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© 2017 American Academy of Neurology. Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory disorder of the CNS that preferentially affects the optic nerve and spinal cord, causing optic neuritis and transverse myelitis, the latter typically being associated with longitudinally extensive signal change on MRI. It is estimated to affect about 1-3 individuals per 100,000 in the general world population, but is overrepresented in nonwhite populations (particularly Asians and those of Afro-Caribbean descent) as a major proportion of CNS demyelinating disease. 1-5 It follows a relapsing course in the majority of individuals, and most patients have early disability due to severe relapses; within 5 years of disease onset, over 50% of patients with relapsing NMO are blind in one eye or both eyes or require ambulatory support. 6,7

Original publication




Journal article


Neurology: Clinical Practice

Publication Date





170 - 178