Researchers have launched the Acute Optic Neuritis Network (ACON), which is a multicenter longitudinal investigation, that aims to investigate the effects of high-dose corticosteroid therapy in patients with inaugural optic neuritis due to neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody-associated disease (MOGAD).

Multimodal data collection will also allow researchers to assess the diagnostic value of biomarkers and correlate structural damage with functional impairments and changes in the quality of life of the patients.

The authors expect to screen over 300 patients and enroll approximately 200 participants. The study will include participants from 22 healthcare centers distributed among Africa, Asia, South America, North America, Europe, and Australia.

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The study will only include patients that experience a first-ever optic neuritis episode within before enrollment.

Exclusion criteria include evidence of a previous demyelinating disorder, a previous diagnosis of some form of neuropathy, magnetic resonance imaging contraindication, pregnancy, and the presence of other relevant comorbidities that could alter the results of the study.

The patients included in the study will be subdivided into 3 groups: MS group, aquaporin 4 antibody (AQP4-IgG)- positive group, and MOG-IgG positive group. The primary outcome measure is whether patients in these 3 groups have better visual outcomes after early high-dose corticosteroids.

Secondary outcome measures include measurements and prognostic value of biomarkers such as neurofilament light chain protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein, the diagnostic value of early clinical variables such as visual alterations and pain, quality of life scores, visual function in daily routine, the incidence of depression, the diagnostic and prognostic value of optical coherence tomography, measurements of MOG-IgG and AQP4-IgG levels and their compartmentalization, and risk of relapse.

The estimated study competition date is in December 2025. The authors hope that the study will aid in improving treatment strategies for patients with optic neuritis.


Acute Optic Neuritis Network: an international study that investigates subjects with a first ever episode of acute inflammation of the optic nerve (ACON). November 4, 2022. Accessed November 9, 2022.