Afferent visual pathways in multiple sclerosis: a review

Stuart L. Graham*, Alexander Klistorner

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)


    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that involves inflammation and demyelination at multiple sites and causes a wide variety of clinical presentations with variable neurological deficits. The visual pathways are frequently involved with either visual or motor dysfunction. Optic neuritis (ON) is one the most common and best characterized presentations of the disease, but there are many other manifestations depending on the site of the lesion. Eyes that have never had ON show slow progressive loss of axons and retinal ganglion cells. Previously unrecognized optic radiation lesions may be associated with residual latency delays on visual evoked potentials. Both anterograde and retrograde degeneration may occur along the visual pathway. This review covers the features of MS in the anterior and posterior visual system and describes advances that have been made with newer techniques such as retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with diffusion tensor imaging and probabilistic tractography (DTI) and multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEPs). We report on the inter-relationship between these measures of structure and function, and how they may be used as biomarkers for the disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-72
    Number of pages11
    JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


    • multiple sclerosis
    • neuro-imaging
    • neuro-ophthalmology
    • optic neuritis
    • optic radiations


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