Slide decks for IMSVISUAL talks at ACTRIMS 2017

Thank you all for attending the IMSVISUAL meeting at ACTRIMS 2017! Here are the slide decks:

Microstructural visual system changes in AQP4-antibody–seropositive NMOSD

IMSVISUAL members from Berlin and Munich in Germany have just published the following paper:

Oertel & Kuchling et al. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm May 2017 vol. 4 no. 3 e334


Objective: To trace microstructural changes in patients with aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-ab)-seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs) by investigating the afferent visual system in patients without clinically overt visual symptoms or visual pathway lesions.

Methods: Of 51 screened patients with NMOSD from a longitudinal observational cohort study, we compared 6 AQP4-ab–seropositive NMOSD patients with longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) but no history of optic neuritis (ON) or other bout (NMOSD-LETM) to 19 AQP4-ab–seropositive NMOSD patients with previous ON (NMOSD-ON) and 26 healthy controls (HCs). Foveal thickness (FT), peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness, and ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) thickness were measured with optical coherence tomography (OCT). Microstructural changes in the optic radiation (OR) were investigated using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Visual function was determined by high-contrast visual acuity (VA). OCT results were confirmed in a second independent cohort.

Results: FT was reduced in both patients with NMOSD-LETM (p = 3.52e−14) and NMOSD-ON (p = 1.24e−16) in comparison with HC. Probabilistic tractography showed fractional anisotropy reduction in the OR in patients with NMOSD-LETM (p = 0.046) and NMOSD-ON (p = 1.50e−5) compared with HC. Only patients with NMOSD-ON but not NMOSD-LETM showed neuroaxonal damage in the form of pRNFL and GCIPL thinning. VA was normal in patients with NMOSD-LETM and was not associated with OCT or DTI parameters.

Conclusions: Patients with AQP4-ab–seropositive NMOSD without a history of ON have microstructural changes in the afferent visual system. The localization of retinal changes around the Müller-cell rich fovea supports a retinal astrocytopathy.

Available as Open Access on the publisher’s website.

Longitudinal Intravital Imaging of the Retina Reveals Long-term Dynamics of Immune Infiltration and Its Effects on the Glial Network in Experimental Autoimmune Uveoretinitis

Scientists from Berlin have developed an intravital multiphoton microscopy prototype for repeated retinal measurements in mice. Using this system, Bremer et al. investigated neuronal dysfunction in the retinal ganglion cell layer in an experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis model.

The results of the study have been published in Frontiers in Immunology on Dec 23rd 2016 and are available in full as open access.

New publication from IMSVISUAL members – OCT in MOG

Pache & Zimmermann et al. just published a study investigating afferent visual system damage after optic neuritis in MOG-IgG-seropositive versus AQP4-IgG-seropositive patients. MOG-antibodies have recently been identified in a subgroup of patients with neuromyelitis optica and in patients with recurrent optic neuritis.

The paper has been published in Journal of Neuroinflammation 2016 13:282.

The study is part of a series of 4 papers describing different aspects of MOG-IgG in NMO and related disorders.

Part 1: Frequency, syndrome specificity, influence of disease activity, long-term course, association with AQP4-IgG, and origin
Part 2: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, radiological and laboratory features, treatment responses, and long-term outcome
Part 3: Brainstem involvement – frequency, presentation and outcome
Part 4: Afferent visual system damage after optic neuritis in MOG-IgG-seropositive versus AQP4-IgG-seropositive patients

Thank you for joining our ECTRIMS 2016 meeting

Dear attendees,

on behalf of IMSVISUAL I want to thank you all for joining our meeting!

Many scientific talks were fascinating and - at least for me - a highlight of the conference. I was especially intrigued by the substantial in-depth discussions, which followed every talk, a format/chance I haven't seen in years.

Please find below the presenters' slide decks as much as we can publish them. Many decks contained unpublished data, which needed to be removed. I will update the links as the slides become available from the speakers.


Alexander Brandt

Slides and Documents

  1. Brian FernandezHeidelberg Engineering
  2. Chis ModyOCTA
  3. Ari Green - Clemastine study
  4. Raj Kapoor - Visual Outcomes in the Phenytoin Trial
  5. Kathryn Fitzgerald - The GWAS x Retinal Degeneration Study
  6. Elena H. Martínez-Lapiscina - IMSVISUAL Project Proposal: AON natural history study
  7. Alexander Brandt - Retinal pathology in antibody mediated diseases (the slides contained data from 3 studies, two of which are unpublished as of now. Download links will be updated as studies become published. NMDA Study, MOG Study (in press), NMOSD Study (in preparation)

New publication from IMSVISUAL members – OCT in NMOSD

Elena Martinez-Lapiscina and colleagues from Barcelona published a paper on the Usefulness of optical coherence tomography to distinguish optic neuritis associated with AQP4 or MOG in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

The paper has just been published in Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2016 Sep; 9(5): 436–440.

It is available online on PubMed Central:

Figure 1 from Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2016 Sep; 9(5): 436–440.

Invitation for Evening Symposium at ECTRIMS

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to invite you to our semi-annual IMSVISUAL symposium to discuss updates on vision research in multiple sclerosis. This year at ECTRIMS we are fortunate to have secured Heidelberg engineering as our sponsor. The event will take place on Friday September 16th from 5-8 PM in the Excel Centre. There will be food and beverages.
Space is limited to 48 so we kindly ask that you register using the link below only if you plan to attend.

I think this will be an exciting meeting with presentations from several groups representing existing IMSVISUAL member sites from around the world. There should be ample time for discussion and establishing future collaborations.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Peter Calabresi, Friedemann Paul, Laura Balcer and Pablo Villoslada (board of directors)
Alex Brandt, Rachel Nolan, Elena Hernandez-Martinez and Shiv Saidha (working group committee)