NPDR, five for moderate NPDR, and nine for severe NPDR-PDR. Based on ultrawide field device type (California = 412 eyes vs. 200Tx = 379 eyes), agreement between qualitative and quantitative PPL grading was moderate for all DR severities in both devices (ĸ = 0.369-0.526, P < 0.001) except for mild NPDR on the 200Tx, which had poor agreement (ĸ = 0.055, P = 0.478). Conclusions: Determination of PPL varies between standard qualitative and quantitative grading and is dependent on NPDR severity, device type, and magnitude of lesion differences used for quantitative assessment. Translational Relevance: Prior UWF studies have not accounted for imaging and grading factors that affect PPL, such factors need to be reviewed when assessing thresholds for DR progression rates.
Maallo AMS, Moulton EA, Sieberg CB, Giddon DB, Borsook D, Holmes SA. A lateralized model of the pain-depression dyad. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2021;127:876-883.Abstract
Chronic pain and depression are two frequently co-occurring and debilitating conditions. Even though the former is treated as a physical affliction, and the latter as a mental illness, both disorders closely share neural substrates. Here, we review the association of pain with depression, especially when symptoms are lateralized on either side of the body. We also explore the overlapping regions in the forebrain implicated in these conditions. Finally, we synthesize these findings into a model, which addresses gaps in our understanding of comorbid pain and depression. Our lateralized pain-depression dyad model suggests that individuals diagnosed with depression should be closely monitored for pain symptoms in the left hemibody. Conversely, for patients in pain, with the exception of acute pain with a known source, referrals in today's pain centers for psychological evaluation should be part of standard practice, within the framework of an interdisciplinary approach to pain treatment.
Elhusseiny AM, VanderVeen DK. Optical coherence tomography in the setting of optic nerve head cupping reversal in secondary childhood glaucoma. J AAPOS 2021;Abstract
Reversal of optic nerve head (ONH) cupping has been considered an important clinical observation that signals surgical success and control of intraocular pressure (IOP) in childhood glaucoma. Many theories based on elasticity of pediatric eyes have been proposed, including anterior movement of the elastic lamina cribrosa or shrinkage of the scleral canal. The relationship between these factors and axonal loss is unclear when reversal of cupping has been observed. Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) optical coherence tomography (OCT) can help to clarify this. We present a case series of 4 pediatric patients with secondary glaucoma that demonstrated ONH cupping reversal with pre- and postoperative clinical images and RNFL OCT.
Tisdale AK, Dinkin M, Chwalisz BK. Afferent and Efferent Neuro-Ophthalmic Complications of Coronavirus Disease 19. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(2):154-165.Abstract
PURPOSE: To provide a summary of the neuro-ophthalmic manifestations of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) documented in the literature thus far. METHODS: The PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched using the keywords: Neuro-Ophthalmology, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and coronavirus. A manual search through reference lists of relevant articles was also performed. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: The literature on COVID-associated neuro-ophthalmic disease continues to grow. Afferent neuro-ophthalmic complications associated with COVID-19 include optic neuritis, papillophlebitis, papilledema, visual disturbance associated with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, and vision loss caused by stroke. Efferent neuro-ophthalmic complications associated with COVID-19 include cranial neuropathies, Miller Fisher syndrome, Adie's pupils, ocular myasthenia gravis, nystagmus and eye movement disorders. Proposed mechanisms of neurologic disease include immunologic upregulation, vasodilation and vascular permeability, endothelial dysfunction, coagulopathy, and direct viral neurotropism. When patients present to medical centers with new onset neuro-ophthalmic conditions during the pandemic, COVID-19 infection should be kept on the differential.
da Palma MM, Igelman AD, Ku C, Burr A, You JY, Place EM, Wang N-K, Oh JK, Branham KE, Zhang X, Ahn J, Gorin MB, Lam BL, Ronquillo CC, Bernstein PS, Nagiel A, Huckfeldt R, Cabrera MT, Kelly JP, Bakall B, Iannaccone A, Hufnagel RB, Zein WM, Koenekoop RK, Birch DG, Yang P, Fahim AT, Pennesi ME. Characterization of the Spectrum of Ophthalmic Changes in Patients With Alagille Syndrome. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021;62(7):27.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to characterize the phenotypic spectrum of ophthalmic findings in patients with Alagille syndrome. Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational, multicenter, study on 46 eyes of 23 subjects with Alagille syndrome. We reviewed systemic and ophthalmologic data extracted from medical records, color fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence, optical coherence tomography, visual fields, electrophysiological assessments, and molecular genetic findings. Results: Cardiovascular abnormalities were found in 83% of all cases (of those, 74% had cardiac murmur), whereas 61% had a positive history of hepatobiliary issues, and musculoskeletal anomalies were present in 61% of all patients. Dysmorphic facies were present in 16 patients, with a broad forehead being the most frequent feature. Ocular symptoms were found in 91%, with peripheral vision loss being the most frequent complaint. Median (range) Snellen visual acuity of all eyes was 20/25 (20/20 to hand motion [HM]). Anterior segment abnormalities were present in 74% of the patients; of those, posterior embryotoxon was the most frequent finding. Abnormalities of the optic disc were found in 52%, and peripheral retinal abnormalities were the most frequent ocular finding in this series, found in 96% of all patients. Fifteen JAG1 mutations were identified in 16 individuals; of those, 6 were novel. Conclusions: This study reports a cohort of patients with Alagille syndrome in which peripheral chorioretinal changes were more frequent than posterior embryotoxon, the most frequent ocular finding according to a number of previous studies. We propose that these peripheral chorioretinal changes are a new hallmark to help diagnose this syndrome.

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