Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs) are immune-mediated chronic and often relapsing inflammatory diseases that target the optic nerve and spinal cord. These disorders affect individuals at any age, although middle-aged and older women are most commonly affected; 40 years of age appears to be the average age of onset.  NMOSDs are often mistaken for multiple sclerosis (MS) because of overlapping symptoms (eg, optic neuritis and transverse myelitis), but can be differentiated by clinical course, the presence and extent of lesions in the brain and/or spinal cord, optic neuritis, and the presence of aquaporin-4 receptor (AQP4) or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) IgG autoantibodies. Treatment strategies for NMOSDs and MS differ: NMOSDs require immunosuppressive therapy or plasmapheresis and MS requires immune-modulation therapy.  Some MS therapies can aggravate NMOSDs, so early diagnosis is essential.

Tabs Content
Content Review: 
February 2019

Last Update: March 2019