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The visual system is comprised of many specialized cell types that are essential for relaying sensory information about an animal's surroundings to the brain. The cells present in ocular tissue are notoriously delicate, making it particularly challenging to section thin slices of unfixed tissue. Maintaining the morphology of the native tissue is crucial for accurate observations by either conventional staining techniques or in this instance matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI IMS) or imaging using mass spectrometry. As vision loss is a significantly debilitating condition, studying molecular mechanisms involved in the process of vision loss is a critically important area of research.
BACKGROUND - Occipital lobe epilepsy (OLE) is an uncommon but debilitating focal epilepsy syndrome with seizures often refractory to medical management. While surgical resection has proven a viable treatment, previous studies examining postoperative seizure freedom rates are limited by small sample size and patient heterogeneity, thus exhibiting significant variability in their results.
OBJECTIVE - To review the medical literature on OLE so as to investigate rates and predictors of both seizure freedom and visual outcomes following surgery.
METHODS - We reviewed manuscripts exploring surgical resection for drug-resistant OLE published between January 1990 and June 2015 on PubMed. Seizure freedom rates were analyzed and potential predictors were evaluated with separate meta-analyses. Postoperative visual outcomes were also examined.
RESULTS - We identified 27 case series comprising 584 patients with greater than 1 yr of follow-up. Postoperative seizure freedom (Engel class I outcome) was observed in 65% of patients, and was significantly predicted by age less than 18 yr (odds ratio [OR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-2.18), focal lesion on pathological analysis (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.58-2.89), and abnormal preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (OR 3.24, 95% 2.03-6.55). Of these patients, 175 also had visual outcomes reported with 57% demonstrating some degree of visual decline following surgery. We did not find any relationship between postoperative visual and seizure outcomes.
CONCLUSION - Surgical resection for OLE is associated with favorable outcomes with nearly two-thirds of patients achieving postoperative seizure freedom. However, patients must be counseled regarding the risk of visual decline following surgery.
Copyright © 2017 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons
PURPOSE - Erythropoietin (EPO) is a promising neuroprotective agent and is currently in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of traumatic brain injury. The goal of this study was to determine if EPO is also protective in traumatic eye injury.
METHODS - The left eyes of anesthetized DBA/2J or Balb/c mice were exposed to a single 26 psi overpressure air-wave while the rest of the body was shielded. DBA/2J mice were given intraperitoneal injections of EPO or buffer and analyses were performed at 3 or 7 days post-blast. Balb/c mice were given intramuscular injections of rAAV.EpoR76E or rAAV.eGFP either pre- or post-blast and analyses were performed at 1 month post-blast.
RESULTS - EPO had a bimodal effect on cell death, glial reactivity, and oxidative stress. All measures were increased at 3 days post-blast and decreased at 7-days post-blast. Increased retinal ferritin and NADPH oxygenases were detected in retinas from EPO-treated mice. The gene therapy approach protected against axon degeneration, cell death, and oxidative stress when given after blast, but not before.
CONCLUSIONS - Systemic, exogenous EPO and EPO-R76E protects the retina after trauma even when initiation of treatment is delayed by up to 3 weeks. Systemic treatment with EPO or EPO-R76E beginning before or soon after trauma may exacerbate protective effects of EPO within the retina as a result of increased iron levels from erythropoiesis and, thus, increased oxidative stress within the retina. This is likely overcome with time as a result of an increase in levels of antioxidant enzymes. Either intraocular delivery of EPO or treatment with non-erythropoietic forms of EPO may be more efficacious.
The elderly population in the United States (age 65 and older) is growing rapidly, estimated by the U.S. Census Department to reach 83.7 million by 2050.(1) Visual impairment increases with age among all racial and ethnic groups.(2) In the elderly, the most common culprits for vision loss are cataract, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).(2) In the developed world, vision loss from cataract has been dramatically reduced by increased access to cataract surgery. However, AMD and glaucoma lead to irreversible vision loss without early diagnosis and intervention. In the U.S., cases of AMD are expected to double by 2050, reaching 17.8 million among patients age 50 or older.(3) Similarly, cases of glaucoma are expected to reach 5.5 million by 2050, an increase of over 90% from 2014.(3) The visually impaired elderly face disparities in access to eye care, and subsequent general medical and psychosocial complications.
PURPOSE - To review the current literature on socioeconomic disparities relationship with cataract prevalence, characteristics, and management.
SUMMARY - Cataracts are an important cause of preventable visual impairment in both the developing and industrialized world. Cataract surgery is a highly effective operation with an excellent risk profile. Furthermore, cataract surgery has been shown to have significant positive functional, social, and economic implications for patients. Several medical conditions have been shown to have correlation with socioeconomic factors and cataract is among several forms of visual impairment that demonstrate this relationship. Disparities in prevalence, clinical characteristics, and management are documented in the ophthalmic literature. A better understanding of these socioeconomic factors and their clinical relevance is critical to alleviating the burden of cataract-related visual impairment in an aging population.
The most common presentation of patients with tuberculum sellae meningiomas is visual loss, and surgical resection is the main mode of treatment. Preservation of vision is not only the main objective of the surgery; loss of vision is also its main risk. Visual deterioration following surgery is usually apparent immediately post-operatively. Here we present two cases of patients who underwent resection of tuberculum sellae meningioma and whose vision following surgery was initially unchanged until the postoperative day two when dramatic visual deterioration occurred. In the first case this resulted in blindness, whereas in the second case vision recovered back to the preoperative state. The possible mechanisms of visual deterioration and modes of treatment are discussed.
OBJECTIVE - Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of meningitis in young infants. We evaluated long-term outcomes among GBS meningitis survivors. We hypothesized that despite reduced mortality, GBS meningitis would remain a significant cause of morbidity among GBS survivors.
METHODS - Ninety term and near-term infants diagnosed with GBS meningitis from 1998 through 2006 were identified from 2 children's hospitals. Five died acutely, and 5 died at 6 months to 3 years of age. Forty-three survivors (54%; mean age 6.8, range 3-12 years) were consented for evaluation and underwent physical and neurologic examinations, hearing and vision screening, and standardized developmental assessments. Associations among presenting features, laboratory parameters, neurologic status at hospital discharge, and later developmental outcomes were explored by using descriptive statistics and logistic regression.
RESULTS - Twenty-four of 43 (56%) children evaluated demonstrated age-appropriate development, 11 (25%) had mild-to-moderate impairment, and 8 (19%) had severe impairment. Admission features associated with death after hospital discharge or severe impairment included lethargy (P = .003), respiratory distress (P = .022), coma or semicoma (P = .022), seizures (P = .015), bulging fontanel (P = .034), leukopenia (P = .026), acidosis (P = .024), cerebrospinal fluid protein >300 mg/dL (P = .006), cerebrospinal fluid glucose <20 mg/dL (P = .026), and need for ventilator (P = .002) or pressor support (P < .001). Features at discharge associated with late death or severe impairment included failed hearing screen (P = .004), abnormal neurologic examination (P < .001), and abnormal end of therapy brain imaging (P = .038).
CONCLUSIONS - Survivors of GBS meningitis continue to have substantial long-term morbidity, highlighting the need for ongoing developmental follow-up and prevention strategies such as maternal immunization.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - There is a well-known relationship between MS and damage to the optic nerve, but advanced, quantitative MR imaging methods have not been applied to large cohorts. Our objective was to determine whether a short imaging protocol (< 10 minutes), implemented with standard hardware, could detect abnormal water diffusion in the optic nerves of patients with MS.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We examined water diffusion in human optic nerves via DTI in the largest MS cohort reported to date (104 individuals, including 38 optic nerves previously affected by optic neuritis). We also assessed whether such abnormalities are associated with loss of visual acuity (both high and low contrast) and damage to the retinal nerve fiber layer (assessed via optical coherence tomography).
RESULTS - The most abnormal diffusion was found in the optic nerves of patients with SPMS, especially in optic nerves previously affected by optic neuritis (19% drop in FA). DTI abnormalities correlated with both retinal nerve fiber layer thinning (correlation coefficient, 0.41) and loss of visual acuity, particularly at high contrast and in nerves previously affected by optic neuritis (correlation coefficient, 0.54). However, diffusion abnormalities were overall less pronounced than retinal nerve fiber layer thinning.
CONCLUSIONS - DTI is sensitive to optic nerve damage in patients with MS, but a short imaging sequence added to standard clinical protocols may not be the most reliable indicator of optic nerve damage.
PURPOSE - To test the hypothesis that immune activation occurs in glaucoma by comparing concentrations of multiple cytokines in aqueous humor (AH) from patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and from cataract patients without glaucoma as controls.
METHODS - Cytokine concentrations in AH obtained during surgery were measured using microparticle-based immunoassays. Localized expression of IL-8 protein was investigated by immunohistochemistry of human eyes.
RESULTS - Eight cytokines (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-12, IFN-γ, and TNF-α) were below the limits of detection, and two cytokines (IL-18 and IL-15) were detected at low levels or in only a few patients. Although IL-6 was detected in 26 of 30 control patients (median, 2.7 pg/mL) and in 23 of 29 POAG patients (median, 1.6 pg/mL), the difference was not statistically significant. IL-8 was detected in 28 of 30 control patients (median, 1.8 pg/mL) and in all 29 POAG patients (median, 4.9 pg/mL). The higher IL-8 concentration in the AH of POAG patients was statistically significant (P < 0.001). In pairs of eyes from patients with asymmetric glaucomatous optic nerve damage, IL-8 concentration was higher in the AH of the more severely affected eye (P < 0.05). Patients with severe visual field defects had higher IL-8 concentrations in the AH than did patients with mild visual field defects. IL-8 protein expression was found in human retina and optic nerve.
CONCLUSIONS - Concentration of the inflammatory cytokine IL-8 is significantly elevated in the AH of POAG patients, supporting the hypothesis that immune activation occurs in glaucoma.