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      Decreased Lateral Geniculate Nucleus Activation in Retrogeniculate Hemianopia Demonstrated by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging at 4 Tesla


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          Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can detect lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) activation. We studied LGN function in 5 patients with retrogeniculate homonymous hemianopia using fMRI at 4.0 Tesla during binocular visual stimulation. Decreased activation of visual cortex and LGN on the side of the lesion was observed in all 5 patients. These findings suggest that retrogeniculate lesions are associated with decreased activation of the LGN, due to retrograde degeneration or a functional decrease caused by decreased feedback from ipsilateral visual cortex.

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          Most cited references7

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          Direct demonstration of transsynaptic degeneration in the human visual system: a comparison of retrograde and anterograde changes.

          Transneuronal degeneration of retinal ganglion cells was directly demonstrated in a patient who had unilateral removal of the striate cortex forty years prior to necropsy. For comparison, another case is presented showing anterograde transneuronal atrophy forty years after enucleation of one eye.
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            Decreased Activation of the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus in a Patient with Anisometropic Amblyopia Demonstrated by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

            Although postmortem morphological changes in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) have been reported in human amblyopia, LGN function during monocular viewing by amblyopic eyes has not been documented in humans. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study monocular visual activation of the LGN in a patient with anisometropic amblyopia. Four normal subjects, a patient with optic neuritis and a patient with anisometropic amblyopia were studied with fMRI at 1.5 T during monocular checkerboard stimulation. Activated areas in the LGN and visual cortex were identified after data processing (motion correction and spatial normalization) with SPM99. In the 4 normal subjects, comparable activation of the LGN and visual cortex was obtained by stimulation of either the right or left eye. In the patient with unilateral optic neuritis, activation of the LGN and visual cortex was markedly decreased when the affected eye was stimulated. Similarly, decreased activation of the LGN as well as the visual cortex by the affected eye was demonstrated in the patient with anisometropic amblyopia. Our preliminary results suggest that activation of the LGN is diminished during monocular viewing by affected eyes in anisometropic amblyopia. fMRI appears to be a feasible method to study LGN activity in human amblyopia.
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              Variability of laminar patterns in the human lateral geniculate nucleus.

              The structure of the human lateral geniculate nucleus has been studied on serial Nissl stained sections from 57 human brains. Most of the brains were from neurologically normal individuals and were obtained during routine autopsy procedures. The laminar arrangement within the human nucleus is surprisingly variable. It is always possible to recognize a small segment with two layers (the monocular segment), one with four layers and one with six layers. Often an 8-layered segment can also be seen. The posterior half of the nucleus, within which central vision is represented, is made up mainly of six layers, and is the least variable part of the nucleus. Here the layers lie roughly parallel to each other. In the anterior half of the nucleus the laminar arrangement is more variable, and the layers often form complex and irregular interdigitations with each other. The 8-layered segment varies greatly in size and may be absent. It generally lies at the edge of the 4-layered segment not, as might have been expected, within the borders of the 6-layered segment. In many parts of the nucleus nerve cells are organized in short rows that run perpendicular to the layers; also, individual nerve cells are elongated in this direction. This neuronal orientation follows the lines of projection that are defined by the borders of a zone of retrograde degeneration, and also corresponds to the orientation of a cellular discontinuity that probably is the geniculate representation of the blind spot. Thus, we conclude that the neuronal orientation indicates the lines of projection within the nucleus.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                February 2005
                06 January 2005
                : 219
                : 1
                : 11-15
                Functional MRI Research Unit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology, Division of Neuro-Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa., USA
                81776 Ophthalmologica 2005;219:11–15
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                : 14 November 2003
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 12, Pages: 5
                Original Paper

                Vision sciences,Ophthalmology & Optometry,Pathology
                Homonymous hemianopia,Retrograde degeneration,Functional magnetic resonance imaging,Lateral geniculate nucleus,Visual cortex


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