Home/Blogs/Blog details

Neuromyelitis Optica – An Overview

Mar 31, 2017

Neuromyelitis Optica – An Overview

Also known as Devic’s disease, neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a disease that majorly affects the nerves present in the eyes and the spinal cord which may lead to blindness in one or both the eyes, and also paralysis of the limbs. It is a central nervous system disorder, and is known broadly as neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. It is an autoimmune disease i.e., the immune system of the body starts targeting and destroying the cells of the central nervous system, the reason for which is unknown.

The exact cause of the disease is unknown. It might be caused due to an infection or a pre-existing autoimmune condition. It is usually known to present itself due to pre-existing diseases like collagen vascular diseases, auto-anti-body diseases, infections, Epstein-Barr virus, or AIDS. It can also be caused due to the over consumption of anti-tuberculosis drugs.

The symptoms of the Devic’s disease vary from person to person. But there are some symptoms that are common in all the patients. They are as follows:

  • Loss of vision
  • Dysfunctional Spinal cord
  • Visual impairment
  • Defects in the visual field.
  • Inability to see color
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inability to feel
  • Leg spasms
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Sharp pain in the back and abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

If the disease is not diagnosed at an early stage, the severe attacks that a patient experiences as the disease progresses might leave the patient with severe complications for a lifetime. Another complication is that neuromyelitis optica is often confused with multiple sclerosis (MS), another autoimmune disease. In such cases, it may be too late for the patient to receive the correct treatment.

Being a non-curable disease, neuromyelitis optica can only be treated with the intent of controlling the symptoms. Even with the treatment, in severe cases, some patients still might be victims of visual impairment and paralysis. The treatment for acute attacks includes the prescription of high dosage of corticosteroids.  When the patient fails to respond to corticosteroids, plasmapheresis is a common treatment used.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

footer pattern

All Copyrights reserve worldhealthcarenews.biz 2017.