Neuro-ophthalmology publications

Henao-Restrepo J, López-Murillo C, Valderrama-Carmona P, Orozco-Santa N, Gomez J, Gutiérrez-Vargas J, Moraga R, Toledo J, Littau JL, Härtel S, Arboleda-Velásquez JF, Sepulveda-Falla D, Lopera F, Cardona-Gómez GP, Villegas A, Posada-Duque R. Gliovascular alterations in sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease: APOE3 Christchurch homozygote glioprotection. Brain Pathol 2022;:e13119.Abstract
In response to brain insults, astrocytes become reactive, promoting protection and tissue repair. However, astroglial reactivity is typical of brain pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Considering the heterogeneity of the reactive response, the role of astrocytes in the course of different forms of AD has been underestimated. Colombia has the largest human group known to have familial AD (FAD). This group carries the autosomal dominant and fully penetrant mutation E280A in PSEN1, which causes early-onset AD. Recently, our group identified an E280A carrier who did not develop FAD. The individual was homozygous for the Christchurch mutation R136S in APOE3 (APOEch). Remarkably, APOE is the main genetic risk factor for developing sporadic AD (SAD) and most of cerebral ApoE is produced by astroglia. Here, we characterized astrocyte properties related to reactivity, glutamate homeostasis, and structural integrity of the gliovascular unit (GVU), as factors that could underlie the pathogenesis or protection of AD. Specifically, through histological and 3D microscopy analyses of postmortem samples, we briefly describe the histopathology and cytoarchitecture of the frontal cortex of SAD, FAD, and APOEch, and demonstrate that, while astrodegeneration and vascular deterioration are prominent in SAD, FAD is characterized by hyperreactive-like glia, and APOEch displays the mildest astrocytic and vascular alterations despite having the highest burden of Aβ. Notably, astroglial, gliovascular, and vascular disturbances, as well as brain cell death, correlate with the specific astrocytic phenotypes identified in each condition. This study provides new insights into the potential relevance of the gliovasculature in the development and protection of AD. To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the components of the GVU in human samples of SAD, FAD, and APOEch.
Chwalisz BK, Levy M. The Treatment of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody Disease: A State-of-the-Art Review. J Neuroophthalmol 2022;42(3):292-296.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD) is an important etiology of neurologic morbidity and specifically, atypical, and relapsing optic neuritis. This review summarizes acute treatment and long-term prevention approaches in MOGAD. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: PubMed and Google Scholar databases were manually searched and reviewed. RESULTS: We review the evidence base for acute treatment of MOGAD with corticosteroids and adjunct therapies, such as intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and plasma exchange. We discuss the utility of prolonged corticosteroid tapering after the acute attack. We then summarize the commonly used disease-modifying treatments for relapsing MOGAD, including chronic low-dose corticosteroids, classic antirheumatic immune suppressants, biologic agents, and IVIg. CONCLUSIONS: While acute MOGAD attacks are usually treated with high-dose IV corticosteroids, longer oral corticosteroid tapers may prevent rapid relapse. Multiple long-term treatment strategies are being employed in recurrent MOGAD, with IVIg is emerging as probably the most effective therapy.
Takatoh J, Prevosto V, Thompson PM, Lu J, Chung L, Harrahill A, Li S, Zhao S, He Z, Golomb D, Kleinfeld D, Wang F. The whisking oscillator circuit. Nature 2022;609(7927):560-568.Abstract
Central oscillators are primordial neural circuits that generate and control rhythmic movements1,2. Mechanistic understanding of these circuits requires genetic identification of the oscillator neurons and their synaptic connections to enable targeted electrophysiological recording and causal manipulation during behaviours. However, such targeting remains a challenge with mammalian systems. Here we delimit the oscillator circuit that drives rhythmic whisking-a motor action that is central to foraging and active sensing in rodents3,4. We found that the whisking oscillator consists of parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons located in the vibrissa intermediate reticular nucleus (vIRtPV) in the brainstem. vIRtPV neurons receive descending excitatory inputs and form recurrent inhibitory connections among themselves. Silencing vIRtPV neurons eliminated rhythmic whisking and resulted in sustained vibrissae protraction. In vivo recording of opto-tagged vIRtPV neurons in awake mice showed that these cells spike tonically when animals are at rest, and transition to rhythmic bursting at the onset of whisking, suggesting that rhythm generation is probably the result of network dynamics, as opposed to intrinsic cellular properties. Notably, ablating inhibitory synaptic inputs to vIRtPV neurons quenched their rhythmic bursting, impaired the tonic-to-bursting transition and abolished regular whisking. Thus, the whisking oscillator is an all-inhibitory network and recurrent synaptic inhibition has a key role in its rhythmogenesis.
Lin LY, Pan W, Ying G-S, Binenbaum G. Ocular Findings in Children with Headache. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2022;:1-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of ophthalmological findings suggesting an ocular cause for headache or occult neurological disease, among children with headache. METHODS: Retrospective cross-sectional study on children with headache at a tertiary outpatient ophthalmology clinic. All children underwent sensorimotor, anterior segment, and dilated fundoscopic examinations, with or without cycloplegic refraction. Prevalence of one or more new findings of ocular or occult neurological cause of headache, including glaucoma, uveitis, optic nerve elevation, or possible asthenopia from strabismus or refractive issues. Headache characteristics and associated symptoms were evaluated as risk factors for ocular findings. RESULTS: Among 1,878 children with headache (mean age 10 yrs, range 2-18), 492 (26.1%, 95% CI 24.3-28.2%) children had one or more new ocular findings that could cause headache or indicate intracranial disease: refractive issues (342, 18.2%), strabismus (83, 4.4%), optic nerve elevation (51, 2.7%; 26 with papilledema, 25 with pseudopapilledema), uveitis (6, 0.3%), and glaucoma (2, 0.1%). Shorter headache duration was associated with ocular findings (p = .047), but headache frequency, photophobia, nausea/vomiting, and visual changes were not. In univariable analysis, visual changes (p ≤ .001), nausea/vomiting (p ≤ .002), and morning headache (p = .02) were associated with optic nerve elevation. CONCLUSION: An ophthalmologic examination including cycloplegic refraction is indicated in children with headache, as one-quarter have a treatable ocular condition, which may be related to the headache, or sign of intracranial pathology. While nausea, visual changes, or morning headache should raise concern, coincident visual, ocular, or systemic symptoms are not reliable predictors of discovering ocular pathology in a child with headache.
Galetta K, Ryan S, Manzano G, Chibnik LB, Balaban D, Prasad S, Chwalisz BK, Salazar-Camelo A, Conway S, Levy M, Matiello M. Treatment outcomes of first-ever episode of severe optic neuritis. Mult Scler Relat Disord 2022;66:104020.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Severe optic neuritis (ON) is an acute inflammatory attack of the optic nerve(s) leading to severe visual loss that may occur in isolation or as part of a relapsing neuroinflammatory disease, such neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody associated disease (MOGAD), or more rarely multiple sclerosis (MS). In cases of first-ever severe ON of uncertain etiology best treatment strategies remain unclear. METHODS: We reviewed records of all patients with a documented diagnosis of ON between 2004 and 2019 at Mass General Brigham (MGB) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) hospitals. Out of 381 patients identified, 90 (23.6%) satisfied the study criteria for severe ON with visual acuity (VA) equal to or worse than 20/200 (logMAR=1) at nadir in the affected eye and had sufficient follow-up data. Treatment strategies with corticosteroids only or treatment escalation with therapeutic plasma exchange (PLEX) after steroids were compared and evaluated for differences in visual outcomes at follow-up. RESULTS: Of the 90 patients with severe optic neuritis, 71(78.9%) received corticosteroids only, and 19 (17.0%) underwent PLEX following corticosteroids. Of the 71 patients who received steroids without escalation to PLEX, 30 patients (42.2%) achieved complete recovery (VA 20/20 on the affected eye), whereas 35 (49.3%) had a partial recovery and 6 (8.4%) had no recovery. Among the 19 corticosteroid non-responders patients who underwent escalation treatment, 13 (68.4%) made complete recovery, 6 (31.6%) had partial visual recoveries (p=0.0434). The median delta logMAR of patients who underwent escalation of care was -1.2 compared with 2.0 for the ones who did not (p=0.0208). A change of delta logmar 2.0 is equivalent of going from hand motion to light perception and the positive delta value refers to intra-attack worsening. Other than not responding to steroids, patients who underwent PLEX tended to have more severe ON with significantly worse nadir visual acuity compared with those who received corticosteroids alone (logMAR 3.12 (min 2.0 - max 5.0) vs. 2.17 (min 1.3 - max 3.0); p=0.004). CONCLUSION: In our cohort of first-ever severe optic neuritis of unknown etiology, patients that did not respond adequately to corticosteroids benefited from treatment escalation to PLEX, followed in most cases by Rituximab, regardless of final etiology. Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the best treatment strategies.
Master CL, Bacal D, Grady MF, Hertle R, Shah AS, Strominger M, Whitecross S, Bradford GE, Lum F, Donahue SP. Vision and Concussion: Symptoms, Signs, Evaluation, and Treatment. Pediatrics 2022;Abstract
Visual symptoms are common after concussion in children and adolescents, making it essential for clinicians to understand how to screen, identify, and initiate clinical management of visual symptoms in pediatric patients after this common childhood injury. Although most children and adolescents with visual symptoms after concussion will recover on their own by 4 weeks, for a subset who do not have spontaneous recovery, referral to a specialist with experience in comprehensive concussion management (eg, sports medicine, neurology, neuropsychology, physiatry, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology) for additional assessment and treatment may be necessary. A vision-specific history and a thorough visual system examination are warranted, including an assessment of visual acuity, ocular alignment in all positions of gaze, smooth pursuit (visual tracking of a moving object), saccades (visual fixation shifting between stationary targets), vestibulo-ocular reflex (maintaining image focus during movement), near point of convergence (focusing with both eyes at near and accommodation (focusing with one eye at near because any of these functions may be disturbed after concussion. These deficits may contribute to difficulty with returning to both play and the learning setting at school, making the identification of these problems early after injury important for the clinician to provide relevant learning accommodations, such as larger font, preprinted notes, and temporary use of audio books. Early identification and appropriate management of visual symptoms, such as convergence insufficiency or accommodative insufficiency, may mitigate the negative effects of concussion on children and adolescents and their quality of life.
Sepulveda-Falla D, Sanchez JS, Almeida MC, Boassa D, Acosta-Uribe J, Vila-Castelar C, Ramirez-Gomez L, Baena A, Aguillon D, Villalba-Moreno ND, Littau JL, Villegas A, Beach TG, White CL, Ellisman M, Krasemann S, Glatzel M, Johnson KA, Sperling RA, Reiman EM, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kosik KS, Lopera F, Quiroz YT. Distinct tau neuropathology and cellular profiles of an APOE3 Christchurch homozygote protected against autosomal dominant Alzheimer's dementia. Acta Neuropathol 2022;144(3):589-601.Abstract
We describe in vivo follow-up PET imaging and postmortem findings from an autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease (ADAD) PSEN1 E280A carrier who was also homozygous for the APOE3 Christchurch (APOE3ch) variant and was protected against Alzheimer's symptoms for almost three decades beyond the expected age of onset. We identified a distinct anatomical pattern of tau pathology with atypical accumulation in vivo and unusual postmortem regional distribution characterized by sparing in the frontal cortex and severe pathology in the occipital cortex. The frontal cortex and the hippocampus, less affected than the occipital cortex by tau pathology, contained Related Orphan Receptor B (RORB) positive neurons, homeostatic astrocytes and higher APOE expression. The occipital cortex, the only cortical region showing cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), exhibited a distinctive chronic inflammatory microglial profile and lower APOE expression. Thus, the Christchurch variant may impact the distribution of tau pathology, modulate age at onset, severity, progression, and clinical presentation of ADAD, suggesting possible therapeutic strategies.
Cheng Y, Yin Y, Zhang A, Bernstein AM, Kawaguchi R, Gao K, Potter K, Gilbert H-Y, Ao Y, Ou J, Fricano-Kugler CJ, Goldberg JL, He Z, Woolf CJ, Sofroniew MV, Benowitz LI, Geschwind DH. Transcription factor network analysis identifies REST/NRSF as an intrinsic regulator of CNS regeneration in mice. Nat Commun 2022;13(1):4418.Abstract
The inability of neurons to regenerate long axons within the CNS is a major impediment to improving outcome after spinal cord injury, stroke, and other CNS insults. Recent advances have uncovered an intrinsic program that involves coordinate regulation by multiple transcription factors that can be manipulated to enhance growth in the peripheral nervous system. Here, we use a systems genomics approach to characterize regulatory relationships of regeneration-associated transcription factors, identifying RE1-Silencing Transcription Factor (REST; Neuron-Restrictive Silencer Factor, NRSF) as a predicted upstream suppressor of a pro-regenerative gene program associated with axon regeneration in the CNS. We validate our predictions using multiple paradigms, showing that mature mice bearing cell type-specific deletions of REST or expressing dominant-negative mutant REST show improved regeneration of the corticospinal tract and optic nerve after spinal cord injury and optic nerve crush, which is accompanied by upregulation of regeneration-associated genes in cortical motor neurons and retinal ganglion cells, respectively. These analyses identify a role for REST as an upstream suppressor of the intrinsic regenerative program in the CNS and demonstrate the utility of a systems biology approach involving integrative genomics and bio-informatics to prioritize hypotheses relevant to CNS repair.
Li L-Y, Wang Y-Y, Gao J-W, Chen J, Kang M, Ying P, Liao XL, Wang Y, Zou J, Su T, Wei H, Shao Y. The Predictive Potential of Altered Voxel-Based Morphometry in Severely Obese Patients With Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Front Neurosci 2022;16:939268.Abstract
Objective: To investigate voxel-based morphometry (VBM) by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in meibomian gland dysfunction patients with severe obesity (PATs) and to explore the application of VBM in the early diagnosis, prevention of cognitive impairment and targeted treatment of this disease. Methods: Sixteen PATs and 12 healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled and underwent MRI. Whole-head images were analyzed using VBM and data were compared between groups using an independent samples t-test. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were utilized to assess the diagnostic value of this approach. Mini-mental state examination (MMSE) scores were used to assess cognitive impairment and were analyzed using an independent samples t-test. Results: Compared with HCs, the VBM values in PATs were reduced in the left cerebellum and right thalamus but increased in the right brainstem, right precuneus and right paracentral lobule. The results of ROC curve analysis indicated that VBM may be useful in meibomian gland disease diagnosis. Comparison of MMSE scores between groups showed mild cognitive impairment in PATs. Conclusion: PATs showed altered VBM values in some brain areas. These findings may provide information about the pathophysiology of meibomian gland dysfunction and may help to explain the underlying mechanisms of clinical manifestations in PATs, such as cognitive impairment. Abnormal VBM values in these brain areas may serve as predictive factors for development of meibomian gland disease in severely obese people and as indicators for individualized treatment.
Gaier ED, Rasool N, Rizzo JF. Sectoral Sparing Associated With a Cilioretinal Artery in Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. J Neuroophthalmol 2022;42(2):e514-e516.Abstract
ABSTRACT: Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a life-threatening vasculitis occurring in older adults that can cause blindness by ischemia of the choroid, retina, and optic nerve. We report a case of a patient who presented with "occult" GCA with severe anterior ischemic optic neuropathy affecting both optic nerves, delayed choroidal filling, and a concomitant cilioretinal artery occlusion in the left eye. The retinal territory supplied by the affected cilioretinal artery was hypoperfused, yet this retinal territory at least partially corresponded to the only preserved visual field in that eye. The sector of the optic disc corresponding to the emergence of the cilioretinal artery was the only sector spared by pallid edema. This pattern of sectoral sparing associated with a cilioretinal artery has been observed in other patients with GCA and in animal models of posterior ciliary artery occlusion. This case serves as a clear example of an incompletely understood phenomenon in posterior pole circulation in vascular occlusive disease that deserves further study.
Liebman DL, Tam EK, Lithgow MY, Kane JE, Fischbein NJ, Lefebvre DR, Chwalisz BK, Gaier ED. Optic Perineuritis Associated With Cryptococcal Meningitis Presenting With a "Hot Orbit" in a Patient With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. J Neuroophthalmol 2022;42(2):272-277.Abstract
ABSTRACT: A 75-year-old man presented with 3 days of progressive left retro-orbital pain, eyelid swelling, tearing, and pain with extraocular movement. His medical history was significant for type II diabetes mellitus and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, stable on no therapy since diagnosis 8 years prior. The initial examination was significant for diffuse restriction of left ocular motility, marked lid edema, and mild dyschromatopsia. Computed tomography demonstrated asymmetric left periorbital soft tissue swelling and intraconal fat stranding with an irregular left optic nerve sheath complex and clear paranasal sinuses. He was hospitalized for orbital cellulitis and treated empirically with broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics, but his visual acuity declined over the ensuing 2 days. Subsequent MRI demonstrated left-greater-than-right circumferential optic nerve sheath enhancement, and leptomeningeal enhancement. An orbital biopsy demonstrated monoclonal B-cell lymphocyte aggregation, whereas a lumbar puncture was positive for Cryptococcus antigen with subsequent demonstration of abundant Cryptococcus by Papanicolaou stain. The final diagnosis was optic perineuritis secondary to cryptococcal meningitis presenting with orbital inflammation. Although his clinical course was complicated by immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, symptoms and signs of optic neuropathy ultimately resolved after 1 month of intensive antifungal therapy.
Buch KA, Bouffard MA, Kardon RH, Wills A-MA, Privitera CM, Sharma M, Wray SH. Clinical Correlation Between Vertical Gaze Palsy and Midbrain Volume in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. J Neuroophthalmol 2022;42(2):246-250.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Supranuclear vertical gaze palsies and slowed vertical saccades are characteristic clinic features of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). The "hummingbird sign," reflective of midbrain atrophy, is a classic radiographic sign of PSP. Correlation between eye movement abnormalities and radiographic findings in PSP has been reported previously. However, due to the use of clinical criteria not commonly employed in neuro-ophthalmic practice and neuroimaging techniques that are not widely available, it remains unclear whether correlation between midbrain structure and characteristic ocular-motor disturbances can be helpful to neuro-ophthalmologists seeking to adjudicate difficult or unusual diagnostic cases. METHODS: Patients with a diagnosis of probable PSP according to Movement Disorders Society criteria were studied retrospectively. A neuroradiologist calculated brainstem volumes in enrolled participants and normal controls. Spearman correlations were used to correlate the extent of eye movement limitation as assessed by 2 neuro-ophthalmologists with brainstem volumes. RESULTS: Fourteen participants with PSP and 15 healthy controls with similar age and gender distribution were enrolled and evaluated retrospectively. All 14 participants with PSP had undergone MRIs. Midbrain atrophy significantly correlated with the PSP rating scale (P < 0.001). PSP patients had significantly reduced volumes in the midbrain (P -0.0026), tegmentum (0.0001), tectum (0.0001), and medulla (P = 0.0024) compared with normal controls. Notes documenting quantified ocular motor function were available in 7 of 14 participants with PSP. Midbrain atrophy significantly correlated with in the extent of upward gaze limitation (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: The severity of upward gaze limitation correlates with the severity of midbrain atrophy in patients with PSP. Recognition of this correlation may help to adjudicate diagnostic dilemmas and guide further evaluation.
Littau JL, Velilla L, Hase Y, Villalba-Moreno ND, Hagel C, Drexler D, Osorio Restrepo S, Villegas A, Lopera F, Vargas S, Glatzel M, Krasemann S, Quiroz YT, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kalaria R, Sepulveda-Falla D. Evidence of beta amyloid independent small vessel disease in familial Alzheimer's disease. Brain Pathol 2022;:e13097.Abstract
We studied small vessel disease (SVD) pathology in Familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) subjects carrying the presenilin 1 (PSEN1) p.Glu280Ala mutation in comparison to those with sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD) as a positive control for Alzheimer's pathology and Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) bearing different NOTCH3 mutations, as positive controls for SVD pathology. Upon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in life, some FAD showed mild white matter hyperintensities and no further radiologic evidence of SVD. In post-mortem studies, total SVD pathology in cortical areas and basal ganglia was similar in PSEN1 FAD and CADASIL subjects, except for the feature of arteriosclerosis which was higher in CADASIL subjects than in PSEN1 FAD subjects. Further only a few SAD subjects showed a similar degree of SVD pathology as observed in CADASIL. Furthermore, we found significantly enlarged perivascular spaces in vessels devoid of cerebral amyloid angiopathy in FAD compared with SAD and CADASIL subjects. As expected, there was greater fibrinogen-positive perivascular reactivity in CADASIL but similar reactivity in PSEN1 FAD and SAD groups. Fibrinogen immunoreactivity correlated with onset age in the PSEN1 FAD cases, suggesting increased vascular permeability may contribute to cognitive decline. Additionally, we found reduced perivascular expression of PDGFRβ AQP4 in microvessels with enlarged PVS in PSEN1 FAD cases. We demonstrate that there is Aβ-independent SVD pathology in PSEN1 FAD, that was marginally lower than that in CADASIL subjects although not evident by MRI. These observations suggest presence of covert SVD even in PSEN1, contributing to disease progression. As is the case in SAD, these consequences may be preventable by early recognition and actively controlling vascular disease risk, even in familial forms of dementia.