Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) is a potentially devastating, complex autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that differs clinically and pathologically from the more common Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In this paper, we briefly describe our clinical experience with NMO patients treated in an inner city hospital in central Brooklyn, New York, and offer a an up-to-date discussion of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of this rare condition. Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system usually associated with autoantibodies against Aquaporin 4 water channel (Anti-AQP4 Ab). The disease was traditionally defined as optic neuritis (ON) and longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). The worldwide prevalence of NMO varies from 0.52 to 4.4 in 100,000 . It has a female preponderance, ranging from 2:1 to 10:1, depending on the case series. In our case series, all of our patients were women. Meandisease onset is around age 40, as is the case in our series (mean age of 39 years). The frequency of NMO in non-whites is quite high compared to MS. NMO is the cause of nearly 40 percent of the demyelinating diseases in Thailand, 20-30 percent in the Japanese, 27 percent among the West Indian population, and approximately 20 percent among Indians .
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Last date updated on June, 2014