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Visual function resists early neurodegeneration in the visual system in primary progressive multiple sclerosis

Item Type:Article
Title:Visual function resists early neurodegeneration in the visual system in primary progressive multiple sclerosis
Creators Name:Rosenkranz, S.C. and Gutmann, L. and Has Silemek, A.C. and Dorr, M. and Häußler, V. and Lüpke, M. and Mönch, A. and Reinhardt, S. and Kuhle, J. and Tilsley, P. and Heesen, C. and Friese, M.A. and Brandt, A. and Paul, F. and Zimmermann, H. and Stellmann, J.P.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the visual system but dynamics and pathomechanisms over several years especially in primary progressive MS (PPMS) are not fully understood. METHODS: We assessed longitudinal changes in visual function, retinal neurodegeneration using optical coherence tomography, MRI and serum NfL (sNfL) levels in a prospective PPMS cohort and matched healthy controls. We investigated the changes over time, correlations between outcomes and with loss of visual function. RESULTS: We followed 81 patients with PPMS (mean disease duration 5.9 years) over 2.7 years on average. Retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (RNFL) was reduced in comparison with controls (90.1 vs 97.8 µm; p<0.001). Visual function quantified by the area under the log contrast sensitivity function (AULCSF) remained stable over a continuous loss of RNFL (0.46 µm/year, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.82; p=0.015) up until a mean turning point of 91 µm from which the AULCSF deteriorated. Intereye RNFL asymmetry above 6 µm, suggestive of subclinical optic neuritis, occurred in 15 patients and was related to lower AULCSF but occurred also in 5 out of 44 controls. Patients with an AULCSF progression had a faster increase in Expanded Disability Status Scale (beta=0.17/year, p=0.043). sNfL levels were elevated in patients (12.2 pg/mL vs 8.0 pg/mL, p<0.001), but remained stable during follow-up (beta=-0.14 pg/mL/year, p=0.291) and were not associated with other outcomes. CONCLUSION: Whereas neurodegeneration in the anterior visual system is already present at onset, visual function is not impaired until a certain turning point. sNfL is not correlated with structural or functional impairment in the visual system.
Keywords:Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Nerve Fibers, Optic Neuritis, Prospective Studies, Retinal Ganglion Cells, Optical Coherence Tomography
Source:Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
Page Range:924-933
Date:12 October 2023
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2023-331183
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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