PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In recent years, literature on neuroinflammatory disorders has dramatically expanded, as have options for treatment. However, few reviews have focused on skull-based manifestations of inflammatory disorders. RECENT FINDINGS: Here, we review the clinical manifestations, etiologies, diagnostic workup, and treatment of both systemic and localized inflammatory diseases of the skull base with a focus on recent updates to the literature. This review aims to guide the workup and management of this complex set of diseases.
The optic nerve conveys information about the outside world from the retina to multiple subcortical relay centers. Until recently, the optic nerve was widely believed to be incapable of re-growing if injured, with dire consequences for victims of traumatic, ischemic, or neurodegenerative diseases of this pathway. Over the past 10-20 years, research from our lab and others has made considerable progress in defining factors that normally suppress axon regeneration and the ability of retinal ganglion cells, the projection neurons of the retina, to survive after nerve injury. Here we describe research from our lab on the role of inflammation-derived growth factors, suppression of inter-cellular signals among diverse retinal cell types, and combinatorial therapies, along with related studies from other labs, that enable animals with optic nerve injury to regenerate damaged retinal axons back to the brain. These studies raise the possibility that vision might one day be restored to people with optic nerve damage.
Neurodegenerative diseases demonstrate the progressive decline of brain functions resulting in a significant deterioration in the quality of patient's life. With increasing life expectancy, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of these diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are devastating and afflicts a large world population. Eye, given the similar neural and vascular similarity to the brain, demonstrates many pathological hallmarks of some of these neurological diseases. Moreover, these diseases create an economic and social burden to society. Despite tremendous efforts made in the drug discovery, there is no cure for these fatal diseases. Thus, there is an unmet need to understand cellular and molecular pathophysiology of these diseases. All these diseases demonstrate damage to a large number of seemingly disparate cellular processes and functions such as Ca homeostasis, lipid metabolism, axonal transport, unfolded protein response, autophagy and inflammatory responses. Mitochondria are closely associated with Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ER-mitochondrial cross-talk regulates many of these cellular processes and functions damaged in neurodegenerative and eye diseases. Several studies have implicated the disruption of ER-mitochondria contacts in these diseases. This review is aimed at understanding and summarizing the role of ER-mitochondria interacting proteins in major neurodegenerative and eye diseases studied so far.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Optic neuritis is an autoimmune optic neuropathy that has been associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), and more recently antimyelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (anti-MOG)-positive disorder. At initial presentation, it is often difficult to differentiate these entities given their significant overlap in clinical presentation and MRI findings. This review summarizes the distinguishing clinical and radiological features of MS, NMOSD, and anti-MOG disorders to help clinicians accurately diagnose and manage patients affected by these conditions. RECENT FINDINGS: Antiaquaporin-4 (AQP4) and more recently anti-MOG antibodies are both associated with central nervous system demyelinating diseases that often initially present with optic neuritis. Serologic testing now allows for a new classification of these overlapping conditions that can help to differentiate 'typical' optic neuritis that is often associated with MS from 'atypical' optic neuritis associated with NMOSD and anti-MOG-positive disorder. SUMMARY: Optic neuritis associated with MS, NMOSD, and anti-MOG-positive disease can have a similar clinical presentation. However, some clinical and radiologic findings can help clinicians to differentiate these entities so that they can be properly managed to optimize visual prognosis.
OBJECTIVE: Revised diagnostic criteria for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) were proposed in part to reduce misdiagnosis of intracranial hypertension without papilledema (WOP) by using 3 or 4 MRI features of intracranial hypertension when a sixth nerve palsy is absent. This study was undertaken to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the MRI criteria and to validate their utility for diagnosing IIH in patients with chronic headaches and elevated opening pressure (CH + EOP), but WOP. METHODS: Brain MRIs from 80 patients with IIH with papilledema (WP), 33 patients with CH + EOP, and 70 control patients with infrequent episodic migraine were assessed in a masked fashion for MRI features of intracranial hypertension. RESULTS: Reduced pituitary gland height was moderately sensitive for IIH WP (80%) but had low specificity (64%). Increased optic nerve sheath diameter was less sensitive (51%) and only moderately specific (83%). Flattening of the posterior globe was highly specific (97%) but had low sensitivity (57%). Transverse venous sinus stenosis was moderately sensitive for IIH WP (78%) but of undetermined specificity. A combination of any 3 of 4 MRI features was nearly 100% specific, while maintaining a sensitivity of 64%. Of patients with CH + EOP, 30% had 3 or more MRI features, suggesting IIH WOP in those patients. CONCLUSION: A combination of any 3 of 4 MRI features is highly specific for intracranial hypertension and suggests IIH WOP when present in patients with chronic headache and no papilledema.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize recent advances in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA). RECENT FINDINGS: Less common manifestations of GCA include corneal edema, proptosis from lacrimal gland ischemia and sensorineuronal hearing loss. Histology studies have suggested that temporal artery biopsies (TAB) with fixed specimen lengths of 15 mm may be adequate to prevent false negative biopsies. In centers with appropriate radiologic expertise, a European rheumatology consensus guideline has proposed Doppler ultrasound as a first-line confirmatory test for GCA in lieu of temporal artery biopsy. Finding extracranial large vessel disease can help to diagnose GCA. Statistical prediction rules can help risk stratify patients with suspected GCA. Age and platelet level when maintained as continuous variables are the strongest predictors for GCA. SUMMARY: GCA can present with diverse ophthalmic and systemic presentations and expedient recognition of same can avoid diagnostic delay and possible vision loss, among other complications. TAB remains the conventional diagnostic standard test for GCA. The use of statistical prediction models and increased expertise in noninvasive imaging techniques such as ultrasound may decrease reliance on TAB, especially in patients determined to be at low risk for GCA.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Immune checkpoint inhibitors are currently an exceedingly powerful tool in the management of hitherto incurable malignancies and their use in clinical practice is expected to increase in the near future. The purpose of this review is to discuss the current medical uses of checkpoint inhibitors with a focus on their neuro-ophthalmic side-effects. RECENT FINDINGS: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have emerged as a promising breakthrough in the treatment of several tumor types. However, these targeted therapies can induce a wide range of immune-related ophthalmic and neuro-ophthalmic toxicities. It is important for neuro-ophthamologists to promptly recognize and manage these adverse events that can potentially threaten vision. SUMMARY: There are currently seven FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitors and several ones are under investigation. In general, immunotherapy is considered a well tolerated, safe and efficacious treatment option for many cancer patients. Nevertheless, because of their unique mechanism of action, these molecules can alter the immune response and result in immune-related adverse effects in almost every organ with an estimated incidence of ophthalmic side effects in this patient population of less than 1%.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The phakomatoses are a group of inherited disorders with variable clinical manifestations that are characterized by brain, cutaneous, ocular and other distinct lesions in multiple organs. Correctly recognizing the neuro-ophthalmic signs and symptoms can lead to early diagnosis and treatment. The group is composed of neurofibromatosis (type 1 and 2), tuberous sclerosis complex, von Hippel-Lindau, ataxia-telangiectasia and Sturge-Weber syndromes. However, more than 60 syndromes have been described in the medical literature. This review provides an update on the diagnosis and management of phakomatoses with a focus on their clinical neuro-ophthalmic manifestations. RECENT FINDINGS: Phakomatoses are a group of inherited syndromes with variable clinical manifestations that are characterized by brain, cutaneous, ocular and other distinct lesions in multiple organs. Recent advances in diagnostic and treatment options that have contributed to prompt recognition and management of these disorders are discussed with an emphasis on the beneficial effects on vision. SUMMARY: Phakomatoses, also known as neuro-oculo-cutaneous syndromes, are inherited disorders with characteristic lesions in multiple organs. Because of their frequent ocular involvement thorough ophthalmologic and neuro-ophthalmic evaluation is critical in this patient population in order to prevent vision loss and life-threatening complications that are often associated with these disorders.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Impaired eye movements are frequently seen in ophthalmic and neurologic clinical practice, especially in individuals with movement disorders. Identification of the abnormal movement can aid initial diagnosis and improve understanding of the underlying disease pathophysiology. The present article reviews the ocular motor manifestations and recent research on them in common movement disorders. RECENT FINDINGS: Ocular motor manifestations and their pathophysiologic correlates are being defined. In particular, study of eye movements can help clarify the changing clinicopathologic spectrum of atypical parkinsonian disorders. The pathophysiology and natural history of blepharospasm are being elucidated. Recent research focuses on high-resolution imaging and other technological advances to improve the sensitivity of the ocular motility exam. Eye movements are being studied as biomarkers for diagnosis and progression in clinical care and trials. SUMMARY: The current review summarizes ocular motor manifestations in common movement disorders, and presents recent research investigating their cause and treatment.
The protozoan parasite secretes proteins from specialized organelles, the rhoptries, and dense granules, which are involved in the modulation of host cell processes. Dense granule protein GRA15 activates the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway, which plays an important role in cell death, innate immunity, and inflammation. Exactly how GRA15 activates the NF-κB pathway is unknown. Here we show that GRA15 interacts with tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factors (TRAFs), which are adaptor proteins functioning upstream of the NF-κB transcription factor. We identified several TRAF binding sites in the GRA15 amino acid sequence and showed that these are involved in NF-κB activation. Furthermore, a TRAF2 knockout cell line has impaired GRA15-mediated NF-κB activation. Thus, we determined the mechanism for GRA15-dependent NF-κB activation. The parasite can cause birth defects and severe disease in immunosuppressed patients. Strain differences in pathogenicity exist, and these differences are due to polymorphic effector proteins that secretes into the host cell to coopt host cell functions. The effector protein GRA15 of some strains activates the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway, which plays an important role in cell death, innate immunity, and inflammation. We show that GRA15 interacts with TNF receptor-associated factors (TRAFs), which are adaptor proteins functioning upstream of the NF-κB transcription factor. Deletion of TRAF-binding sites in GRA15 greatly reduces its ability to activate the NF-κB pathway, and TRAF2 knockout cells have impaired GRA15-mediated NF-κB activation. Thus, we determined the mechanism for GRA15-dependent NF-κB activation.