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What is optic neuritis?
Optic neuritis is an inflammation that affects the myelin lining of the optic nerve, which transmits visual stimuli to the brain. The optic nerve is actually a nerve tract of axons that originate in the ganglion cells of the retina. Nerve tracts are the information pathways in the brain. The "optic nerves" are the only nerve tracts not located entirely within the brain. The optic nerves carry visual information from the retina to the
brain stem, where the information is relayed to the area of the brain that recognizes vision (the occipital cortex).
Optic neuritis can occur in children or adults and may involve either one or both optic nerves. Optic neuritis typically affects young adults ranging from 20 to 40 years of age. There is a strong female predominance. The annual incidence is approximately 6.4/100,000.