Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications
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ItemOptic Nerve Diffusion Tensor Imaging after Acute Optic Neuritis Predicts Axonal and Visual Outcomesvan der Walt, A ; Kolbe, SC ; Wang, YE ; Klistorner, A ; Shuey, N ; Ahmadi, G ; Paine, M ; Marriott, M ; Mitchell, P ; Egan, GF ; Butzkueven, H ; Kilpatrick, TJ ; Villoslada, P (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-12-26)BACKGROUND: Early markers of axonal and clinical outcomes are required for early phase testing of putative neuroprotective therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS). OBJECTIVES: To assess whether early measurement of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters (axial and radial diffusivity) within the optic nerve during and after acute demyelinating optic neuritis (ON) could predict axonal (retinal nerve fibre layer thinning and multi-focal visual evoked potential amplitude reduction) or clinical (visual acuity and visual field loss) outcomes at 6 or 12 months. METHODS: Thirty-seven patients presenting with acute, unilateral ON were studied at baseline, one, three, six and 12 months using optic nerve DTI, clinical and paraclinical markers of axonal injury and clinical visual dysfunction. RESULTS: Affected nerve axial diffusivity (AD) was reduced at baseline, 1 and 3 months. Reduced 1-month AD correlated with retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thinning at 6 (R=0.38, p=0.04) and 12 months (R=0.437, p=0.008) and VEP amplitude loss at 6 (R=0.414, p=0.019) and 12 months (R=0.484, p=0.003). AD reduction at three months correlated with high contrast visual acuity at 6 (ρ = -0.519, p = 0.001) and 12 months (ρ = -0.414, p=0.011). The time-course for AD reduction for each patient was modelled using a quadratic regression. AD normalised after a median of 18 weeks and longer normalisation times were associated with more pronounced RNFL thinning and mfVEP amplitude loss at 12 months. Affected nerve radial diffusivity (RD) was unchanged until three months, after which time it remained elevated. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that AD reduces during acute ON. One month AD reduction correlates with the extent of axonal loss and persistent AD reduction at 3 months predicts poorer visual outcomes. This suggests that acute ON therapies that normalise optic nerve AD by 3 months could also promote axon survival and improve visual outcomes.
ItemEarly imaging predictors of longer term multiple sclerosis risk and severity in acute optic neuritisGajamange, S ; Stankovich, J ; Egan, G ; Kilpatrick, T ; Butzkueven, H ; Fielding, J ; van der Walt, A ; Kolbe, S (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2019-07-01)BACKGROUND: Biomarkers are urgently required for predicting the likely progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) at the earliest stages of the disease to aid in personalised therapy. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine early brain volumetric and microstructural changes and retinal nerve fibre layer thinning as predictors of longer term MS severity in patients with clinically isolated syndromes (CIS). METHODS: Lesion metrics, brain and regional atrophy, diffusion fractional anisotropy and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness were prospectively assessed in 36 patients with CIS over the first 12 months after presentation and compared with clinical outcomes at longer term follow-up [median (IQR) = 8.5 (7.8-8.9) years]. RESULTS: In total, 25 (69%) patients converted to MS and had greater baseline lesion volume (p = 0.008) and number (p = 0.03)than CIS patients. Over the initial 12 months, new lesions (p = 0.0001), retinal nerve fibre layer thinning (p = 0.04) and ventricular enlargement (p = 0.03) were greater in MS than CIS patients. In MS patients, final Expanded Disability Status Scale score correlated with retinal nerve fibre layer thinning over the first 12 months (ρ = -0.67, p = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Additional to lesion metrics, early measurements of fractional anisotropy and retinal nerve fibre layer thinning are informative about longer term clinical outcomes in CIS.
ItemOptic Nerve Magnetisation Transfer Ratio after Acute Optic Neuritis Predicts Axonal and Visual OutcomesWang, Y ; van der Walt, A ; Paine, M ; Klistorner, A ; Butzkueven, H ; Egan, GF ; Kilpatrick, TJ ; Kolbe, SC ; Villoslada, P (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-12-18)Magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) can reveal the degree of proton exchange between free water and macromolecules and was suggested to be pathological informative. We aimed to investigate changes in optic nerve MTR over 12 months following acute optic neuritis (ON) and to determine whether MTR measurements can predict clinical and paraclinical outcomes at 6 and 12 months. Thirty-seven patients with acute ON were studied within 2 weeks of presentation and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. Assessments included optic nerve MTR, retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness, multifocal visual evoked potential (mfVEP) amplitude and latency and high (100%) and low (2.5%) contrast letter acuity. Eleven healthy controls were scanned twice four weeks apart for comparison with patients. Patient unaffected optic nerve MTR did not significantly differ from controls at any time-point. Compared to the unaffected nerve, affected optic nerve MTR was significantly reduced at 3 months (mean percentage interocular difference = -9.24%, p = 0.01), 6 months (mean = -12.48%, p<0.0001) and 12 months (mean = -7.61%, p = 0.003). Greater reduction in MTR at 3 months in patients was associated with subsequent loss of high contrast letter acuity at 6 (ρ = 0.60, p = 0.0003) and 12 (ρ = 0.44, p = 0.009) months, low contrast letter acuity at 6 (ρ = 0.35, p = 0.047) months, and RNFL thinning at 12 (ρ = 0.35, p = 0.044) months. Stratification of individual patient MTR time courses based on flux over 12 months (stable, putative remyelination and putative degeneration) predicted RNFL thinning at 12 months (F(2,32) = 3.59, p = 0.02). In conclusion, these findings indicate that MTR flux after acute ON is predictive of axonal degeneration and visual disability outcomes.
ItemParallel Changes in Structural and Functional Measures of Optic Nerve Myelination after Optic Neuritisvan der Walt, A ; Kolbe, S ; Mitchell, P ; Wang, Y ; Butzkueven, H ; Egan, G ; Yiannikas, C ; Graham, S ; Kilpatrick, T ; Klistorner, A ; Frishman, L (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2015-05-28)INTRODUCTION: Visual evoked potential (VEP) latency prolongation and optic nerve lesion length after acute optic neuritis (ON) corresponds to the degree of demyelination, while subsequent recovery of latency may represent optic nerve remyelination. We aimed to investigate the relationship between multifocal VEP (mfVEP) latency and optic nerve lesion length after acute ON. METHODS: Thirty acute ON patients were studied at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months using mfVEP and at 1 and 12 months with optic nerve MRI. LogMAR and low contrast visual acuity were documented. By one month, the mfVEP amplitude had recovered sufficiently for latency to be measured in 23 (76.7%) patients with seven patients having no recordable mfVEP in more than 66% of segments in at least one test. Only data from these 23 patients was analysed further. RESULTS: Both latency and lesion length showed significant recovery during the follow-up period. Lesion length and mfVEP latency were highly correlated at 1 (r = 0.94, p = <0.0001) and 12 months (r = 0.75, p < 0.001). Both measures demonstrated a similar trend of recovery. Speed of latency recovery was faster in the early follow-up period while lesion length shortening remained relatively constant. At 1 month, latency delay was worse by 1.76 ms for additional 1mm of lesion length while at 12 months, 1mm of lesion length accounted for 1.94 ms of latency delay. CONCLUSION: A strong association between two putative measures of demyelination in early and chronic ON was found. Parallel recovery of both measures could reflect optic nerve remyelination.
ItemSerial Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Optic Radiations after Acute Optic NeuritisKolbe, SC ; van der Walt, A ; Butzkueven, H ; Klistorner, A ; Egan, GF ; Kilpatrick, TJ (HINDAWI LTD, 2016-01-01)Previous studies have reported diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) changes within the optic radiations of patients after optic neuritis (ON). We aimed to study optic radiation DTI changes over 12 months following acute ON and to study correlations between DTI parameters and damage to the optic nerve and primary visual cortex (V1). We measured DTI parameters [fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD), and mean diffusivity (MD)] from the optic radiations of 38 acute ON patients at presentation and 6 and 12 months after acute ON. In addition, we measured retinal nerve fibre layer thickness, visual evoked potential amplitude, optic radiation lesion load, and V1 thickness. At baseline, FA was reduced and RD and MD were increased compared to control. Over 12 months, FA reduced in patients at an average rate of -2.6% per annum (control = -0.51%; p = 0.006). Change in FA, RD, and MD correlated with V1 thinning over 12 months (FA: R = 0.450, p = 0.006; RD: R = -0.428, p = 0.009; MD: R = -0.365, p = 0.029). In patients with no optic radiation lesions, AD significantly correlated with RNFL thinning at 12 months (R = 0.489, p = 0.039). In conclusion, DTI can detect optic radiation changes over 12 months following acute ON that correlate with optic nerve and V1 damage.
ItemAdolescent Toluene Inhalation in Rats Affects White Matter Maturation with the Potential for Recovery Following AbstinenceDuncan, JR ; Dick, ALW ; Egan, G ; Kolbe, S ; Gavrilescu, M ; Wright, D ; Lubman, DI ; Lawrence, AJ ; Homberg, J (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-09-18)Inhalant misuse is common during adolescence, with ongoing chronic misuse associated with neurobiological and cognitive abnormalities. While human imaging studies consistently report white matter abnormalities among long-term inhalant users, longitudinal studies have been lacking with limited data available regarding the progressive nature of such abnormalities, including the potential for recovery following periods of sustained abstinence. We exposed adolescent male Wistar rats (postnatal day 27) to chronic intermittent inhaled toluene (3,000 ppm) for 1 hour/day, 3 times/week for 8 weeks to model abuse patterns observed in adolescent and young adult human users. This dosing regimen resulted in a significant retardation in weight gain during the exposure period (p<0.05). In parallel, we performed longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (T₂-weighted) and diffusion tensor imaging prior to exposure, and after 4 and 8 weeks, to examine the integrity of white matter tracts, including the anterior commissure and corpus callosum. We also conducted imaging after 8 weeks of abstinence to assess for potential recovery. Chronic intermittent toluene exposure during adolescence and early adulthood resulted in white matter abnormalities, including a decrease in axial (p<0.05) and radial (p<0.05) diffusivity. These abnormalities appeared region-specific, occurring in the anterior commissure but not the corpus callosum and were not present until after at least 4 weeks of exposure. Toluene-induced effects on both body weight and white matter parameters recovered following abstinence. Behaviourally, we observed a progressive decrease in rearing activity following toluene exposure but no difference in motor function, suggesting cognitive function may be more sensitive to the effects of toluene. Furthermore, deficits in rearing were present by 4 weeks suggesting that toluene may affect behaviour prior to detectable white matter abnormalities. Consequently, exposure to inhalants that contain toluene during adolescence and early adulthood appear to differentially affect white matter maturation and behavioural outcomes, although recovery can occur following abstinence.