Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2014 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 > The Treatment of Neuromyelitis Optica
Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology:
doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000102
State-of-the-Art Review

The Treatment of Neuromyelitis Optica

Kowarik, Markus C. MD; Soltys, John BS; Bennett, Jeffrey L. MD, PhD

Section Editor(s): Biousse, Valérie MD; Galetta, Steven MD

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Abstract

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system directed against astrocytes. Initially diagnosed in individuals with monophasic or relapsing optic neuritis and transverse myelitis, NMO is now recognized as a demyelinating disorder with pleiotropic presentations due to the identification of a specific autoantibody response against the astrocyte water channel aquaporin-4 in the majority of individuals. As visual impairment and neurologic dysfunction in NMO are commonly severe, aggressive treatment of relapses and prophylactic immunomodulatory therapy are the focus of treatment. Although there are no approved treatments for NMO, medications and therapeutic interventions for acute and chronic treatment have been the subject of retrospective study and case reports. The goal of this review is to familiarize the reader with biologic and clinical data supporting current treatments in NMO and highlight future strategies based on advancements in our understanding of NMO pathogenesis.

Copyright © 2014 by North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society

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