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Our team
Thorough evaluations
Comprehensive approach

Neuro-Ophthalmology and Headache

The Neuro-Ophthalmology division of the Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology at Upstate Medical University bridges the fields of neurology and ophthalmology through diagnosis and management of adults and children with neurological disorders that affect vision and eye movements.

Not only do we provide the latest in neuro-ophthalmologic clinical care, but also we are actively engaged in clinical research. Our team consists of two full-time board certified, fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmologists, a nurse, clinical research coordinator, medical office assistants, and administrative assistant.

Neuro-ophthalmology at Upstate is unique because of our comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. To ensure a thorough evaluation, we work closely with experts in other disciplines including, neurosurgery, otolaryngology (ENT), and neuroradiology. State-of-the-art neuro-imaging provides accurate diagnosis for a full range of neuro-ophthalmologic problems. We also consult on patients with headaches and dizziness.


Melissa Ko, MD, FAAN

Melissa Ko, MD, FAAN
Appointed 08/04/08
Upstate Health Care Center
90 Presidential Plaza
Syracuse, NY 13202

315 464-8668

Current Appointments

Hospital Campus

  • Downtown
  • Community

Clinical Section Affiliations

  • Neurology: Neuro-Ophthalmology and Headache
  • Ophthalmology: Neuro-Ophthalmology

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Neurology


Education & Fellowships

  • Fellowship: University of Pennsylvania Scheie Eye Institute, 2008, Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Residency: University of Pennsylvania Health System, 2007, Neurology
  • Internship: University of Pennsylvania Health System, 2004, Internal Medicine
  • MD: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2003
  • BA: Yale University, 1998, Biology

Clinical Interests

  • I evaluate and treat adults and children (infants included) with neuro-ophthalmologic conditions including: optic neuropathies/neuritis, optic disc swelling/papilledema/pseudotumor cerebri, tumors/disorders of the optic pathway, pupillary abnormalities, diplopia (double vision), eye movement disorders/nystagmus, and visual complaints stemming from migraine/headache.

Research Interests

  • My research involves the role of weight gain and recurrence of pseudotumor cerebri. I am also involved at the state and national level for legislative and patient advocacy in the field of neurology.

Clinical Trials

  • Pediatric Optic Neuritis Prospective Outcomes Study (PON1)
    Read more

Specialties & Certification

  • Neurology

Diseases & Conditions Treated

  • Ischemic Optic Neuropathy
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Nystagmus
  • Optic Neuritis
  • Pituitary Tumors
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri
  • Pupillary Defect
  • Visual Field Defect


  • Adults and Children


  • Lumbar Puncture


  • American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Active Member

Current Hospital Privileges

  • Upstate University Hospital

Languages Spoken (Other Than English)

  • Chinese


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