Robert A. Bermel1, Jeffrey A. Cohen1, Lael A. Stone1, Blessy Mathew2, Mark J. Lowe2, Michael D. Phillips2
Optic neuritis (ON) is caused by inflammatory demyelination in the optic nerve, commonly as an early component of multiple sclerosis (MS). Recovery from ON is variable, facilitated by mechanisms which may include remyelination and cortical reorganization. We used visual fMRI with stimuli at three different contrast levels to investigate cortical activation following ON in 6 patients with MS and remote unilateral ON. Differences in cortical activation between affected and unaffected eyes were most apparent when utilizing the lower contrast visual stimulus. We conclude that low-contrast visual fMRI may be sensitive to detect cortical changes following ON.