Neuro-ophthalmology

Neuro-ophthalmology publications

Tisdale AK, Chwalisz BK. Neuro-ophthalmic manifestations of coronavirus disease 19. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2020;31(6):489-494.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide a summary of the neuro-ophthalmic manifestations of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), documented in the literature thus far. RECENT FINDINGS: A small but growing literature documents cases of new onset neuro-ophthalmic disease, in the setting of COVID-19 infection. Patients with COVID-19 have experienced acute onset vision loss, optic neuritis, cranial neuropathies, and Miller Fisher syndrome. In addition, COVID-19 increases the risk of cerebrovascular diseases that can impact the visual system. SUMMARY: The literature on COVID-19 continues to evolve. Although COVID-19 primarily impacts the respiratory system, there are several reports of new onset neuro-ophthalmic conditions in COVID-infected patients. When patients present with new onset neuro-ophthalmic issues, COVID-19 should be kept on the differential. Testing for COVID-19 should be considered, especially when fever or respiratory symptoms are also present. When screening general patients for COVID-19-associated symptoms, frontline physicians can consider including questions about diplopia, eye pain, pain with extraocular movements, decreased vision, gait issues, and other neurologic symptoms. The presence of these symptoms may increase the overall probability of viral infection, especially when fever or respiratory symptoms are present. More research is needed to establish a causal relationship between COVID-19 and neuro-ophthalmic disease, and better understand pathogenesis.
Sharif F, Tayebi B, Buzsáki G, Royer S, Fernandez-Ruiz A. Subcircuits of Deep and Superficial CA1 Place Cells Support Efficient Spatial Coding across Heterogeneous Environments. Neuron 2020;Abstract
The hippocampus is thought to guide navigation by forming a cognitive map of space. Different environments differ in geometry and the availability of cues that can be used for navigation. Although several spatial coding mechanisms are known to coexist in the hippocampus, how they are influenced by various environmental features is not well understood. To address this issue, we examined the spatial coding characteristics of hippocampal neurons in mice and rats navigating in different environments. We found that CA1 place cells located in the superficial sublayer were more active in cue-poor environments and preferentially used a firing rate code driven by intra-hippocampal inputs. In contrast, place cells located in the deep sublayer were more active in cue-rich environments and used a phase code driven by entorhinal inputs. Switching between these two spatial coding modes was supported by the interaction between excitatory gamma inputs and local inhibition.
Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Cestari DM. Optic nerve sheath meningioma. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2020;31(6):455-461.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Optic nerve sheath meningiomas (ONSMs) are rare benign tumors of the anterior visual pathway which present with slowly progressive and painless vision loss and account for approximately 2% of all orbital tumors. This article provides an overview as well as an update on the ONSMs with regards to cause, epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management in adults and pediatric population. RECENT FINDINGS: The clinical presentation and prognosis of ONSMs can vary and largely depend on the location of tumor as well as the histologic type. Overall, the diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, examination, and neuroimaging findings. Nevertheless, delays in diagnosis or misdiagnosis are not uncommon and can result in higher morbidity rates. Recent advances in diagnostic as well as more effective and less-invasive treatment options are discussed in this review. SUMMARY: ONSMs are a rare cause of slowly progressive and inexorable visual loss. Although ONSM diagnosis depends on the characteristic clinical and radiologic findings, prompt diagnosis, and appropriate management is critical for favorable visual outcomes. Thus, current focus is optimizing diagnostic as well-treatment methods for patients with ONSMs.
Truong-Le M, Chwalisz B. Antibody Testing in Atypical Optic Neuritis. Semin Ophthalmol 2020;:1-9.Abstract
Optic neuritis (ON) is a common manifestation of central nervous system demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The last two decades have seen increasing recognition of atypical optic neuritis syndromes, driven in large part by characterization of demyelinating diseases associated with antibodies to aquaporin 4 (AQP4) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). Given their increased importance in the workup of ON, familiarity with serological tests for ON has become essential for ophthalmologists. This review will discuss technological aspects, performance, and clinical implications of serological tests for atypical ON.
Redler Y, Levy M. Rodent Models of Optic Neuritis. Front Neurol 2020;11:580951.Abstract
Optic neuritis (ON) is an inflammatory attack of the optic nerve that leads to visual disability. It is the most common optic neuropathy affecting healthy young adults, most commonly women aged 20-45 years. It can be idiopathic and monophasic or as part of a neurologic disease such as multiple sclerosis with recurrence and cumulative damage. Currently, there is no therapy to repair the damage from optic neuritis. Animal models are an essential tool for the understanding of the pathogenesis of optic neuritis and for the development of potential treatment strategies. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the most commonly used experimental rodent model for human autoimmune inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). In this review, we discuss the latest rodent models regarding optic neuritis, focusing on EAE model, and on its recent achievements and developments.
Wladis EJ, Aakalu VK, Sobel RK, McCulley TJ, Foster JA, Tao JP, Freitag SK, Yen MT. Ophthalmic Technology Assessment Interventions for Indirect Traumatic Optic Neuropathy A report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2020;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on the efficacy and safety of medical and surgical interventions for indirect traumatic optic neuropathy (TON), defined as injury to the nerve that occurs distal to the optic nerve head itself. METHODS: A literature search was last conducted on October 22, 2019 and updated on April 8, 2020 in the PubMed database for English-language original research that assessed the effect of various interventions for indirect TON. One-hundred and seventy-two articles were identified; 41 met the inclusion criteria outlined for assessment and were selected for full-text review and abstraction. On full-text review, a total of 32 studies met all of the study criteria, and were included in the analysis. RESULTS: No study met criteria for level I evidence. Seven studies (1 level II study, 6 level III studies) explored corticosteroid therapy that did not have uniformly better outcomes than observation. Twenty (3 level II study, 17 level III studies) assessed optic canal decompression and the use of corticosteroids. Even though visual improvement was noted after decompression, studies that directly compared surgery with medical therapy did not report uniformly improved outcomes after decompression. Four studies (1 level II study, 3 level III studies) evaluated the use of erythropoietin. Although initial studies demonstrated benefit, a direct comparison of its use with observation and corticosteroids failed to confirm the utility of this medication. One study (level II) documented visual improvement with levodopa-carbidopa. Complication rates were variable with all of these interventions. Pharmacologic interventions were generally associated with few complications, whereas optical canal decompression carried risks of serious side effects, including hemorrhages and cerebrospinal fluid leakage. CONCLUSIONS: Despite reports of visual improvement with corticosteroids, optic canal decompression, and medical therapy for indirect TON, the weight of published evidence does not demonstrate a consistent benefit for any of these interventions. In summary, there is no consensus from studies published to date on a preferred treatment for TON. Treatment strategies should be customized for each individual patient. More definitive treatment trials will be needed to identify optimal treatment strategies for indirect TON.
Dohlman JC, Cestari DM, Freitag SK. Orbital disease in neuro-ophthalmology. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2020;31(6):469-474.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Orbital disease represents a diverse spectrum of pathology and can result in a variety of neuro-ophthalmic manifestations. The aim of this review is to provide updates on recent advances in our understanding of orbital disease secondary to thyroid eye disease, myositis, IgG4-related disease, sarcoidosis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and various tumours. RECENT FINDINGS: With regards to thyroid eye disease, there have been recent advances in the development of steroid-sparing therapies, new modalities for objectively monitoring disease activity and increased understanding of the role of environmental risk factors. There has been interest in characterizing the clinical course and underlying mechanism of optic nerve disease secondary to orbital disorders, which has led to advances in how we monitor for and prevent permanent vision loss. Increased knowledge of orbital tumour subtype histopathology and the development of novel classification systems has had prognostic value and aided medical decision-making. SUMMARY: Orbital disease occurs secondary to a wide variety of diseases and can lead to neuro-ophthalmic manifestations with significant morbidity. Advances in our understanding of different subtypes of orbital disease have improved our ability to treat these potentially debilitating conditions.
Venkatraman P, Mills-Henry I, Padmanabhan KR, Pascuzzi P, Hassan M, Zhang J, Zhang X, Ma P, Pang CP, Dowling JE, Zhang M, Leung YF. Rods Contribute to Visual Behavior in Larval Zebrafish. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2020;61(12):11.Abstract
Purpose: Although zebrafish rods begin to develop as early as 2 days postfertilization (dpf), they are not deemed anatomically mature and functional until 15 to 21 dpf. A recent study detected a small electroretinogram (ERG) from rods in a cone mutant called no optokinetic response f (nof) at 5 dpf, suggesting that young rods are functional. Whether they can mediate behavioral responses in larvae is unknown. Methods: We first confirmed rod function by measuring nof ERGs under photopic and scotopic illumination at 6 dpf. We evaluated the role of rods in visual behaviors using two different assays: the visual-motor response (VMR) and optokinetic response (OKR). We measured responses from wild-type (WT) larvae and nof mutants under photopic and scotopic illuminations at 6 dpf. Results: Nof mutants lacked a photopic ERG. However, after prolonged dark adaptation, they displayed scotopic ERGs. Compared with WT larvae, the nof mutants displayed reduced VMRs. The VMR difference during light onset gradually diminished with decreased illumination and became nearly identical at lower light intensities. Additionally, light-adapted nof mutants did not display an OKR, whereas dark-adapted nof mutants displayed scotopic OKRs. Conclusions: Because the nof mutants lacked a photopic ERG but displayed scotopic ERGs after dark adaptation, the mutants clearly had functional rods. WT larvae and the nof mutants displayed comparable scotopic light-On VMRs and scotopic OKRs after dark adaptation, suggesting that these responses were driven primarily by rods. Together, these observations indicate that rods contribute to zebrafish visual behaviors as early as 6 dpf.
Waldman AT, Benson L, Sollee JR, Lavery AM, Liu GW, Green AJ, Waubant E, Heidary G, Conger D, Graves J, Greenberg B. Interocular Difference in Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Predicts Optic Neuritis in Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis. J Neuroophthalmol 2020;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is capable of quantifying retinal damage. Defining the extent of anterior visual pathway injury is important in multiple sclerosis (MS) as a way to document evidence of prior disease, including subclinical injury, and setting a baseline for patients early in the course of disease. Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness is typically classified as low if values fall outside of a predefined range for a healthy population. In adults, an interocular difference (IOD) in RNFL thickness greater than 5 μm identified a history of unilateral optic neuritis (ON). Through our PERCEPTION (PEdiatric Research Collaboration ExPloring Tests in Ocular Neuroimmunology) study, we explored whether RNFL IOD informs on remote ON in a multicenter pediatric-onset MS (POMS) cohort. METHODS: POMS (defined using consensus criteria and first attack <18 years) patients were recruited from 4 academic centers. A clinical history of ON (>6 months prior to an OCT scan) was confirmed by medical record review. RNFL thickness was measured on Spectralis machines (Heidelberg, Germany). Using a cohort of healthy controls from our centers tested on the same machines, RNFL thickness <86 μm (<2 SDs below the mean) was defined as abnormal. Based on previously published findings in adults, an RNFL IOD >5 μm was defined as abnormal. The proportions of POMS participants with RNFL thinning (<86 μm) and abnormal IOD (>5 μm) were calculated. Logistic regression was used to determine whether IOD was associated with remote ON. RESULTS: A total of 157 participants with POMS (mean age 15.2 years, SD 3.2; 67 [43%] with remote ON) were enrolled. RNFL thinning occurred in 45 of 90 (50%) ON eyes and 24 of 224 (11%) non-ON eyes. An IOD >5 μm was associated with a history of remote ON (P < 0.001). An IOD >5 μm occurred in 62 participants, 40 (65%) with remote ON. Among 33 participants with remote ON but normal RNFL values (≥86 μm in both eyes), 14 (42%) were confirmed to have ON by IOD criteria (>5 μm). CONCLUSIONS: In POMS, the diagnostic yield of OCT in confirming remote ON is enhanced by considering RNFL IOD, especially for those patients with RNFL thickness for each eye in the normal range. An IOD >5 μm in patients with previous visual symptoms suggests a history of remote ON.
Wang J, He X, Meng H, Li Y, Dmitriev P, Tian F, Page JC, Lu RQ, He Z. Robust Myelination of Regenerated Axons Induced by Combined Manipulations of GPR17 and Microglia. Neuron 2020;Abstract
Myelination facilitates rapid axonal conduction, enabling efficient communication across different parts of the nervous system. Here we examined mechanisms controlling myelination after injury and during axon regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS). Previously, we discovered multiple molecular pathways and strategies that could promote robust axon regrowth after optic nerve injury. However, regenerated axons remain unmyelinated, and the underlying mechanisms are elusive. In this study, we found that, in injured optic nerves, oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) undergo transient proliferation but fail to differentiate into mature myelination-competent oligodendrocytes, reminiscent of what is observed in human progressive multiple sclerosis. Mechanistically, we showed that OPC-intrinsic GPR17 signaling and sustained activation of microglia inhibit different stages of OPC differentiation. Importantly, co-manipulation of GPR17 and microglia led to extensive myelination of regenerated axons. The regulatory mechanisms of stage-dependent OPC differentiation uncovered here suggest a translatable strategy for efficient de novo myelination after CNS injury.
Duarte D, Bauer CCC, Pinto CB, Saleh Velez FG, Estudillo-Guerra MA, Pacheco-Barrios K, Gunduz ME, Crandell D, Merabet L, Fregni F. Cortical plasticity in phantom limb pain: A fMRI study on the neural correlates of behavioral clinical manifestations. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 2020;304:111151.Abstract
The neural mechanism of phantom limb pain (PLP) is related to the intense brain reorganization process implicating plasticity after deafferentation mostly in sensorimotor system. There is a limited understanding of the association between the sensorimotor system and PLP. We used a novel task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach to (1) assess neural activation within a-priori selected regions-of-interested (motor cortex [M1], somatosensory cortex [S1], and visual cortex [V1]), (2) quantify the cortical representation shift in the affected M1, and (3) correlate these changes with baseline clinical characteristics. In a sample of 18 participants, we found a significantly increased activity in M1 and S1 as well as a shift in motor cortex representation that was not related to PLP intensity. In an exploratory analyses (not corrected for multiple comparisons), they were directly correlated with time since amputation; and there was an association between increased activity in M1 with a lack of itching sensation and V1 activation was negatively correlated with PLP. Longer periods of amputation lead to compensatory changes in sensory-motor areas; and itching seems to be a protective marker for less signal changes. We confirmed that PLP intensity is not associated with signal changes in M1 and S1 but in V1.
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.
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.

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