What Are the Treatments for Neuromyelitis Optica?

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Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a central nervous system disorder.  It primarily affects the eye nerves (optic neuritis) and the spinal cord (myelitis). Other names of NMO include neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder or Devic's disease. In neuromyelitis optica, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and a substance called myelin in the spinal cord and eyes.
The cause of the immune system dysfunction leading to NMO is unknown. It usually occurs in only one person in a family. There is no cure for NMO, but there are therapies aimed at treating episodes in progress and reducing symptoms.
The treatment for sudden episodes and symptom relief is intravenous corticosteroids. If this does not relieve symptoms, plasma exchange may be effective. Low doses of carbamazepine may also control painful muscle spasms during an episode.
People with severe, permanent symptoms may benefit from collaborating with occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social services professionals to address their rehabilitation needs.
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