Nerves affecting colour vision

Lampert EJ, Andorra M, Torres-Torres R, Ortiz-Pérez S, Llufriu S, Sepúlveda M, Sola N, Saiz A, Sánchez-Dalmau B, Villoslada P, Martínez-Lapiscina EH. Color vision impairment in multiple sclerosis points to retinal ganglion cell damage. J Neurol. 2015 Aug. [Epub ahead of print]

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) results in color vision impairment regardless of optic neuritis (ON). The exact location of injury remains undefined. The objective of this study is to identify the region leading to dyschromatopsia in MS patients’ NON-eyes. We evaluated correlations between color vision and measures of different regions in the afferent visual pathway in 106 MS patients. We evaluated color vision with Hardy-Rand-Rittler plates and retinal damage using Optical Coherence Tomography. 
We found moderate, significant correlations between color vision and macular retinal nerve fiber layer (rho = 0.289, p = 0.003), ganglion cell complex (GCC = GCIP) (rho = 0.353, p < 0.001), thalamus (rho = 0.361, p < 0.001), and lesion volume within the optic radiations (rho = -0.230, p = 0.030). Only GCC thickness remained significant (p = 0.023) in the logistic regression model. In the final model including lesion load and NBPV as markers of diffuse neuroaxonal damage, GCC remained associated with dyschromatopsia [OR = 0.88 95 % CI (0.80-0.97) p = 0.016]. This association remained significant when we also added sex, age, and disease duration as covariates in the regression model. Dyschromatopsia in NON-eyes is due to damage of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) in MS. Color vision can serve as a marker of RGC damage in MS.
Again we see a very modest correlation on colour (Color=US Engrish) vision and retinal ganglion damage. 

Have you noticed any influence in colour vision?

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  • I had an isolated left VI nerve palsy. The double vision went to both eyes but when I wore one eye patch my vision improved. I noticed if I covered one eye with my hand (both eyes open) then changed and covered my other eye there was a change in colour.
    My eyes did return to normal but took many months. I found the lights in supermarkets extremely bright during recovery.

  • I was fighting with the strong relapse last year and suffered from optic neuritis as a result of it. That was the most serious relapse I have ever had ever since my diagnosis 5 years ago. I almost lost my sight in the right eye and the left eye was moderately affected. I have been struggling to come back to the "past greatness" in terms of my sight because I wasn't able to read the numbers like the ones above. I was frightened as I had already suffered from optic neuritis in the past, but this time it was different, stronger and more damaging…
    As a result, I have visited the ophthalmologist many many times in order to keep the situation under control. What I can say is that right now the things seem to be significantly better as my sight is in a much better condition. However, when it comes to the sharpness of colours I would say that I can see them properly again – which is wonderful – but they are not as sharp as they used to be. I had OCT and VEP done…

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