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Abstract #2087

Low Contrast Visual Stimuli Yield Differential Volumes of Functional MRI Activation in Affected and Unaffected Eyes Following Recovery from Optic Neuritis

Robert A. Bermel1, Jeffrey A. Cohen1, Lael A. Stone1, Blessy Mathew2, Mark J. Lowe2, Michael D. Phillips2

1Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, United States; 2Imaging Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, United States

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.