NMO is an uncommon disease syndrome of the central nervous system (CNS). It affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. Also, it leads to a loss of myelin, and damages nerve fibers and leaves areas of broken-down tissue.
That is bad because myelin is a fatty substance that surrounds nerve fibers and helps nerve signals move from cell to cell.
NMO causes the immune system cells and antibodies to attack and destroy myelin cells in the optic nerves and the spinal cord. In turn, this causes the development of:
1. Optic Neuritis
2. Transverse Myelitis
The onset of NMO varies from childhood to adulthood. It has two peaks:
NMO can be diagnosed in people who experienced a rapid onset of blindness in one or both eyes. Within days or weeks, varying degrees of paralysis in the arms and legs can follow.
Still, the interval between optic neuritis (blindness) and transverse myelitis (paralysis of arms and legs) is significantly longer. Sometimes, it’s as long as several years.
After the initial attack, NMO follows an unpredictable course. Most individuals with the syndrome experience clusters of attacks months or years apart. That’s generally followed by partial recovery during periods of remission.
In the past, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) was considered to be a severe variant of multiple sclerosis (MS). That’s because both can cause attacks of optic neuritis and myelitis.
Unfortunately, that mix-up can cause you to get the wrong kind of Neuromyelitis Optica treatment.
However, recent discoveries suggest that NMO is different from MS in the severity of its attacks. As opposed to MS, it solely strikes the optic nerves and spinal cord at the beginning of the disease.
Also, the antibody in the blood of individuals with NMO gives doctors a reliable biomarker to distinguish NMO from MS.
The antibody, known as NMO-IgG, seems to be present in about 70% of clients with NMO and is not found in people with MS or other similar conditions.
Here is exactly what sets them apart.
Studies show that NMO clients respond well to strengthening and conditioning programs. They consist of:
These are all essential components of our functional Neuromyelitis Optica treatment program.
Also, our staff is skilled at guiding people with disabilities through programs designed to meet their needs.
We achieve this with our C.A.S.T® program (Comprehensive Activity-Based Strength Training). It can help clients with NMO strengthen their physical condition. Our goal is to give each and every one of you the chance to regain your independence.
1. Lin HN1, Nagaoka M, Hayashi Y, Hatori K. Effect of vibration stimulation on dysbasia of spastic paraplegia in neuromyelitis optica: a possible example of neuronal plasticity. BMJ Case Rep. 2012 Oct 6;2012. pii: bcr2012006793. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2012-006793.
2. Schreiber, Adam L.; Fried, Guy W.; Formal, Christopher S.; and DeSouza, Bryan X., “Rehabilitation of Neuromyelitis Optica (Devic’s Syndrome): 3 Case Reports” (2008). Department of Rehabilitation Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 3. http://jdc.jefferson.edu/rmfp/3