The symptoms and diagnosis of NMO are
- Lesions that mirror the distribution of aquaporin 4, a protein found in the target cells. The sites of the lesion are
- Periventricular (hemispheric) white matter involvement. Ventricles are cavities in the brain.
- Periaqueductal grey matter that lines the ventricles or brain cavities.
- Hypothalamus/medial thalamus (midbrain).
- Dorsal pons/medulla (hindbrain).
- Corpus callosum (tissue connecting two halves of the brain).
- Deep white matter
- Hemispheric white matter lesions
- Larger than 3 centimeters in diameter.
- Radially spindle-shaped.
- Involving the overlying cortex.
- Bright spotty lesions over the spinal MRI are a specific feature of NMO.
The MRI of the spine in people with NMO often reveals inflammation extending over three vertebrae. NMO typically affects the cervical and thoracic areas, especially during a relapse. On the contrary, the spine MRI in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) often reveals inflammation extending over two vertebrae.
What is NMO?
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or Devic disease is a rare, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). NMO primarily affects the myelin sheath that covers the cells of the CNS. The disease targets the spinal cord, optic nerves and brainstem. The damage to the optic nerves produces swelling and inflammation that cause pain and vision damage. The damage to the spinal cord causes weakness or paralysis in the legs or arms, loss of sensation and problems with bladder and bowel functions. Moreover, damage to the brainstem can lead to prolonged hiccups, nausea, vomiting, vertigo or respiratory failure.
NMO is a relapsing-remitting disease and, during a relapse, new damage to optic nerves and/or the spinal cord can cause additional disability.
There are two types of NMO
- Relapsing form: This is the most common type of NMO and mainly affects more women than men. It has periodic flare-ups with some respite in between.
- Monophasic form: This involves a single attack that lasts for one to two months. Both men and women are equally affected by this form.
What are other ways to diagnose NMO?
To diagnose neuromyelitis optica (NMO), the physician may review the patient’s medical history and physical symptoms and perform a physical examination. The physicians may also use the following tests to diagnose NMO.
- Neurological examination: This is done to examine movement, muscle strength, coordination, sensation and memory and thinking functions. An ophthalmologist may also be involved in the exam.
- Blood test: The doctor may perform a blood test for the autoantibody, NMO-IgG, which helps distinguish NMO from multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological conditions.
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap): In this test, the doctor will insert a needle into the lower back to drain a small amount of spinal fluid. Next, the physician sends the fluid to the lab to test the levels of immune cells, proteins and antibodies. In NMO, the spinal fluid reveals an abnormal level of white blood cells, which is higher than that seen in MS.
- Stimuli response test: The doctor will perform a stimuli response test to learn how well the brain responds to stimuli, such as sound, sight or touch. The physician will attach electrodes to the scalp. In some cases, the physician might also attach electrodes to the earlobes, neck, arm, leg and back. The brain responses to stimuli are recorded in the equipment attached to the electrodes. As a result, the physician can find the lesions or damaged areas in the spinal cord, optic nerve, brain or brainstem.
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Can NMO Cause Headaches?Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) also known as Devic disease is a rare yet severe disease. In this condition, antibodies (proteins) are produced against the cells in the central nervous system. It specifically affects the myelin, which is the insulation sheath around the nerves.
Does NMO Cause Fatigue?Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or Devic disease is a rare, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) doesn't cause fatigue, but living with the disease can lead to fatigue.
Does NMO Qualify for Disability?Neuromyelitis optica or NMO qualifies for severe disability because it affects the central nervous system, causing blindness and paralysis.
How Are Hiccups Caused?Hiccups are a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle. In general hiccups are just a temporary condition. Some of the causes of hiccups include certain medications, surgery, eating or drinking too much, spicy foods, diseases or conditions that irritate the nerves controlling the diaphragm, strokes, brain tumors, liver failure, and noxious fumes. There are a variety of home remedies and treatments that can be used to get rid of hiccups.
Is NMO Worse Than MS?Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the central nervous system. The autoimmune disease means the body attacks its own cells and gives rise to symptoms. Symptoms of NMO are usually severe than multiple sclerosis (MS). The individual episodes in NMO are more serious compared to MS.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers.
Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
How to Get Rid of Nausea and VomitingWhat is nausea? Do you want to know how to get rid of nausea and how to stop vomiting? Learn home remedies for nausea, anti-nausea medication, what causes nausea, and other info crucial to nausea relief. Understand why we vomit, how vomiting can be treated or prevented, and more.
Nerve Disease and Bladder ControlA nerve problem might affect your bladder control if the nerves that are supposed to carry messages between the brain and the bladder do not work properly. Such problems include urine retention, poor control of sphincter muscles, and overactive bladder. Treatment depends upon the cause of the nerve damage and resulting type of bladder control problem.
What Neurological Disorders Cause Loss of Bladder Control?Loss of bladder control is urinary incontinence. Severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine while straining, coughing or sneezing to having a frequent sudden urge to urinate. The causes of neurologic urinary incontinence include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, brain tumor, spinal injury and heavy metal poisoning.
How to Get Rid of Hiccups
The main muscle that helps your lungs expand and contract to breathe is the diaphragm, which is in your abdomen and controls the volume of your chest cavity. Hiccups (also spelled hiccough) happen when this diaphragm muscle spasms. In response, you vocal cords snap shut, causing the “hic” sound you hear with hiccups. This condition is usually harmless and temporary, but prolonged cases may indicate some disease process or digestive problem that is causing the condition.
Incontinence in WomenUrinary incontinence in women is a common problem. Overactive bladder (OAB), stress incontinence, and urge incontinence can be treated. Learn more about the types of urinary incontinence, their symptoms, and treatment options.
What Is the Life Expectancy of Someone With NMO?Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) is a rare inflammatory autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the optic nerve and the spinal cord, and sometimes the brain. Current research indicates that neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) patients have a 91% to 98% five-year survival rate.
What Triggers NMO?An infection or another autoimmune condition may sometimes trigger neuromyelitis optica (NMO).