Neuro-Ophthalmology

Within the field of neuro-ophthalmology there are three key areas of research underway, as well as involment in multi-center neuro-ophthalmic trials.

Compressive Optic Neuropathy

Optic disc drusen

Team: Associate Professor Clare Fraser, Dr Steffen Hamman, Dr Lasse Malmquist

We are collaborating with the International Optic Disc Drusen Consortium (IODDC, Associate Professor Clare Fraser is the Vice-Chair) to clearly define optic disc drusen sbtypes and imaging protocols. The IODDC is a group of researchers from across eight institutions between Copenhagen, Israel, United States, Canada and Australia. This work will lead to future functional studies in optic disc drusen, using the VisionSearch multifocal visual evoked potential device, developed at the Save Sight Institute. We also plan to use optic disc drusen as a means of studying the underlying mechanisms of compressive and ischaemic optic neuropathies.

Pituitary tumors

Team: Dr Kate Hogden, Dr Ann McCormack, Dr Yael Barnett and Associate Professor Clare Fraser

In collaboration with the Pituitary Tumor team at St Vincent’s Hospital, we have received funding to study the effects of optic nerve and chiasmal compression from pituitary tumors. We are evaluating MRI diffusion tensor imaging changes, coupled with visual measures of acuity and visual fields, structural measures from optical coherence tomography of the optic nerves and electrophysiological changes of pattern ERG and visual evoked potentials. Our aim is to define a “biomarker” for those patients at most risk of permanent visual loss from compressive pituitary tumors, thereby allowing those patients to have expedited surgery compared to those at low risk of visual loss who can try medical management.

Concussion and Trauma

Concussion

Team: Associate Professor Clare Fraser, Dr Adrian Cohen, Dr Phil Broughton, Mr Chris Hodge, Mr Premukar Gunasekaran, Mr Daryl Fong

We are in the process of creating a dedicated to team to research the biomechanics, diagnosis and treatment of concussion. In collaboration with Dr Adrian Cohen (adjunct senior lecturer) from HeadSafe we are measuring the impact forces through the head sustained by rugby players, stunt performers and aerial skiiers. These results are then being compared to measures of saccadic velocity, balance, cognitive scores and salivary biomarkers. In addition we have a strong collaboration with Biomedical Engineering and are working with a PhD student in that department to develop an objective visual test for concussion which can be used on the sporting sidelines. We are also collaborating with Castlereagh Imaging, Dr Julian Adler and AProf Stuart Grieve to assess MRI changes. Recently we have joined the Global Rugby Health Research Project looking at past player health.

Vision testing at local rugby game

Traumatic optic neuropathy

In collaboration with Prof Subramanian (University of Colorado) and Dr Huy Tran in Ho Chi Minh city, we are working on collecting data about traumatic optic neuropathy with a view to testing simple treatment interventions to improve long-term visual outcome. Dr Huy Tran will be applying for a PhD through the University of Sydney overseas program.

Neuro-Inflammation

The team at the Save Sight Institute, headed by Dr Fabienne Brilot, are working on providing visual assessment and input into research on diseases of neuro-inflammation. This team has been recognised as a Project Team through the BMC. Patients may present to Save Sight Institute with optic neuritis as the first manifestation of a more generalised neuro-inflammatory condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromyelitis optica or anti-MOG disease. We provide visual information and collect required blood samples. Associate Professor Alexander Klistorner’s work on multifocal visual evoked potentials and MRI changes, also forms part of this collaboration.

Multi-centre randomised control trials

Quark_QPI1007 trial in conjuction with NORDIC

This is an international randomised controlled trial on the use of a new intravitreal agent in the treatment of non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy

PrevANZ

This is a national randomised controlled trial on the use of Vitamin D in reducing the risk of progression to Multiple Sclerosis.