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.
Douglas VP, Flores C, Douglas KA, Strominger MB, Kasper E, Torun N. Oculomotor nerve schwannoma: case series and literature review. Surv Ophthalmol 2022;67(4):1160-1174.Abstract
Oculomotor nerve schwannomas are rare benign cranial nerve tumors. There are only a limited number of reports on this pathology in the literature, and there are currently no established management guidelines that aid providers in deciding on surgical versus nonsurgical management. We assess the published literature on the topic to identify indications for treatment as well as outcome measures (e.g., local control rates, survival rates, and complication rates) that have been reported as associated with the various treatment modalities. We attempt to develop an algorithm for evaluation and treatment of oculomotor nerve schwannomas in order to establish consensus on how these tumors should be treated.
Winter CC, He Z, Jacobi A. Axon Regeneration: A Subcellular Extension in Multiple Dimensions. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2022;14(3)Abstract
Axons are a unique cellular structure that allows for the communication between neurons. Axon damage compromises neuronal communications and often leads to functional deficits. Thus, developing strategies that promote effective axon regeneration for functional restoration is highly desirable. One fruitful approach is to dissect the regenerative mechanisms used by some types of neurons in both mammalian and nonmammalian systems that exhibit spontaneous regenerative capacity. Additionally, numerous efforts have been devoted to deciphering the barriers that prevent successful axon regeneration in the most regeneration-refractory system-the adult mammalian central nervous system. As a result, several regeneration-promoting strategies have been developed, but significant limitations remain. This review is aimed to summarize historic progression and current understanding of this exciting yet incomplete endeavor.
Jacobs HIL, Schoemaker D, Torrico-Teave H, Zuluaga Y, Velilla-Jimenez L, Ospina-Villegas C, Lopera F, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Quiroz YT. Specific Abnormalities in White Matter Pathways as Interface to Small Vessels Disease and Cognition in Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy Individuals. Brain Connect 2022;12(1):52-60.Abstract
Background: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is characterized by leukoencephalopathy leading to cognitive impairment. Subtle cognitive deficits can be observed early in the course of the disease, before the occurrence of the first stroke. Therefore, markers that can predict disease progression at this early stage, when interventions are likely to alter disease course, are needed. We aimed to examine the biological cascade of microstructural and macrostructural white matter (WM) abnormalities underlying cognitive deficits in CADASIL. Methods: We examined 20 nondemented CADASIL mutation carriers and 23 noncarriers who underwent neuropsychological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging. Using probabilistic tractography of key WM tracts, we examined group differences in diffusivity measures and WM hyperintensity volume. Successive mediation models examined whether tract-specific WM abnormalities mediated subtle cognitive differences between CADASIL mutation carriers and noncarriers. Results: The largest effect size differentiating the two groups was observed for left superior longitudinal fasciculus-temporal (SLFt) diffusivity (Cohen's f = 0.49). No group differences were observed with a global diffusion measure. These specific microstructural differences in the SLFt were associated with higher WM hyperintensities burden, and subtle executive deficits in CADASIL mutation carriers. Discussion: Worse diffusivity in the left SLFt is related to greater severity of small vessel disease and worse executive functioning in the asymptomatic stage of the disease. Worse diffusivity of the left SLFt may potentially hold promise as an indicator of disease progression. Impact statement Diffusion tensor imaging outperforms conventional imaging of subcortical small vessel disease as a potential marker of future disease progression. Here we identified the left superior longitudinal temporal fasciculus as a critical white matter fiber bundle, of which worse diffusivity can link presence of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy mutations to greater severity of small vessel disease and worse executive functioning in asymptomatic stages of the disease. This tract may hold promise and deserves further examination as an early indicator of disease progression.
Yu-Wai-Man P, Newman NJ, Carelli V, La Morgia C, Biousse V, Bandello FM, Clermont CV, Campillo LC, Leruez S, Moster ML, Cestari DM, Foroozan R, Sadun A, Karanjia R, Jurkute N, Blouin L, Taiel M, Sahel J-A, Sahel J-A. Natural history of patients with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy-results from the REALITY study. Eye (Lond) 2022;36(4):818-826.Abstract
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: REALITY is an international observational retrospective registry of LHON patients evaluating the visual course and outcome in Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). SUBJECTS/METHODS: Demographics and visual function data were collected from medical charts of LHON patients with visual loss. The study was conducted in 11 study centres in the United States of America and Europe. The collection period extended from the presymptomatic stage to at least more than one year after onset of vision loss (chronic stage). A Locally Weighted Scatterplot Smoothing (LOWESS) local regression model was used to analyse the evolution of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) over time. RESULTS: 44 LHON patients were included; 27 (61%) carried the m.11778G>A ND4 mutation, 8 (18%) carried the m.3460G>A ND1 mutation, and 9 (20%) carried the m.14484T>C ND6 mutation. Fourteen (32%) patients were under 18 years old at onset of vision loss and 5 (11%) were below the age of 12. The average duration of follow-up was 32.5 months after onset of symptoms. At the last observed measure, mean BCVA was 1.46 LogMAR in ND4 patients, 1.52 LogMAR in ND1 patients, and 0.97 LogMAR in ND6 patients. The worst visual outcomes were reported in ND4 patients aged at least 15 years old at onset, with a mean BCVA of 1.55 LogMAR and no tendency for spontaneous recovery. The LOESS modelling curve depicted a severe and permanent deterioration of BCVA. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst LHON patients with the three primary mtDNA mutations, adult patients with the m.11778G>A ND4 mutation had the worst visual outcomes, consistent with prior reports.
Pondelis NJ, Moulton EA. Supraspinal Mechanisms Underlying Ocular Pain. Front Med (Lausanne) 2021;8:768649.Abstract
Supraspinal mechanisms of pain are increasingly understood to underlie neuropathic ocular conditions previously thought to be exclusively peripheral in nature. Isolating individual causes of centralized chronic conditions and differentiating them is critical to understanding the mechanisms underlying neuropathic eye pain and ultimately its treatment. Though few functional imaging studies have focused on the eye as an end-organ for the transduction of noxious stimuli, the brain networks related to pain processing have been extensively studied with functional neuroimaging over the past 20 years. This article will review the supraspinal mechanisms that underlie pain as they relate to the eye.
Marsiglia M, Chwalisz BK, Maher M. Neuroradiologic Imaging of Neurologic and Neuro-Ophthalmic Complications of Coronavirus-19 Infection. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(4):452-460.Abstract
BACKGROUND: To review the literature and provide a summary of COVID-19-related neurologic and neuro-ophthalmic complications. METHODS: The currently available literature was reviewed on PubMed and Google Scholar using the following keywords for searches: CNS, Neuro-Ophthalmology, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, optic neuritis, pseudotumor cerebri, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), meningitis, encephalitis, acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy, and Guillain-Barré and Miller Fisher syndromes. RESULTS: Neuroradiologic findings of neurologic and neuro-ophthalmologic complications in relationship to COVID-19 infection were reviewed. Afferent visual pathway-related disorders with relevant imaging manifestations included fundus nodules on MRI, papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri syndrome, optic neuritis, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, vascular injury with thromboembolism and infarct, leukoencephalopathy, gray matter hypoxic injury, hemorrhage, infectious meningitis/encephalitis, acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy, and PRES. Efferent visual pathway-related complications with relevant imaging manifestations were also reviewed, including orbital abnormalities, cranial neuropathy, Guillain-Barré and Miller Fisher syndromes, and nystagmus and other eye movement abnormalities related to rhombencephalitis. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 can cause central and peripheral nervous system disease, including along both the afferent and efferent components of visual axis. Manifestations of disease and long-term sequela continue to be studied and described. Familiarity with the wide variety of neurologic, ophthalmic, and neuroradiologic presentations can promote prompt and appropriate treatment and continue building a framework to understand the underlying mechanism of disease.
Bennett CR, Bauer CM, Bex PJ, Bottari D, Merabet LB. Visual search performance in cerebral visual impairment is associated with altered alpha band oscillations. Neuropsychologia 2021;161:108011.Abstract
Individuals with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) often present with deficits related to visuospatial processing. However, the neurophysiological basis underlying these higher order perceptual dysfunctions have not been clearly identified. We assessed visual search performance using a novel virtual reality based task paired with eye tracking to simulate the exploration of a naturalistic scene (a virtual toy box). This was combined with electroencephalography (EEG) recordings and an analysis pipeline focusing on time frequency decomposition of alpha oscillatory activity. We found that individuals with CVI showed an overall impairment in visual search performance (as indexed by decreased success rate, as well as increased reaction time, visual search area, and gaze error) compared to controls with neurotypical development. Analysis of captured EEG activity following stimulus onset revealed that in the CVI group, there was a distinct lack of strong and well defined posterior alpha desynchronization; an important signal involved in the coordination of neural activity related to visual processing. Finally, an exploratory analysis revealed that in CVI, the magnitude of alpha desynchronization was associated with impaired visual search performance as well as decreased volume of specific thalamic nuclei implicated in visual processing. These results suggest that impairments in visuospatial processing related to visual search in CVI are associated with alterations in alpha band oscillations as well as early neurological injury at the level of visual thalamic nuclei.
Shi L, Yuan T, Fan S, Zheng J, Diao Y, Qin G, Liu D, Zhu G, Qin K, Liu H, Zhang H, Yang A, Meng F, Zhang J. Comparison of cognitive performance between patients with Parkinson's disease and dystonia using an intraoperative recognition memory test. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):20724.Abstract
Neuroscientific studies on the function of the basal ganglia often examine the behavioral performance of patients with movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and dystonia (DT), while simultaneously examining the underlying electrophysiological activity during deep brain stimulation surgery. Nevertheless, to date, there have been no studies comparing the cognitive performance of PD and DT patients during surgery. In this study, we assessed the memory function of PD and DT patients with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). We also tested their cognitive performance during the surgery using a continuous recognition memory test. The results of the MoCA and MMSE failed to reveal significant differences between the PD and DT patients. Additionally, no significant difference was detected by the intraoperative memory test between the PD and DT patients. The intraoperative memory test scores were highly correlated with the MMSE scores and MoCA scores. Our data suggest that DT patients perform similarly to PD patients in cognitive tests during surgery, and intraoperative memory tests can be used as a quick memory assessment tool during surgery.
Ahangari N, Munoz DG, Coulombe J, Gray DA, Engle EC, Cheng L, Woulfe J. Nuclear IMPDH Filaments in Human Gliomas. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2021;Abstract
The analysis of nuclear morphology plays an important role in glioma diagnosis and grading. We previously described intranuclear rods (rods) labeled with the SDL.3D10 monoclonal antibody against class III beta-tubulin (TUBB3) in human ependymomas. In a cohort of adult diffuse gliomas, we identified nuclear rods in 71.1% of IDH mutant lower-grade gliomas and 13.7% of IDH wild-type glioblastomas (GBMs). The presence of nuclear rods was associated with significantly longer postoperative survival in younger (≤65) GBM patients. Consistent with this, nuclear rods were mutually exclusive with Ki67 staining and their prevalence in cell nuclei inversely correlated with the Ki67 proliferation index. In addition, rod-containing nuclei showed a relative depletion of lamin B1, suggesting a possible association with senescence. To gain insight into their functional significance, we addressed their antigenic properties. Using a TUBB3-null mouse model, we demonstrate that the SDL.3D10 antibody does not bind TUBB3 in rods but recognizes an unknown antigen. In the present study, we show that rods show immunoreactivity for the nucleotide synthesizing enzymes inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) and cytidine triphosphate synthetase. By analogy with the IMPDH filaments that have been described previously, we postulate that rods regulate the activity of nucleotide-synthesizing enzymes in the nucleus by sequestration, with important implications for glioma behavior.
Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Cestari DM. Ophthalmic manifestations of dementing disorders. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2021;32(6):515-520.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Dementia is a term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities, which significantly interferes with daily life. Certain dementing conditions may also affect visual function. The eye is an accessible window to the brain that can provide valuable information for the early diagnosis of people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies as well as from more rare causes of dementias, such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob and Huntington's diseases. Herein, we present the ocular manifestations of neurocognitive disorders focusing on the neuro-ophthalmic ones and further discuss potential ocular biomarkers that could help in early detection of these disorders. RECENT FINDINGS: Ophthalmic examination along with the recent developments in in-vivo testing have provided a strong foundation of useful knowledge about brain disorder in neurodegenerative diseases without the need for invasive studies. Currently, a number of visual measures, such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, pupil response, and saccades in addition to various ophthalmic tests, such as electroretinogram, visual evoked potential, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and OCT-angiography have been widely used and evaluated as potential biomarkers for different stages of dementia. SUMMARY: Ophthalmologic and neuro-ophthalmic evaluation is evolving as an important part of the early diagnosis and management of people with dementia. A particular focus on ocular biomarkers in dementing illnesses has arisen over the past few years and there are several promising measures and imaging tools that have been proposed as potential biomarkers for these diseases.
Zhang M, Chen T, Zhong Y. Demographic and prognostic factors of optic nerve astrocytoma: a retrospective study of surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (SEER). BMC Cancer 2021;21(1):976.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Optic nerve astrocytomas (ONAs) are neurological neoplasms in the central nervous system (CNS), and they have the highest incidence rate among all the tumor types in the visual pathway. In this study, we conducted a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) -based research to explore the demographic, survival, and prognostic factors of patients diagnosed with ONAs. METHODS: Utilizing the SEER database, we retrospectively evaluated data of patients diagnosed with ONAs of all ages from 1984 to 2016. We used the Student's t distribution to test variables of patients and various characteristics, and Kaplan-Meier curve to illustrate overall survival (OS) with 95.0% confidence intervals (CIs). We also performed univariate and multivariate analyses to evaluate various variables' validity on overall survival. RESULTS: A total of 1004 cases were analyzed, and revealed that age (P<0.001, hazard ratio (HR) = 8.830, 95% CI: 4.088-19.073), tumor grade (P<0.001, HR = 1.927, 95% CI: 1.516-2.450), diagnostic confirmation (P<0.001, HR = 2.444, 95% CI: 1.632-3.660), and histology type (P = 0.046, HR = 1.563, 95% CI: 1.008-2.424) of the tumor were associated with decreased survival. CONCLUSIONS: From this large, comparative study of ONAs, we found that younger age may be considered as a protective indicator, while high-grade astrocytic tumors have a worse prognosis. We also found that diagnostic confirmation and tumor grade were independent prognostic factors in this patient population.