The neuro-ophthalmology of multiple sclerosis

Lancet Neurol. 2005 Feb;4(2):111-21. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(05)00992-0.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common disabling neurological disease in young people. Most CNS lesions involve neuroanatomically non-eloquent zones that often do not result in symptomatic complaints. By contrast, tissue-injury mechanisms involving inflammatory demyelination can involve more eloquent sites, such as the optic nerve and brainstem, which can correspondingly produce the development of well recognised syndromes such as optic neuritis and internuclear ophthalmoplegia, respectively. In this review we discuss the broad landscape of abnormalities that affect the afferent visual system and the ocular motor apparatus, and emphasise relevant features, the recognition and treatment of which are of importance to general neurological practice. The commonness of visual sensory and eye movement abnormalities in MS highlights the importance of understanding the principles addressed in this review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / therapy