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The 12th Hoyt Lecture: Neuro-Ophthalmology in Review Around the Brain With 50 Fellows

Newman, Nancy J. MD

Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology: June 2014 - Volume 34 - Issue 2 - p 206–207
doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000124
Hoyt Lecture

Departments of Ophthalmology, Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Address correspondence to Nancy J. Newman, MD, Neuro-Ophthalmology Unit, Emory Eye Center, 1365-B Clifton Rd., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30322; E-mail

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Supported in part by an unrestricted departmental grant (Department of Ophthalmology) from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York, and by NIH/NEI core grant P30-EY06360 (Department of Ophthalmology). Dr. Newman has received the Research to Prevent Blindness Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award.

No matter what their ultimate specialty, every ophthalmologist needs to master the basics of neuro-ophthalmology. To that end, we must ensure that we continue to train effective teachers of neuro-ophthalmology. This is William F. Hoyt's most important lasting legacy and charge. In this same spirit, Emory Neuro-Ophthalmology has tried to carry on this essential mission of training the next generations of neuro-ophthalmologists around the world not only as clinical practitioners of the art but also as academicians and teachers in their own right, contributing greatly to our specialty and, at the same time, teaching non–neuro-ophthalmologists the basics of what they need to know about neuro-ophthalmology and creating the next generation of neuro-ophthalmologists.

Through the projects and key publications of 50 Emory fellows, this neuroanatomical tour reviews advances in neuro-ophthalmology over the past 25 years, highlighting common and uncommon disorders affecting the afferent and efferent visual systems. We begin our tour in the eye and how findings in the retina can reflect neurologic disease such as acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy, carotid–cavernous fistula, cat scratch encephalopathy, and mitochondrial disease, but not migraine. We then move to the optic nerve and contributions to our understanding of optic neuropathies including optic neuritis, its demographics and treatment, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy of the young and in patients with giant cell arteritis, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, dominant optic atrophy, the risk factors for visual loss from papilledema in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and the recently appreciated myriad of neuroimaging findings in patients with elevated intracranial pressure. Regarding the retrochiasmal pathways, publications have advanced our understanding of homonymous hemianopias, their detection, causes, congruity, and prognosis for recovery. Studies of cranial nerves 3, 4, and 6 have alerted us to the problems of radiologically unreported aneurysms and dural fistulae, the difficulties in surgically correcting residual ocular misalignment, and the prevalence of these disorders among hundreds of victims of head trauma. A study of visual complaints in patients with Parkinson disease helped neurologists understand that the most frequent causes of visual disability are ocular and potentially quite treatable. Regarding recent technology, we have written on optical coherence tomography and, most prolifically, on the uses of nonmydriatic ocular fundus photography in various settings, including the emergency department, the pediatric ophthalmology clinic, on the iphone through telemedicine, and in the classroom for teaching medical students. Fellows trained at Emory are now scattered across the globe (Fig. 1), but they remain a close-knit family of clinicians, scholars, researchers, and educators. A video of the 12th Hoyt lecture is available online within the Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library at

FIG. 1

FIG. 1

© 2014 by North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society