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Last week our researchers and physicians discussed a paper about Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD), an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the CNS. Specifically, NMOSD affects the optic nerves and spinal cord, and can lead to a loss of vision, and in some cases, paralysis.
Though MS is a more common CNS inflammatory disease, NMOSD accounts for about 1-2% of cases of diseases in its class. There are many clinical manifestations of NMOSD, including acute attacks of neurologic dysfunction, with relapses, over the span of a few days. Syndromes such as optic neuritis and transverse myelitis are also common in patients with NMOSD. Lesions in the brain, optic nerve, optic chiasm, or spinal cord confirmed through MRI detection and specific aquaporin antibodies in serum are associated with NMOSD. Treatment for NMOSD includes glucocorticoids, and in some cases, plasma exchange. This work highlights the importance of distinguishing other CNS inflammatory diseases from MS, in order to better understand diseases of its class, and further prevent misdiagnosis in the future.
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