Video Library

Currently how is NMO/NMOSD best diagnosed?

Published on April 2, 2010

Sean Pittock, MD – Mayo Clinic:

Since the discovery of the aquaporin-4 antibody in 2004 the spectrum of NMO has dramatically changed and evolved to what we now consider NMO spectrum disorder. And animal spectrum disorders are defined by the presence of aquaporin-4 antibodies. So in terms of making the diagnosis, one has to look at the clinical phenotype, the clinical presentation of the patients, but most importantly, the presence of the aquaporin-4 antibody, an antibody that targets a water channel that sits on the astrocyte.

The concept of animal spectrum disorders has expanded to include presentations that are actually outside of the optic nerve and spinal cord. For example, some patients may present with just intractable nausea and vomiting, and if they have aquaporin-4 antibodies they have an NMO spectrum disorder. Other patients can present with muscle problems or brain lesions, and those patients, if they have aquaporin-4 antibodies, can be defined as having an animal spectrum disease.


Posted in

More Videos from

Do NMO treatments have dangerous side effects?

In NMO, the immune system is too active, so all of our treatments are really directed at decreasing the immune system.

Can Tissues injured by NMO be repaired (Regeneration/Remyelination)?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is we don't know how that happens...after a patient relapses and we suppress the inflammation

Does spinal cord damage occur in NMO?

Spinal cord damage occurs in all patients with NMO, because it's one of the essential diagnostic criteria for NMO.

Does the weather/environment affect NMO?

We get asked all the time whether or not there is a link between changes in weather and the environment and how our patients do with NMO.