Discussing NMOSD’s relation to AQP4 and pattern enhancement on MRIs, the neuro-ophthalmologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center further commented on the importance of early diagnosis.
“It's so important to recognize the condition really early on. Very much like in neurology and stroke, we find that time is brain, and time is vision, as well. So, if we were able to see these patients early on, identify them, and treat them, the outcome is so much better.”
Within the field of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) care, discoveries over the last few years have assisted in the ability to recognize and diagnose the condition earlier on, improving patient outcomes. Despite previous beliefs that NMOSD was part of the multiple sclerosis (MS) disease spectrum, it is now understood that it is related to the aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody, and according to Melanie Truong-Le, DO, OD, neuro-ophthalmologist, Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, UT Southwestern Medical Center, identification of AQP4 has helped to “drive care” within neuro-ophthalmology specifically.
In conversation with NeurologyLive, Truong-Le further delved into a discussion of differentiating divisions of optic neuritis, as typical optical neuritis is related to MS, and atypical optical neuritis is often found with NMOSD. With these variations, providers also see a different pattern of enhancement and different effects and involvement with the optic nerve, with providers now relying on images to inform diagnosis. The relation of the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody to optic neuritis, the pathogenicity of which is not yet fully understood, is another area that has assisted in acute diagnosis, Truong-Le said.