Early Diagnosis of Neuromyelitis Optica

525 Words Feb 19th, 2018 2 Pages
Early diagnosis of NMO is very important because if left untreated or ignored, acute episodes are usually severe in the end and can have devastating, irreversible effects on major functions. This is the opposite of MS in the sense that each episode of MS is usually mild and cumulative episodes over time lead to disability.
Neuromyelitis Optica, like other autoimmune disorders, cannot be cured as of now. The current treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms and preventing further complications hopefully reducing the frequency of the attacks in patients with relapsing attacks. Each attack poses a risk of respiratory failure and even death which is the reason for requiring medical treatment. Attacks are usually treated with intravenous corticosteroid therapy followed by oral steroid therapy. Patients at risk can also be prescribed immunosuppressant drugs to prevent subsequent attacks. If corticosteroid treatment does not cause a response, then plasma exchange therapy is given. During this, blood is removed in order to remove the attack causing antibodies from the bloodstream. After the blood is taken out, it is diluted and returned with fresh plasma. Occasionally, respiratory ventilation is necessary to prevent respiratory failure. Respiratory failure is the leading cause of death among…
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