Using the Anterior Visual System to Assess Neuroprotection and Remyelination in Multiple Sclerosis Trials

Elizabeth Silbermann, Lindsey Wooliscroft, Dennis Bourdette

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Clinical trials using agents directed at neuroprotection and remyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) are needed. As optic neuritis (ON) is common in people with MS and the pathology of ON is similar to other MS lesions in the brain, measurements of the anterior visual system are frequently utilized in neuroprotection and remyelination trials. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the measurements is vital when interpreting the results of this research. Recent Findings: Techniques such as visual evoked potentials (VEP) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) are well established in MS and are thought to measure axonal integrity and myelination. Novel imaging techniques can also be used in conjunction with these measurements to provide better insight into optic nerve structure and function. Magnetization transfer imaging (MTR) together with optic nerve area and volume measures neurodegeneration; diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures myelination status and neurodegeneration. However, these techniques require various levels of experience to interpret, and all can be confounded by ocular motion and surrounding fat and bone. Summary: This article provides a review of established and novel techniques to measure the anterior visual system in multiple sclerosis with a focus on the evidence to support their use as outcome measures in clinical trials focused on neuroprotection and remyelination therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalCurrent neurology and neuroscience reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroprotection
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Remyelination
  • Visual evoked potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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