Quinn Dinh, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Horizon Therapeutics, discusses what clinicians ought to know about neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).

NMOSD is a rare central nervous disorder that primarily affects the spinal cord and optic nerves. Symptoms of NMOSD may include blindness in one or both eyes, weakness or paralysis of arms or legs, spasming, loss of sensation, uncontrollable vomiting and hiccups, and bladder/bowel problems due to spinal cord damage.

As Dr. Dinh explains, diagnosis often takes a long time for patients unless their symptoms are severe. One reason for this is that NMOSD can be misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis (MS). Another reason is that physicians may be unaware of demographics who are more likely to have the disease such as women (who outnumber men with NMOSD 10 to 1) and individuals of African descent (who tend to have more severe symptoms). 

To learn more about NMOSD and other rare ophthalmology disorders, visit checkrare.com/diseases/ophthalmology-eye-diseases/