Improvements in Awareness of NMOSD, Optic Neuritis: John Chen, MD, PhD


The neuroophthalmologist at mayo clinic provided context on the importance of raising awareness for NMOSD and the signs that precede clinical events. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"Even general ophthalmologists are recognizing the importance of looking for the aquaporin-4 antibodies in any patient with optic neuritis, especially if its severe. It’s some of those lesser common symptoms that we need to educate providers about."

Each year, in March, the global clinical and patient community come together to raise awareness for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a rare inflammatory disease that impacts roughly 15,000 people in the US. Those with the disorder can suffer from sudden vision loss, paralysis, or both. About 90% of NMOSD is relapsing-remitting, similar to multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease for which has been closely linked to NMOSD since discovery.

Organizations like the Siegal Rare Neuroimmune Association (SRNA) and The Sumaira Foundation have been at the forefront in raising recognition for NMOSD Awareness Month and the impact the disease has on those affected. Over the years, there has been great advance in the treatment of this disorder, fueled by the FDA approvals of 3 agents—eculizumab (Soliris; Alexion), inebilizumab (Uplizna; Horizon) Satralizumab (Enspryng; Genentech).

Recently, John Chen, MD, PhD, a neuroophthalmologist at Mayo Clinic, sat down to discuss the importance of raising awareness for NMOSD, and specifically, the early signs and changes in vision. He spoke on the education needed for a range of specialists who might encounter NMOSD or related disorders, as well as how advances in MOG-antibody disease has improved the overall detection of NMOSD. Additionally, he spoke on the benefits of newly approved agents, and the lessons learned since their arrival.

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