Author(s): Sato D, Fujihara K
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Abstract Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory disease of central nervous system classically characterized by acute, severe episodes of optic neuritis and longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis, usually with a relapsing course. The identification of an autoantibody exclusively detected in NMO patients against aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) has allowed identification of cases beyond the classical phenotype. Brain lesions, once thought as infrequent, can be observed in NMO patients, but lesions have different characteristics from the ones seen in multiple sclerosis. Additionally, some AQP-4 antibody positive patients may present with a variety of symptoms not being restricted to optic neuritis and acute myelitis during the first attack or in a relapse. Examples are not limited to, but may include patients only with brain and/or brainstem lesions, narcolepsy with hypothalamic lesions or patients with intractable hiccups, nausea and vomiting. The prompt identification of NMO patients with atypical presentations may benefit these patients with institution of early treatment to reduce disability and prevent further attacks.
This article was published in Arq Neuropsiquiatr
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology