Publications by authors named "Marissa Ilardi"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Role for OCT in detecting hemi-macular ganglion cell layer thinning in patients with multiple sclerosis and related demyelinating diseases.

J Neurol Sci 2020 Dec 28;419:117159. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Department of Neurology, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Investigations have found associations of homonymous thinning of the macular ganglion cell/ inner-plexiform layer (GCIPL) with demyelinating lesions in the post-chiasmal visual pathway among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Retinal thinning may also occur through retrograde trans-synaptic degeneration, a process by which lesions in post-geniculate visual pathway structures lead to thinning of the GCIPL across thalamic synapses. The purpose of our study was to determine the frequency of homonymous hemimacular thinning that occurs in association with post-chiasmal visual pathway demyelinating lesions in patients with MS and other demyelinating diseases.

Methods: Adult patients with demyelinating diseases (MS, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder [NMOSD], myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (anti-MOG)) who were participants in an ongoing observational study of visual pathway structure and function were analyzed for the presence of hemimacular GCIPL thinning on OCT scans. Brain MRI scans were examined for the presence of post-geniculate visual pathway demyelinating lesions.

Results: Among 135 participants in the visual pathway study, 5 patients (3.7%) had homonymous hemimacular GCIPL thinning. Eleven patients (8.1%) had a whole+half pattern of GCIPL thinning, characterized by hemimacular thinning in one eye and circumferential macular thinning in the contralateral eye. All but one patient with homonymous hemimacular thinning had demyelinating lesions in the post-geniculate visual pathway; however, these lesions were located in both cerebral hemispheres.

Conclusion: Homonymous hemimacular thinning in the GCIPL by OCT is associated with post-chiasmal visual pathway demyelinating lesions but it appears to be a relatively uncommon contributor to GCIPL loss. Patients with this pattern of GCIPL often fail to complain of hemifield visual loss. Future studies with prospective and detailed MR imaging may be able to more closely associate demyelinating lesions in anatomically appropriate regions of the post-chiasmal visual pathways with homonymous hemimacular thinning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117159DOI Listing
December 2020

Rapid picture naming in Parkinson's disease using the Mobile Universal Lexicon Evaluation System (MULES).

J Neurol Sci 2020 Mar 9;410:116680. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Departments of Neurology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Departments of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Departments of Ophthalmology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: The Mobile Universal Lexicon Evaluation System (MULES) is a test of rapid picture naming that captures extensive brain networks, including cognitive, language and afferent/efferent visual pathways. MULES performance is slower in concussion and multiple sclerosis, conditions in which vision dysfunction is common. Visual aspects captured by the MULES may be impaired in Parkinson's disease (PD) including color discrimination, object recognition, visual processing speed, and convergence. The purpose of this study was to compare MULES time scores for a cohort of PD patients with those for a control group of participants of similar age. We also sought to examine learning effects for the MULES by comparing scores for two consecutive trials within the patient and control groups.

Methods: MULES consists of 54 colored pictures (fruits, animals, random objects). The test was administered in a cohort of PD patients and in a group of similar aged controls. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to determine statistical significance for differences in MULES time scores between PD patients and controls. Spearman rank-correlation coefficients were calculated to examine the relation between MULES time scores and PD motor symptom severity (UPDRS). Learning effects were assessed using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests.

Results: Among 51 patients with PD (median age 70 years, range 52-82) and 20 disease-free control participants (median age 67 years, range 51-90), MULES scores were significantly slower (worse performance) in PD patients (median 63.2 s, range 37.3-296.3) vs. controls (median 53.9 s, range 37.5-128.6, P = .03, Wilcoxon rank-sum test). Slower MULES times were associated with increased motor symptom severity as measured by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, Section III (r = 0.37, P = .02). Learning effects were greater among patients with PD (median improvement of 14.8 s between two MULES trials) compared to controls (median 7.4 s, P = .004).

Conclusion: The MULES is a complex test of rapid picture naming that captures numerous brain pathways including an extensive visual network. MULES performance is slower in patients with PD and our study suggests an association with the degree of motor impairment. Future studies will determine the relation of MULES time scores to other modalities that test visual function and structure in PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.116680DOI Listing
March 2020

Risk Factors and Services to Reduce Child Sexual Abuse Recurrence.

Child Maltreat 2020 02 13;25(1):106-116. Epub 2019 May 13.

New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is associated with a range of negative consequences for victims that are compounded when it recurs. We used the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System to study a cohort of 42,036 children in 45 U.S. states with sexual abuse reports first confirmed by child protective services (CPS) during 2010 in order to identify children with increased risk for recurrence. A small proportion (3.6%) had a second confirmed sexual abuse report through 2015. In multivariate models, female gender, family hearing and vision problems, other child maltreatment, and other family violence were associated with increased risk of recurrence, while younger children, Hispanic families, and those with substance abuse tended to have less risk. One fourth of recurrence involved the same offender, usually a parent or caretaker. One fourth of cases were referred for any CPS services, which were more likely to be provided for families with poverty, drug or alcohol problems, or other violence. Only substance abuse services significantly reduced recurrence in multivariable models. Those trying to reduce CSA recurrence should recognize that certain case characteristics are associated with greater recurrence, and most CPS services do not significantly reduce CSA recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077559519848489DOI Listing
February 2020

The M6 cell: A small-field bistratified photosensitive retinal ganglion cell.

J Comp Neurol 2019 01 11;527(1):297-311. Epub 2018 Nov 11.

Department of Neuroscience and Carney Institute for Brain Science, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

We have identified a novel, sixth type of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell (ipRGC) in the mouse-the M6 cell. Its spiny, highly branched dendritic arbor is bistratified, with dendrites restricted to the inner and outer margins of the inner plexiform layer, co-stratifying with the processes of other ipRGC types. We show that M6 cells are by far the most abundant ganglion cell type labeled in adult pigmented Cdh3-GFP BAC transgenic mice. A few M5 ipRGCs are also labeled, but no other RGC types were encountered. Several distinct subnuclei in the geniculate complex and the pretectum contain labeled retinofugal axons in the Cdh3-GFP mouse. These are presumably the principle central targets of M6 cells (as well as M5 cells). Projections from M6 cells to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus were confirmed by retrograde tracing, suggesting they contribute to pattern vision. M6 cells have low levels of melanopsin expression and relatively weak melanopsin-dependent light responses. They also exhibit strong synaptically driven light responses. Their dendritic fields are the smallest and most abundantly branched of all ipRGCs. They have small receptive fields and strong antagonistic surrounds. Despite deploying dendrites partly in the OFF sublamina, M6 cells appear to be driven exclusively by the ON pathway, suggesting that their OFF arbor, like those of certain other ipRGCs, may receive ectopic input from passing ON bipolar cells axons in the OFF sublayer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cne.24556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594700PMC
January 2019

Inhibition of 2-AG hydrolysis differentially regulates blood brain barrier permeability after injury.

J Neuroinflammation 2018 May 14;15(1):142. Epub 2018 May 14.

Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.

Background: Acute neurological insults caused by infection, systemic inflammation, ischemia, or traumatic injury are often associated with breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) followed by infiltration of peripheral immune cells, cytotoxic proteins, and water. BBB breakdown and extravasation of these peripheral components into the brain parenchyma result in inflammation, oxidative stress, edema, excitotoxicity, and neurodegeneration. These downstream consequences of BBB dysfunction can drive pathophysiological processes and play a substantial role in the morbidity and mortality of acute and chronic neurological insults, and contribute to long-term sequelae. Preserving or rescuing BBB integrity and homeostasis therefore represents a translational research area of high therapeutic potential.

Methods: Induction of general and localized BBB disruption in mice was carried out using systemic administration of LPS and focal photothrombotic ischemic insult, respectively, in the presence and absence of the monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor, CPD-4645. The effects of CPD-4645 treatment were assessed by gene expression analysis performed on neurovascular-enriched brain fractions, cytokine and inflammatory mediator measurement, and functional assessment of BBB permeability. The mechanism of action of CPD-4645 was studied pharmacologically using inverse agonists/antagonists of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

Results: Here, we demonstrate that the neurovasculature exhibits a unique transcriptional signature following inflammatory insults, and pharmacological inhibition of MAGL using a newly characterized inhibitor rescues the transcriptional profile of brain vasculature and restores its functional homeostasis. This pronounced effect of MAGL inhibition on blood-brain barrier permeability is evident following both systemic inflammatory and localized ischemic insults. Mechanistically, the protective effects of the MAGL inhibitor are partially mediated by cannabinoid receptor signaling in the ischemic brain insult.

Conclusions: Our results support considering MAGL inhibitors as potential therapeutics for BBB dysfunction and cerebral edema associated with inflammatory brain insults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1166-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952841PMC
May 2018

The M5 Cell: A Color-Opponent Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cell.

Neuron 2018 01 14;97(1):150-163.e4. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.

Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) combine direct photosensitivity through melanopsin with synaptically mediated drive from classical photoreceptors through bipolar-cell input. Here, we sought to provide a fuller description of the least understood ipRGC type, the M5 cell, and discovered a distinctive functional characteristic-chromatic opponency (ultraviolet excitatory, green inhibitory). Serial electron microscopic reconstructions revealed that M5 cells receive selective UV-opsin drive from Type 9 cone bipolar cells but also mixed cone signals from bipolar Types 6, 7, and 8. Recordings suggest that both excitation and inhibition are driven by the ON channel and that chromatic opponency results from M-cone-driven surround inhibition mediated by wide-field spiking GABAergic amacrine cells. We show that M5 cells send axons to the dLGN and are thus positioned to provide chromatic signals to visual cortex. These findings underscore that melanopsin's influence extends beyond unconscious reflex functions to encompass cortical vision, perhaps including the perception of color.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2017.11.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5757626PMC
January 2018

Form and function of the M4 cell, an intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell type contributing to geniculocortical vision.

J Neurosci 2012 Sep;32(39):13608-20

Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.

The photopigment melanopsin confers photosensitivity upon a minority of retinal output neurons. These intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are more diverse than once believed, comprising five morphologically distinct types, M1 through M5. Here, in mouse retina, we provide the first in-depth characterization of M4 cells, including their structure, function, and central projections. M4 cells apparently correspond to ON α cells of earlier reports, and are easily distinguished from other ipRGCs by their very large somata. Their dendritic arbors are more radiate and highly branched than those of M1, M2, or M3 cells. The melanopsin-based intrinsic photocurrents of M4 cells are smaller than those of M1 and M2 cells, presumably because melanopsin is more weakly expressed; we can detect it immunohistochemically only with strong amplification. Like M2 cells, M4 cells exhibit robust, sustained, synaptically driven ON responses and dendritic stratification in the ON sublamina of the inner plexiform layer. However, their stratification patterns are subtly different, with M4 dendrites positioned just distal to those of M2 cells and just proximal to the ON cholinergic band. M4 receptive fields are large, with an ON center, antagonistic OFF surround and nonlinear spatial summation. Their synaptically driven photoresponses lack direction selectivity and show higher ultraviolet sensitivity in the ventral retina than in the dorsal retina, echoing the topographic gradient in S- and M-cone opsin expression. M4 cells are readily labeled by retrograde transport from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and thus likely contribute to the pattern vision that persists in mice lacking functional rods and cones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1422-12.2012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474539PMC
September 2012