Neuro-ophthalmology publications

Brommer B, He M, Zhang Z, Yang Z, Page JC, Su J, Zhang Y, Zhu J, Gouy E, Tang J, Williams P, Dai W, Wang Q, Solinsky R, Chen B, He Z. Improving hindlimb locomotor function by Non-invasive AAV-mediated manipulations of propriospinal neurons in mice with complete spinal cord injury. Nat Commun 2021;12(1):781.Abstract
After complete spinal cord injuries (SCI), spinal segments below the lesion maintain inter-segmental communication via the intraspinal propriospinal network. However, it is unknown whether selective manipulation of these circuits can restore locomotor function in the absence of brain-derived inputs. By taking advantage of the compromised blood-spinal cord barrier following SCI, we optimized a set of procedures in which AAV9 vectors administered via the tail vein efficiently transduce neurons in lesion-adjacent spinal segments after a thoracic crush injury in adult mice. With this method, we used chemogenetic actuators to alter the excitability of propriospinal neurons in the thoracic cord of the adult mice with a complete thoracic crush injury. We showed that activating these thoracic neurons enables consistent and significant hindlimb stepping improvement, whereas direct manipulations of the neurons in the lumbar spinal cord led to muscle spasms without meaningful locomotion. Strikingly, manipulating either excitatory or inhibitory propriospinal neurons in the thoracic levels leads to distinct behavioural outcomes, with preferential effects on standing or stepping, two key elements of the locomotor function. These results demonstrate a strategy of engaging thoracic propriospinal neurons to improve hindlimb function and provide insights into optimizing neuromodulation-based strategies for treating SCI.
Styliadis C, Leung R, Özcan S, Moulton EA, Pang E, Taylor MJ, Papadelis C. Atypical spatiotemporal activation of cerebellar lobules during emotional face processing in adolescents with autism. Hum Brain Mapp 2021;Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by social deficits and atypical facial processing of emotional expressions. The underlying neuropathology of these abnormalities is still unclear. Recent studies implicate cerebellum in emotional processing; other studies show cerebellar abnormalities in ASD. Here, we elucidate the spatiotemporal activation of cerebellar lobules in ASD during emotional processing of happy and angry faces in adolescents with ASD and typically developing (TD) controls. Using magnetoencephalography, we calculated dynamic statistical parametric maps across a period of 500 ms after emotional stimuli onset and determined differences between group activity to happy and angry emotions. Following happy face presentation, adolescents with ASD exhibited only left-hemispheric cerebellar activation in a cluster extending from lobule VI to lobule V (compared to TD controls). Following angry face presentation, adolescents with ASD exhibited only midline cerebellar activation (posterior IX vermis). Our findings indicate an early (125-175 ms) overactivation in cerebellar activity only for happy faces and a later overactivation for both happy (250-450 ms) and angry (250-350 ms) faces in adolescents with ASD. The prioritized hemispheric activity (happy faces) could reflect the promotion of a more flexible and adaptive social behavior, while the latter midline activity (angry faces) may guide conforming behavior.
Maleki N, Szabo E, Becerra L, Moulton E, Scrivani SJ, Burstein R, Borsook D. Ictal and interictal brain activation in episodic migraine: Neural basis for extent of allodynia. PLoS One 2021;16(1):e0244320.Abstract
In some patients, migraine attacks are associated with symptoms of allodynia which can be localized (cephalic) or generalized (extracephalic). Using functional neuroimaging and cutaneous thermal stimulation, we aimed to investigate the differences in brain activation of patients with episodic migraine (n = 19) based on their allodynic status defined by changes between ictal and interictal pain tolerance threshold for each subject at the time of imaging. In this prospective imaging study, differences were found in brain activity between the ictal and interictal visits in the brainstem/pons, thalamus, insula, cerebellum and cingulate cortex. Significant differences were also observed in the pattern of activation along the trigeminal pathway to noxious heat stimuli in no allodynia vs. generalized allodynia in the thalamus and the trigeminal nucleus but there were no activation differences in the trigeminal ganglion. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) findings provide direct evidence for the view that in migraine patients who are allodynic during the ictal phase of their attacks, the spinal trigeminal nucleus and posterior thalamus become hyper-responsive (sensitized)-to the extent that they mediate cephalic and extracephalic allodynia, respectively. In addition, descending analgesic systems seem as "switched off" in generalized allodynia.
Winter A, Chwalisz B. MRI Characteristics of NMO, MOG and MS Related Optic Neuritis. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;:1-10.Abstract
Acute isolated optic neuritis can be the initial presentation of demyelinating inflammatory central nervous system disease related to multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOG-AD). In addition to the well-characterized brain and spinal cord imaging features, important and characteristic differences in the radiologic appearance of the optic nerves in these disorders are being described, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the optic nerves is becoming an essential tool in the differential diagnosis of optic neuritis. Whereas typical demyelinating optic neuritis is a relatively mild and self-limited disease, atypical optic neuritis in NMO and MOG-AD is potentially much more vision-threatening and merits a different treatment approach. Thus, differentiation based on MRI features may be particularly important during the first attack of optic neuritis, when antibody status is not yet known. This review discusses the optic nerve imaging in the major demyelinating disorders with an emphasis on clinically relevant differences that can help clinicians assess and manage these important neuro-ophthalmic disorders. It also reviews the utility of optic nerve MRI as a prognostic indicator in acute optic neuritis.
Gu P, Fan T, Wong SSC, Pan Z, Tai WL, Chung SK, Cheung CW. Central Endothelin-1 Confers Analgesia by Triggering Spinal Neuronal Histone Deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) Nuclear Exclusion in Peripheral Neuropathic Pain in Mice. J Pain 2021;Abstract
The rationale of spinal administration of endothelin-1(ET-1) mediated anti-nociceptive effect has not been elucidated. ET-1 is reported to promote nuclear effluxion of histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) in myocytes, and spinal HDAC5 is implicated in modulation of pain processing. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether central ET-1 plays an anti-nociceptive role by facilitating spinal HDAC5 nuclear shuttling under neuropathic pain. Here, we demonstrate that upregulating spinal ET-1 attenuated the nociception induced by partial sciatic nerve ligation surgery and this analgesic effect mediated by ET-1 was attenuated by intrathecal injection of endothelin A receptor selective inhibitor (BQ123) or by blocking the exportation of nuclear HDAC5 by adeno-associated viruses targeting neuronal HDAC5 (AVV-HDAC5 S259/498A Mutant). Notably, ET-1 administration increased spinal glutamate acid decarboxylases (GAD65/67) expression via initiating HDAC5 nuclear exportation and increased the acetylation of histone 3 at lysine 9 (Acetyl-H3K9) in the promotor regions of spinal Gad1 and Gad2 genes. This was reversed by blocking endothelin A receptor function or by inhibiting the spinal neuronal nuclear exportation of HDAC5. Therefore, inducing spinal GABAergic neuronal HDAC5 nuclear exportation may be a novel therapeutic approach for managing neuropathic pain. PERSPECTIVE: Neuropathic pain is intractable in a clinical setting, and epigenetic regulation is considered to contribute to this processing. Characterizing the anti-nociceptive effect of ET-1 and investigating the associated epigenetic mechanisms in animal models may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies and targets for treating neuropathic pain.
Lehky T, Joseph R, Toro C, Wu T, Van Ryzin C, Gropman A, Facio FM, Webb BD, Jabs EW, Barry BS, Engle EC, Collins FS, Manoli I, and the Consortium MSR. Differentiating Moebius syndrome and other congenital facial weakness disorders with electrodiagnostic studies. Muscle Nerve 2021;Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Congenital facial weakness (CFW) can result from facial nerve paresis with or without other cranial nerve and systemic involvement, or generalized neuropathic and myopathic disorders. Moebius syndrome is one type of CFW. In this study we explored the utility of electrodiagnostic studies (EDx) in the evaluation of individuals with CFW. METHODS: Forty-three subjects enrolled prospectively into a dedicated clinical protocol and had EDx evaluations, including blink reflex and facial and peripheral nerve conduction studies, with optional needle electromyography. RESULTS: MBS and hereditary congenital facial paresis (HCFP) subjects had low-amplitude cranial nerve 7 responses without other neuropathic or myopathic findings. Carriers of specific pathogenic variants in TUBB3 had, in addition, a generalized sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy with demyelinating features. Myopathic findings were detected in individuals with Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, other undefined myopathies, or CFW with arthrogryposis, ophthalmoplegia, and other system involvement. DISCUSSION: EDx in CFW subjects can assist in characterizing the underlying pathogenesis, as well as guide diagnosis and genetic counseling.
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 2021;109(2):363-376.e6.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.
Webb LM, Chen JJ, Aksamit AJ, Bhattacharyya S, Chwalisz BK, Balaban D, Manzano GS, Ali AS, Lord J, Clardy SL, Samudralwar RD, Mao-Draayer Y, Garrity JA, Bhatti TM, Turner LE, Flanagan EP. A multi-center case series of sarcoid optic neuropathy. J Neurol Sci 2020;:117282.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The diagnosis of sarcoid optic neuropathy is time-sensitive, as delayed treatment risks irreversible vision loss. We sought to analyze its characteristics and outcomes. METHODS: We performed a multi-center retrospective study of sarcoid optic neuropathy among 5 USA medical centers. Inclusion criteria were: 1) clinical optic neuropathy; 2) optic nerve/sheath enhancement on neuroimaging; 3) pathological confirmation of systemic or nervous system sarcoidosis. RESULTS: Fifty-one patients were included. The median onset age of sarcoid optic neuropathy was 50 years (range, 17-70 years) and 71% were female. The median visual acuity at nadir in the most affected eye was 20/80 (range, 20/20 to no-light-perception). Thirty-four of 50 (68%) patients had radiologic evidence of other nervous system involvement and 20 (39%) patients had symptoms/signs of other cranial nerve dysfunction. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed an elevated white blood cell count in 22 of 31 (71%) patients (median: 14/μL; range: 1-643/μL). Pathologic confirmation of sarcoidosis was by biopsy of systemic/pulmonary site, 34 (67%); optic nerve/sheath, 9 (18%); or other nervous system region, 8 (16%). Forty patients improved with treatment (78%), 98% receiving corticosteroids and 65% receiving steroid-sparing immunosuppressants, yet 11/46 patients (24%) had a visual acuity of 20/200 or worse at last follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Sarcoid optic neuropathy frequently occurs with other clinical and radiologic abnormalities caused by neurosarcoidosis and diagnostic confirmation occasionally requires optic nerve/sheath biopsy. Improvement with treatment is common but most patients have some residual visual disability. Improved recognition and a more expeditious diagnosis and treatment may spare patients from permanent vision loss.
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.
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.