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Steinberg E, Fluksman A, Zemmour C, Tischenko K, Karsch-Bluman A, Brill-Karniely Y, Birsner AE, D'Amato RJ, Benny O. Low dose amiodarone reduces tumor growth and angiogenesis. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):18034.Abstract
Amiodarone is an anti-arrhythmic drug that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1985. Pre-clinical studies suggest that Amiodarone induces cytotoxicity in several types of cancer cells, thus making it a potential candidate for use as an anti-cancer treatment. However, it is also known to cause a variety of severe side effects. We hypothesized that in addition to the cytotoxic effects observed in cancer cells Amiodarone also has an indirect effect on angiogensis, a key factor in the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we examined Amiodarone's effects on a murine tumor model comprised of U-87 MG glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells, known to form highly vascularized tumors. We performed several in vitro assays using tumor and endothelial cells, along with in vivo assays utilizing three murine models. Low dose Amiodarone markedly reduced the size of GBM xenograft tumors and displayed a strong anti-angiogenic effect, suggesting dual cancer fighting properties. Our findings lay the ground for further research of Amiodarone as a possible clinical agent that, used in safe doses, maintains its dual properties while averting the drug's harmful side effects.
Roh M, Miller JW, Jeng-Miller KW, Wang JC, Laíns I, Silverman RF, Loewenstein JI, Husain D, Vavvas DG, Miller JB. Subthreshold Exudative Choroidal Neovascularization Associated With Age-Related Macular Degeneration Identified by Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography. J Vitreoretin Dis 2020;4(5):377-385.Abstract
Purpose: This article describes the clinical and multimodal imaging characteristics of subthreshold exudative choroidal neovascularization (CNV) associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: Among 3773 patients with AMD, 8 eyes (6 patients) were identified with the clinical phenotype of interest. Dilated fundus examinations, color fundus photography, fluorescein angiography (FA), indocyanine green angiography (ICGA), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and OCT angiography (OCTA) were performed. Results: OCT typically showed a moderately reflective irregular pigment epithelial detachment with overlying subretinal fluid (SRF). Traditional FA did not show leakage and ICGA showed no definitive neovascular network or hot spots. However, OCTA clearly demonstrated a CNV within the pigment epithelial detachment. The majority of our cases (7 of 8) did not receive antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections, and visual acuity remained stable over the available follow-up period of I to 10 years. Conclusions: CNV is often associated with SRF and vision loss in AMD, usually requiring frequent anti-VEGF injections. OCTA allowed us to better identify CNV not readily detected on FA and ICGA. Although some have suggested early clinical intervention with anti-VEGF injections in any case with fluid and confirmed CNV on OCTA, we describe a subset of AMD patients with SRF who may be better managed by observation. These cases may represent a more indolent, mature, and stable vascular network.
Jafari A, Lehmann AE, Wolkow N, Juliano AF, Bleier BS, Reinshagen KL. Radioanatomic Characteristics of the Posteromedial Intraconal Space: Implications for Endoscopic Resection of Orbital Lesions. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2020;41(12):2327-2332.Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Imaging is essential in the diagnostic work-up of patients with orbital lesions. The position of an orbital lesion relative to the inferomedial muscular trunk of the ophthalmic artery determines endoscopic resectability, anticipated technical difficulty, and patient morbidity. Although the inferomedial muscular trunk is not readily identifiable on preoperative imaging, we hypothesize that it is spatially approximate to the location where the ophthalmic artery crosses the optic nerve. Our aim was to determine whether the ophthalmic artery-optic nerve crosspoint anatomically approximates the inferomedial muscular trunk in a cadaver study and can be appreciated on imaging of known posteromedial orbital lesions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dissection was performed on 17 fresh-frozen cadaver orbits to assess the relationship between the inferomedial muscular trunk and ophthalmic artery-optic nerve crosspoint. Retrospective review of imaging in 9 patients with posteromedial orbital lesions assessed posteromedial orbital compartment characteristics and the ability to locate the ophthalmic artery-optic nerve crosspoint. RESULTS: In our cadaver study, the mean distance between the ophthalmic artery-optic nerve crosspoint and the inferomedial muscular trunk was 1.21 ± 0.64 mm. Retrospectively, the ophthalmic artery-optic nerve crosspoint was identifiable in 9/9 patients, whereas the inferomedial muscular trunk was not identifiable in any patient. Total or partial effacement of the posteromedial intraconal fat triangle was observed in 9/9 patients. CONCLUSIONS: This study of neurovascular relationships within the posteromedial orbit demonstrates that the ophthalmic artery-optic nerve crosspoint closely approximates the inferomedial muscular trunk and can be seen in patients with posteromedial orbital lesions. Posteromedial intraconal fat effacement may help to localize these lesions. These findings may facilitate multidisciplinary communication and help predict lesion resectability and patient outcomes.
Ospina C, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Aguirre-Acevedo DC, Zuluaga-Castaño Y, Velilla L, Garcia GP, Quiroz YT, Lopera F. Genetic and nongenetic factors associated with CADASIL: A retrospective cohort study. J Neurol Sci 2020;419:117178.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To explore the role of cardiovascular risk factors and the different NOTCH-3 mutations to explain the variability observed in the clinical presentation of CADASIL. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of 331 individuals, 90 were carriers of four mutations in the NOTCH3 gene. These four mutations are the ones identified in our region from the genetic evaluation of probands. Cox proportional hazards models were fitted to estimate the effect of genetic and cardiovascular factors on the onset of migraine, first stroke, and dementia. Competing risk regression models considered death as risk. RESULTS: Noncarriers (healthy controls from the same families without NOTCH3 mutations) and NOTCH3 mutation carriers had similar frequencies for all cardiovascular risk factors. Diabetes (SHR 2.74, 95% CI 1.52-4.94) was associated with a younger age at onset of strokes among carriers. Additionally, a genotype-phenotype relationship was observed among C455R mutation carriers, with higher frequency of migraines (100%), younger age at onset of migraine (median age 7 years, IQR 8) and strokes (median age 30.5 years, IQR 26). Moreover, fewer carriers of the R141C mutation exhibited migraines (20%), and it was even lower than the frequency observed in the noncarrier group (44.8%). CONCLUSIONS: This study characterizes extended family groups, allowing us a comparison in the genotype-phenotype. The results suggest a complex interplay of genetic and cardiovascular risk factors that may help explain the variability in the clinical presentation and severity of CADASIL.
Dockery DM, Krzystolik MG. The Use of Mobile Applications as Low-Vision Aids: A Pilot Study. R I Med J (2013) 2020;103(8):69-72.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To determine the most commonly used and highest-rated mobile applications (apps) for low-vision aids. METHODS: This was a convenience sample survey. Patients known to use low-vision apps at a nonprofit low-vision center (INSIGHT, Warwick, RI) were contacted by phone between June and September 2019. INCLUSION CRITERIA: age 18+, Snellen visual acuity (VA) below 20/70, and the use of low-vision mobile apps for at least one month. A standardized script was used to record survey data and app ratings were evaluated by patients with a scale of one to five, one being the lowest and five being the highest. RESULTS: Of the sample (n=11), nine patients (81.8%) stated they used an iPhone for low-vision mobile apps. A list of 14 mobile apps was identified: the two most commonly used apps were Seeing AI (81.8%) and Be My Eyes (63.6%); their average ratings were 4.43/5 and 4.75/5, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This survey suggests that Seeing AI and Be My Eyes are useful apps to help low- vision patients with activities of daily living.
for the Group WCPEDI, Pineles SL, Repka MX, Liu GT, Waldman AT, Borchert MS, Khanna S, Heidary G, Graves JS, Shah VS, Kupersmith MJ, Kraker RT, Wallace DK, Cotter SA, Holmes JM. Assessment of Pediatric Optic Neuritis Visual Acuity Outcomes at 6 Months. JAMA Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
Importance: Optic neuritis (ON) in children is uncommon. There are limited prospective data for visual acuity (VA) outcomes, associated diseases, and neuroimaging findings. Prospective data from a large sample would be useful for counseling families on treatment decisions and prognosis. Objective: To prospectively study children with a first episode of ON, describe VA after 6 months, and ascertain the network's (Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group and Neuro-Ophthalmology Research Disease Investigator Consortium) ability to enroll pediatric patients with ON prospectively. Design, Setting, and Participants: This nonrandomized cohort study was conducted from September 20, 2016, to July 20, 2018, at 23 sites in the United States and Canada in pediatric ophthalmology or neuro-ophthalmology clinics. A total of 44 children (aged 3-15 years) presented with a first episode of ON (visual loss, pain on eye movements, or both) within 2 weeks of symptom onset and at least 1 of the following in the affected eye: a distance high-contrast VA (HCVA) deficit of at least 0.2 logMAR below age-based norms, diminished color vision, abnormal visual field, or optic disc swelling. Exclusion criteria included preexisting ocular abnormalities or a previous episode of ON. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were monocular HCVA and low-contrast VA at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were neuroimaging, associated diagnoses, and antibodies for neuromyelitis optica and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein. Results: A total of 44 children (mean age [SD], 10.2 [3.5] years; 26 boys [59%]; 23 White individuals [52%]; 54 eyes) were enrolled in the study. Sixteen patients (36%) had bilateral ON. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed white matter lesions in 23 children (52%). Of these children, 8 had myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-associated demyelination (18%), 7 had acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (16%), 5 had multiple sclerosis (11%), and 3 had neuromyelitis optica (7%). The baseline mean HCVA was 0.95 logMAR (20/200), which improved by a mean 0.76 logMAR (95% CI, 0.54-0.99; range, -0.70 to 1.80) to 0.12 logMAR (20/25) at 6 months. The baseline mean distance low-contrast VA was 1.49 logMAR (20/640) and improved by a mean 0.72 logMAR (95% CI, 0.54-0.89; range, -0.20 to 1.50) to 0.73 logMAR (20/100) at 6 months. Baseline HCVA was worse in younger participants (aged <10 years) with associated neurologic autoimmune diagnoses, white matter lesions, and in those of non-White race and non-Hispanic ethnicity. The data did not suggest a statistically significant association between baseline factors and improvement in HCVA. Conclusions and Relevance: The study network did not reach its targeted enrollment of 100 pediatric patients with ON over 2 years. This indicates that future treatment trials may need to use different inclusion criteria or plan a longer enrollment period to account for the rarity of the disease. Despite poor VA at presentation, most children had marked improvement by 6 months. Associated neurologic autoimmune diagnoses were common. These findings can be used to counsel families about the disease.
Jiang Y, Ondeck C. A Review of New Medications and Future Directions of Medical Therapies in Glaucoma. Semin Ophthalmol 2020;:1-7.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Treatment is still largely targeted at lowering intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressures can be lowered through a variety of topical medications, lasers and incisional surgeries. There are currently several classes of topical medications available in the US that are aimed at lowering intraocular pressure through a variety of different mechanisms. Additionally, there have been numerous different formulations and fixed-dose combination medications that offer greatly expanded treatment options over the last several years. The wide variety of topical medications aim to address the issues with compliance, effectiveness and side effect profile that vary among each individual patient and disease.  Purpose: Three new topical medications, netarsudil 0.02%, latanoprostene bunod 0.24% and fixed-dose combination netarsudil 0.02% - latanoprost 0.005% have been approved in the US market to treat glaucoma. This review article will summarize the studies looking at their effectiveness and side effect profiles and discuss their utilization in the treatment of glaucoma. Additionally, we will briefly discuss future directions of research in topical glaucoma medications. CONCLUSION: Three new topical glaucoma medications offer additional treatment options for patient with glaucoma. Further research is needed to better understand the utility of sustained release formulations in the treatment of glaucoma.
Venkateswaran N, Klavdianou O, Kondylis G, Kosmidis I, Palioura S. Paraneoplastic Pemphigus Associated with Bilateral Corneal Perforations in Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-3.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe a case of paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP) presenting as spontaneous bilateral corneal perforations in a patient with follicular dendritic cell sarcoma. METHODS: Retrospective chart review Results: A 73-year-old Greek woman with a history of follicular dendritic cell sarcoma (FDCS) presented with bilateral corneal perforations and a cicatrizing conjunctivitis. Her diagnosis was consistent with PNP with corneal and conjunctival involvement after a change in her chemotherapy regimen from intravenous cyclophosphamide to gemcitabine. She was treated with a multilayered amniotic membrane in the right eye and cyanoacrylate glue in the left eye. Systemic intravenous cyclophosphamide and oral prednisone were re-started. Both perforations healed but the patient passed away soon after precluding further follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular manifestations of PNP can rarely present with spontaneous corneal perforations. This is the first case of FDCS-associated PNP with corneal involvement. Such cases should be diagnosed expediently and managed with aggressive systemic immunosuppressive therapy.
Peli E. 2017 Charles F. Prentice Award Lecture: Peripheral Prisms for Visual Field Expansion: A Translational Journey. Optom Vis Sci 2020;97(10):833-846.Abstract
On the occasion of being awarded the Prentice Medal, I was asked to summarize my translational journey. Here I describe the process of becoming a low-vision rehabilitation clinician and researcher, frustrated by the unavailability of effective treatments for some conditions. This led to decades of working to understand patients' needs and the complexities and subtleties of their visual systems and conditions. It was followed by many iterations of developing vision aids and the techniques needed to objectively evaluate their benefit. I specifically address one path: the invention and development of peripheral prisms to expand the visual fields of patients with homonymous hemianopia, leading to our latest multiperiscopic prism (mirror-based design) with its clear 45° field-of-view image shift.
Subburaman G-BB, Kempen JH, Durairaj S, Balakrishnan V, Valaguru V, Namperumalsamy VP, Thulasiraj RD, Gupta S. Making the decision to donate eyes: Perspectives from the families of the deceased in Madurai, India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68(10):2094-2098.Abstract
Purpose: To identify factors affecting family members' decision whether to donate eye organs. Methods: A community-based case-control study based on in-home interviews with families of deceased individuals who had or had not donated eye organs, in Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, India. Data collected were knowledge and awareness of eye donations, whether the deceased individual had expressed or pledged willingness to donate, and family members' attitudes and willingness to donate their own eye organs. Results: Seventy-six families of donors and 256 families of non-donors completed the survey. Multivariable analysis showed that the following variables were significantly associated with a donation: age, whether the deceased had registered for eye donation, pre-expressed willingness of deceased to donate, whether family members personally know beneficiaries of eye donations, and higher score on a scale evaluating knowledge and awareness about eye donation. The majority of donors' families (71%) had been encouraged by someone to donate. Among non-donor families, a substantially larger fraction (52.8%) indicated they would have donated had someone reminded or encouraged them to do so, in comparison with those who indicated lack of awareness or knowledge (14.5%). Conclusion: Community programs are likely to be effective if they encourage individuals to pledge their eyes or express their willingness to donate their eyes to family members in advance of death; they increase public awareness of the value of eye donation. A friend, family member, neighbor or counselor approaching bereaved families and having a dialogue about eye donation would substantially increase the probability of a decision to donate.
Escuder AG, Kazlas MA, Heidary G, Hunter DG, Zurakowski D, Dagi LR. Incidence of symptomatic vertical and torsional diplopia after superior rectus transposition for esotropic Duane syndrome and abducens nerve palsy. J AAPOS 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the incidence of symptomatic vertical and torsional diplopia after superior rectus transposition (SRT) for esotropic Duane syndrome and abducens nerve palsy. METHODS: The medical records of patients with esotropic Duane syndrome or abducens nerve palsy seen at Boston Children's Hospital (2006-2018) and treated with unilateral SRT with or without augmentation was performed. The primary outcome was incidence of postoperative vertical or torsional diplopia in primary position. The secondary outcome was induced vertical deviation in affected side gaze. RESULTS: A total of 69 patients met inclusion criteria: 32 with abducens nerve palsy and 37 with esotropic Duane syndrome. Vertical alignment changed in both hyper- and hypotropic directions. Median pre- and postoperative vertical deviation in primary gaze was 1.1 (10th-90th percentile, 0-6 hypertropia) and 0.4 (10th-90th percentile, 6 hypotropia to 8 hypertropia), respectively. Postoperative vertical diplopia occurred in 7%, including 4 of 49 treated with loop myopexy (8%), 1 of 13 without augmentation (8%), and 0 of 7 treated with sclera-fixated augmentation. All but one was successfully treated with prism or secondary surgery. Intorsional change predominated, but no patient had torsional diplopia post adjustment. Vertical misalignment in affected side gaze increased from 19% to 45% after SRT (P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In this largest-to-date review of patients treated with SRT, with or without MR recession, no patient developed persistent torsional diplopia, while 7% developed symptomatic vertical diplopia in primary position, similar to the reported incidence after balanced vertical rectus transposition. Vertical misalignment in affected side gaze increased, however fusion is already limited by unresolved esotropia in this field.
Tayebi B, Sharif F, Han J-H. Smart filtering of phase residues in noisy wrapped holograms. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):16965.Abstract
Phase unwrapping is one of the major challenges in multiple branches of science that extract three-dimensional information of objects from wrapped signals. In several applications, it is important to extract the unwrapped information with minimal signal resolution degradation. However, most of the denoising techniques for unwrapping are designed to operate on the entire phase map to remove a limited number of phase residues, and therefore they significantly degrade critical information contained in the image. In this paper, we present a novel, smart, and automatic filtering technique for locally minimizing the number of phase residues in noisy wrapped holograms, based on the phasor average filtering (PAF) of patches around each residue point. Both patch sizes and PAF filters are increased in an iterative algorithm to minimize the number of residues and locally restrict the artifacts caused by filtering to the pixels around the residue pixels. Then, the improved wrapped phase can be unwrapped using a simple phase unwrapping technique. The feasibility of our method is confirmed by filtering, unwrapping, and enhancing the quality of a noisy hologram of neurons; the intensity distribution of the spatial frequencies demonstrates a 40-fold improvement, with respect to previous techniques, in preserving the higher frequencies.
Li Y, He X, Kawaguchi R, Zhang Y, Wang Q, Monavarfeshani A, Yang Z, Chen B, Shi Z, Meng H, Zhou S, Zhu J, Jacobi A, Swarup V, Popovich PG, Geschwind DH, He Z. Microglia-organized scar-free spinal cord repair in neonatal mice. Nature 2020;587(7835):613-618.Abstract
Spinal cord injury in mammals is thought to trigger scar formation with little regeneration of axons. Here we show that a crush injury to the spinal cord in neonatal mice leads to scar-free healing that permits the growth of long projecting axons through the lesion. Depletion of microglia in neonatal mice disrupts this healing process and stalls the regrowth of axons, suggesting that microglia are critical for orchestrating the injury response. Using single-cell RNA sequencing and functional analyses, we find that neonatal microglia are transiently activated and have at least two key roles in scar-free healing. First, they transiently secrete fibronectin and its binding proteins to form bridges of extracellular matrix that ligate the severed ends of the spinal cord. Second, neonatal-but not adult-microglia express several extracellular and intracellular peptidase inhibitors, as well as other molecules that are involved in resolving inflammation. We transplanted either neonatal microglia or adult microglia treated with peptidase inhibitors into spinal cord lesions of adult mice, and found that both types of microglia significantly improved healing and axon regrowth. Together, our results reveal the cellular and molecular basis of the nearly complete recovery of neonatal mice after spinal cord injury, and suggest strategies that could be used to facilitate scar-free healing in the adult mammalian nervous system.

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