Neuromyelitis Optica (Devic's Syndrome)
What is the Treatment for Neuromyelitis Optica?
There is no cure for neuromyelitis optica, but there are therapies to treat an attack while it is happening, to reduce symptoms, and to prevent relapses.
- Doctors usually treat an initial attack of neuromyelitis optica with a combination of a corticosteroid drug (methylprednisolone) to stop the attack, and an immunosuppressive drug (azathioprine) for prevention of subsequent attacks.
- If frequent relapses occur, some individuals may need to continue a low dose of steroids for longer periods.
- Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) is a technique that separates antibodies out of the blood stream and is used with people who are unresponsive to corticosteroid therapy.
- Pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, and bladder and bowel control problems can be managed with the appropriate medications and therapies.
- Individuals with major disability will require the combined efforts of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and social services professionals to address their complex rehabilitation needs.