The Alan and Barbara Mirken Department of Neuro-Ophthalmology specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of visual problems that are related to the nervous system, often affecting the optic nerve, eye movement, or pupillary reflexes. Under the leadership of Mark Kupersmith, MD, the neurology center’s ophthalmology team is renowned for its diagnostic capabilities, sophisticated clinical decision making, implementation of new research, and compassionate care for all patients.
In conjunction with other Continuum colleagues at Roosevelt Hospital and The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Beth Israel’s neurology specialists treat neuro-ophthalmology and systemic disorders that cause sensory, visual, ocular motor, lid, or pupillary dysfunction. Treatments include targeted medical, stereotactic radiotherapy, endovascular, and neurological interventions.
While the neurology center treats a wide range of neuro-ophthalmology conditions, it has extensive experience in:
- Optic neuritis and other inflammatory optic nerve diseases, which can be associated with multiple sclerosis, though other systemic inflammatory diseases may be the cause of visual loss. An accurate diagnosis may require a systemic immunological evaluation.
- Swollen optic nerves (papilledema) or pseudotumor cerebri, which can increase intracranial pressure and cause blurred or loss of vision, double vision, and headaches.
- Double vision, which typically, but not always, arises from a misalignment between the eyes. It may simply occur from a decompensation of a previously known or unknown strabismus (“crossed eyes”), but in most cases it is a symptom of neurological disease. Ocular myasthenia gravis often requires expertise to diagnose definitively and outline a treatment plan that normalizes vision with few side effects.
- Meningioma, pituitary tumor, aneurysm and craniopharyngioma, which can cause visual loss from optic pathway compression or double vision.
- Unexplained visual loss, which can arise from complications of systemic cancer or other diseases. Evaluation begins with determining whether the problem is with the brain, optic nerves, retina, or from an interference with the visual axis. In children, a minor viral illness can cause optic nerve-related visual loss. In the elderly, temporal arteritis causes characteristic symptoms, which are often misdiagnosed as arthritis and frequently end in blindness unless treated early.
- Untreated neurovascular disorders such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), other arteriovenous fistula, and aneurysms, which can cause irreversible visual loss and other major neurological deficits.