The United Kingdom Neuro-Ophthalmology Special Interest Group
I announced my intention to form a Special Interest Group in Neuro-Ophthalmology
to the Association of British Neurologists in 2005 and to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists
To date ten meetings/courses have taken place. The first was a breakfast meeting
during the ABN Meeting in Torquay in September 2005. Around 20 people attended and
the need for a National group was agreed. It was decided that for the time being
meetings would be during ABN and RCOphth Conferences but recognising the need to
hold larger meetings that would attract both Ophthalmologists and Neurologists.
At a breakfast meeting in April 2007 during the ABN Spring Meeting in Cambridge,
Patrick Chinnery presented information concerning Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy
and the recruitment criteria for a trial of treatment with Idebenone which is underway
Around 40 people attended a breakfast meeting during the RCOphth Congress in Birmingham
in June 2007. Phil Griffiths talked to us about the Newcastle LHON trial and two
case presentations provoked lively discussion.
At the ABN Meeting in London in November 2007 the group staged a 2 hour teaching
course on “bedside” Neuro-Ophthalmology, the distinguished faculty included both
Ophthalmologists and Neurologists.
A further breakfast meeting was held at on 22nd May 2008 during the RCOphth Congress
in Liverpool. Neil Miller presided over a “meet the expert” session. A case of
intracranial hypertension associated with anaemia and a case of atypical optic neuritis
The number of attendees on this occasion was around 200. The considerable interest
in the topics was evident following numerous comments and questions from the floor,
which were dealt with by the panel to the best of their abilities.
The first all day Meeting was held on Wednesday the 18th March 2009 at Governors’
Hall, St Thomas’ Hospital. The annual Meeting of the Medical Ophthalmology Society
took place at the same venue the following day. The morning consisted of an update
on investigation techniques in Neuro-Ophthalmology. In the afternoon there was a
symposium on the management of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension and papilloedema.
Our guests were Francois Boruet and Aki Kawasaki from Lausanne who spoke on papilloedema
and pupillomary respectively.
At the College Meeting in Birmingham in 2009 another “Meet the Expert” Breakfast
Meeting was held on Wednesday 20th May with Professor Deborah Friedman as our guest.
A case of orbital Schwannoma was presented from Darwin, Australia and a case of
cognitive impairment with hallucinations from Newcastle. This session was followed
by a symposium on Migraine, with contributions from Professor Friedman, Professor
Holger Kaub, Niaz Islam, Pari Shams and Gordon Plant. These two sessions each attracted
A further contribution was made to open the 2009 ABN Meeting in Liverpool (the first
of the new-style annual Meetings). On 22nd June the group provided a 2 hour update
session on special techniques in Neuro-Ophthalmology.
The second annual meeting took place on Wednesday March 17th again at St Thomas’
and again the day preceding the MOSUK Meeting. A session on Paediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology
was held with contributions from David Taylor, Gordon Dutton, Bill Newman and Creig
Hoyt, our Guest. The afternoon was devoted to free communications – both research
and case reports. The event was particularly lively owing to the contributions from
the Guys’ and St Thomas’ Paediatric Neurology group. There were around 200 attendees
with visitors from overseas including Holland, Denmark and the Ukraine. Creig gave
a fascinating talk on “Blindness in Literature” in the evening.
In 2010 another “Meet the Expert” Breakfast Meeting was held on Wednesday 26th May
with Professor David Zee as our guest. Tim Matthews and Mike Burdon joining David
as discussants. Cases were presented of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and a cavernous
sinus syndrome misdiagnosed as Duane syndrome. Once again well over 200 delegates
attended this breakfast session.
For the future we are planning to set up a number of committees to deal with the
planning of the annual meeting and also with the development of research, training
and service provision.
It is clear that there is considerable and continuing demand from both Neurologists
and Ophthalmologists for a National organisation committed to research and continuing
professional development in Neuro-ophthalmology.
Gordon T. Plant
The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Moorfields Eye Hospital, St
Thomas’ Hospital, London