This program is a clinical service with a research component for cases of Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). The program is also involved in clinical research concerning the cause and consequences of NMO and in raising public awareness and educating and disseminating information about the disease to the community and health care professionals.
The program at UBC Hospital is currently housed within the MS Clinic. There are no extra costs.
These symptoms usually develop over days which can help separate them from the signs of stroke which occur instantly.
Testing by a neurologist with specialization in multiple sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica is often required.
The tests conducted often include:
Neuromyelitis Optica is a treatable disease and prevention of attacks using common medications such as imuran (azathioprine) is recommended after careful assessment by a specialist.
Standard treatment for acute attacks include inravenous steroids as soon as possible after the onset of a severe attack. Milder attacks may require steroids taken by mouth.
These treatments should be started as soon as possible of onset of a severe attack. Milder attacks may require steroids taken by mouth.
Similar to MS, Neuromyelitis Optica is more common in women between the ages of 20 and 40.
However, we've seen this develop in children as young as two and adults in their 60s.
Neuromyelitis Optica is rare compared to multiple sclerosis. For example in BC over 9000 people have multiple sclerosis compared to 150 with Neuromyelitis Optica.
In general, multiple sclerosis is much less common in people of east and south east Asian ethnicity. However, at least one third of those diagnosed with MS actually have NMO.
In the initial assessment, you will be thoroughly evaluated by a neurologist (with an expertise in NMO) and additional team members. Treatment options and follow-up appointments are managed accordingly.