The director of Mayo Clinic Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology discussed the most notable recent advances that has propelled care for patients with NMOSD.
"For patients with the disease, it’s a very good time for them. A time of great hope and knowing that there are drugs that can really help prevent disability.”
Patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) have benefitted greatly from the progress made in research in the last few years, which has led to the first FDA-approved therapies for patients with the disease. Researchers have also uncovered more about the presentation of the disease and how it differentiates from other demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease.
The breakthrough in distinguishing NMOSD was the discovery of the aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody, which plays a crucial role in water transportation as well as maintaining homeostasis within the central nervous system. Sean Pittock, MD, director, Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology, Mayo Clinic, claims that the recent strides have been nothing short of an "amazing feat for the neurological community."
Pittock, who also directs the Mayo Clinic Neuroimmunology Research Laboratory, has had a focus in multidisciplinary, collaborative research in autoimmune disorders, autoimmune gastrointestinal dysmotility, and NMOSD. He sat down with NeurologyLive to provide thoughts on each approved therapy, the data that led to their approvals, and the most notable advancements made in recent years.