OPEN Research Support

Kerstin Soelberg
Department of Neurology, Vejle Hospital

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Sampling ongoing
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.09.2014  
Slut 31.01.2020  

Optic neuritis: Clinical, Immunological and experimental aspects. A translational research project in the Region of Southern Denmark

Short summary

Optic neuritis (ON) is an inflammatory demyelinating condition of the optic nerve that often occurs as the first clinical course of multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Episodes of ON can cause considerable damage to the myelin sheath and nerve fibers resulting in blindness. ON patients who are seropositive for antibodies directed against the water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) are classified as suffering from NMO.


In this project we will clarify whether ON, an early event in presentation, shares immunological pathways for the clinical development of NMO by analysis of patient sera and cerebrospinal fluid. Quantification of the damage of the optic nerve and the related retrograde degeneration of ganglion cell layers will be done. Concurrently we will develop an animal model for antibody-mediated ON by transfer of patient antibodies to the anterior visual system in mice.

Description of the cohort

Patients with optic neuritis will be recruited in the Region of Southern Denmark

Data and biological material

Systemic biomarkers: blood sample, cerebrospinal fluid,


Clinical examination


Spectralis OCT


Color - and contrast vision tests


Visual evoked potential


Magnetic resonance imaging of CNS

Collaborating researchers and departments

Department of Neurology, Sygehus Lillebælt, Vejle Hospital and Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark

  • Associate Professor and Consultant Nasrin Asgari, MD, PhD 

Department of Ophthalmology, Odense University Hospital

  • Clinical Professor Jakob Grauslund, MD, PhD, DMSc

Department of Clinical Immunology, Odense University Hospital

  • Associate Professor and Consultant Søren T. Lillevang, MD, PhD

Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark

  • Professor Trevor Owens, PhD

NeuroCure Clinical Research Center, Charité University Berlin, Germany

  • Professor Friedemann Paul

University of Michigan Medical School, Michigan, USA

  • Professor Terry J. Smith, MD

Publications associated with the project

A population-based prospective study of optic neuritis. Soelberg K, Jarius S, Skejoe H, Engberg H, Mehlsen JJ, Nilsson AC, Madsen JS, Reindl M, Wildemann B, Grauslund J, Kyvik KO, Smith TJ, Lillevang ST, Paul F, Weinshenker BG, Asgari N. Mult Scler. 2017 Oct 1:1352458517734070. doi: 10.1177/1352458517734070

Magnetic resonance imaging findings at the first episode of acute optic neuritis. Soelberg K,  Skejoe HPB,  Grauslund J,  Smith TJ,  Lillevang ST,  Jarius S,  Wildemann B,  Paul F,  Asgari N. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2017 Dec 25;20:30-36. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2017.12.018.

Autoimmune and immunogenetic profile of patients with optic neuritis in a population-based cohort. Soelberg K, Nilsson AC, Nielsen C, Jarius S, Reindl M, Wildemann B, Lillevang ST, Asgari N. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2018 Mar 7;21:97-102. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2018.03.003