Neuro-ophthalmology

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;32(6):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.
Tabarestani S, Eslami M, Cabrerizo M, Curiel RE, Barreto A, Rishe N, Vaillancourt D, DeKosky ST, Loewenstein DA, Duara R, Adjouadi M. A Tensorized Multitask Deep Learning Network for Progression Prediction of Alzheimer's Disease. Front Aging Neurosci 2022;14:810873.Abstract
With the advances in machine learning for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), most studies have focused on either identifying the subject's status through classification algorithms or on predicting their cognitive scores through regression methods, neglecting the potential association between these two tasks. Motivated by the need to enhance the prospects for early diagnosis along with the ability to predict future disease states, this study proposes a deep neural network based on modality fusion, kernelization, and tensorization that perform multiclass classification and longitudinal regression simultaneously within a unified multitask framework. This relationship between multiclass classification and longitudinal regression is found to boost the efficacy of the final model in dealing with both tasks. Different multimodality scenarios are investigated, and complementary aspects of the multimodal features are exploited to simultaneously delineate the subject's label and predict related cognitive scores at future timepoints using baseline data. The main intent in this multitask framework is to consolidate the highest accuracy possible in terms of precision, sensitivity, F1 score, and area under the curve (AUC) in the multiclass classification task while maintaining the highest similarity in the MMSE score as measured through the correlation coefficient and the RMSE for all time points under the prediction task, with both tasks, run simultaneously under the same set of hyperparameters. The overall accuracy for multiclass classification of the proposed KTMnet method is 66.85 ± 3.77. The prediction results show an average RMSE of 2.32 ± 0.52 and a correlation of 0.71 ± 5.98 for predicting MMSE throughout the time points. These results are compared to state-of-the-art techniques reported in the literature. A discovery from the multitasking of this consolidated machine learning framework is that a set of hyperparameters that optimize the prediction results may not necessarily be the same as those that would optimize the multiclass classification. In other words, there is a breakpoint beyond which enhancing further the results of one process could lead to the downgrading in accuracy for the other.
Maher MD, Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Collens SI, Gilbert AL, Torun N, Klein JP, Sobrin L, Buchbinder BR, Gupta R, Mukerji SS, Chwalisz BK. Clinical and neuroradiologic characteristics in varicella zoster virus reactivation with central nervous system involvement. J Neurol Sci 2022;437:120262.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics of patients with varicella zoster virus (VZV) reactivation involving the cranial nerves and central nervous system (CNS). METHODS: This is a retrospective, multi-center case-series of 37 patients with VZV infection affecting the cranial nerves and CNS. RESULTS: The median age was 71 years [IQR 51.5-76]; 21 (57%) were men. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was available in 24/37 (65%); median CSF white blood cell count was 11 [IQR 2-23] cells/μL and protein was 45.5 [IQR 34.5-75.5] mg/dL. VZV polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were positive in 6/21 (29%) CSF and 8/9 (89%) ocular samples. Clinical involvement included the optic nerve in 12 (32%), other cranial nerves in 20 (54%), brain parenchyma in 12 (32%) and spinal cord or nerve roots in 4 (11%). Twenty-seven/28 immunocompetent patients' MRIs were available for review (96%). Of the 27, 18 had T1 postcontrast fat saturated sequences without motion artifact to evaluate for cranial nerve enhancement and optic perineuritis (OPN). Eight/18 (44%) demonstrated OPN. All 8 experienced vision loss: 3 optic neuritis, 1 acute retinal necrosis, and 3 CNS vasculitis with 1 central and 1 branch retinal artery occlusion and 1 uveitis. Diplopic patients had cranial nerve and cavernous sinus enhancement. All immunosuppressed patients were imaged. Seven/9 (88%) had extensive neuraxis involvement, including encephalitis, vasculitis and transverse myelitis; one case had OPN. CONCLUSION: OPN is a frequent manifestation in VZV-associated vision loss among immunocompetent patients. Immunosuppressed patients had greater neuraxis involvement. Optimizing MRI protocols may improve early diagnosis in VZV reactivation.
Lin LY, Reshef ER, Lansberg MP, Barshak MB, Chwalisz BK, Holbrook EH, Wolkow N. Posterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy in the Setting of Cocaine-Induced Orbital and Sinonasal Inflammation. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;38(5):e141-e144.Abstract
Intranasal cocaine abuse can lead to significant sinus and orbital complications, including optic neuropathy. A 46-year-old man with a history of recurrent cocaine-induced sino-orbital inflammation and infection with bony destruction presented with acute, painless, vision loss. Examination revealed no light perception vision. MRI of the orbits demonstrated new restricted diffusion of the right optic nerve on diffusion-weighted imaging and apparent diffusion coefficient sequences, consistent with posterior ischemic optic neuropathy. This is the first among cases of cocaine-induced optic neuropathy in the literature to illustrate ischemic changes on MRI in the optic nerve, highlighting the utility of diffusion-weighted imaging/apparent diffusion coefficient sequences when optic neuropathy is suspected and further suggesting an underlying ischemic etiology in similar cases.
Zheng J, Schjetnan AGP, Yebra M, Gomes BA, Mosher CP, Kalia SK, Valiante TA, Mamelak AN, Kreiman G, Rutishauser U. Neurons detect cognitive boundaries to structure episodic memories in humans. Nat Neurosci 2022;25(3):358-368.Abstract
While experience is continuous, memories are organized as discrete events. Cognitive boundaries are thought to segment experience and structure memory, but how this process is implemented remains unclear. We recorded the activity of single neurons in the human medial temporal lobe (MTL) during the formation and retrieval of memories with complex narratives. Here, we show that neurons responded to abstract cognitive boundaries between different episodes. Boundary-induced neural state changes during encoding predicted subsequent recognition accuracy but impaired event order memory, mirroring a fundamental behavioral tradeoff between content and time memory. Furthermore, the neural state following boundaries was reinstated during both successful retrieval and false memories. These findings reveal a neuronal substrate for detecting cognitive boundaries that transform experience into mnemonic episodes and structure mental time travel during retrieval.
Wareham LK, Liddelow SA, Temple S, Benowitz LI, Di Polo A, Wellington C, Goldberg JL, He Z, Duan X, Bu G, Davis AA, Shekhar K, Torre AL, Chan DC, Canto-Soler VM, Flanagan JG, Subramanian P, Rossi S, Brunner T, Bovenkamp DE, Calkins DJ. Solving neurodegeneration: common mechanisms and strategies for new treatments. Mol Neurodegener 2022;17(1):23.Abstract
Across neurodegenerative diseases, common mechanisms may reveal novel therapeutic targets based on neuronal protection, repair, or regeneration, independent of etiology or site of disease pathology. To address these mechanisms and discuss emerging treatments, in April, 2021, Glaucoma Research Foundation, BrightFocus Foundation, and the Melza M. and Frank Theodore Barr Foundation collaborated to bring together key opinion leaders and experts in the field of neurodegenerative disease for a virtual meeting titled "Solving Neurodegeneration". This "think-tank" style meeting focused on uncovering common mechanistic roots of neurodegenerative disease and promising targets for new treatments, catalyzed by the goal of finding new treatments for glaucoma, the world's leading cause of irreversible blindness and the common interest of the three hosting foundations. Glaucoma, which causes vision loss through degeneration of the optic nerve, likely shares early cellular and molecular events with other neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system. Here we discuss major areas of mechanistic overlap between neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system: neuroinflammation, bioenergetics and metabolism, genetic contributions, and neurovascular interactions. We summarize important discussion points with emphasis on the research areas that are most innovative and promising in the treatment of neurodegeneration yet require further development. The research that is highlighted provides unique opportunities for collaboration that will lead to efforts in preventing neurodegeneration and ultimately vision loss.
Liou VD, Yoon MK, Maher M, Chwalisz BK. Orbital Inflammation in Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody-Associated Disease: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. J Neuroophthalmol 2022;Abstract
BACKGROUND: To present 2 patients with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody-associated disease with unilateral orbital inflammation, optic nerve head edema, and abnormalities of the optic nerve and nerve sheath on imaging. We review the most current literature on this important and uncommon clinical phenotype. METHODS: A case report of 2 patients and a comprehensive review of the relevant literature on orbital inflammation in MOG antibody-associated disease (MOG-AD). RESULTS: Two patients presented with decreased vision and unilateral orbital inflammation. Both had optic nerve head edema and abnormalities of the optic nerve and nerve sheath on imaging. The patients were treated with immunosuppressants and had improvement of vision changes as well as their orbital inflammatory signs. MOG antibody was positive in high titers in both patients. Only 3 other cases of orbital inflammation associated with MOG antibody have been described. In all cases, orbital signs responded rapidly to intravenous methylprednisolone, but the improvement in visual acuity was variable and less robust. CONCLUSION: Orbital inflammation is a unique and underrecognized phenotype of MOG-AD with only a few reports in the literature. In patients who present with vision loss and orbital inflammation, MOG-AD should be considered in the differential.

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