Let’s take a brief look at some of the common questions about NMO. You can read our full list of NMO FAQs here.
What is NMO?
NMO stands for neuromyelitis optica, originally known as Devic’s Disease. NMO is currently an incurable but treatable autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells, most commonly in the optic nerves and spinal cord. It can cause temporary or permanent blindness and/or paralysis, and may have periods of remission and relapse.
What causes NMO?
At present, the specific cause(s) of NMO are unknown. However, most experts believe that NMO results from a dysfunction in immune tolerance, which is the immune system’s ability to distinguish one’s own cells or proteins from potentially foreign materials.
How Common is NMO?
Based on recent epidemiologic reports, there are an estimated 15,000 cases in the United States and a half million worldwide. As with many autoimmune conditions, females are affected by the disease more commonly than males, at an approximate ratio of up to 7:1. NMO can affect both children and adults.
For the full FAQs, visit our NMO FAQs page.