Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Medical Imaging Center of Southern California

Radiology and Medical Imaging located in Santa Monica, CA & Beverly Hills, CA

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an extremely rare autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system. NMOSD can mimic other conditions, which is why it’s important to have a medical provider that understands the disease, such as Dr. Bradley Jabour at the Medical Imaging Center of Southern California. For expert diagnosis and treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, call the Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, California, office or you can use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder Q & A

What is neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder?

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an extremely uncommon autoimmune disorder that encompasses both optic neuritis and myelitis in your spinal cord. This disease attacks your central nervous system, which can lead to vision problems, as well as mobility issues because of the assault on your spinal cord.

NMOSD may attack just once and fairly quickly — in a matter of weeks. But the disorder is usually episodic, flaring, and then going into remission, which can last for days, months, or even years in-between episodes.

What are the symptoms of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder?

There are two coinciding conditions with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, so the symptoms can be divided into two areas:

Optic neuritis

This condition causes inflammation in your eye, which can quickly lead to pain and vision loss. NMOSD typically affects just one of your eyes, but it can strike both.

Myelitis

With myelitis, you have inflammation in your spinal cord, which can lead to:

  • Pain in your back and legs
  • Gradual paralysis or weakening in your legs
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

People with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder may first experience problems in one area, and then the other, or they may co-occur.

How is neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder diagnosed?

Since neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder is so uncommon, it’s important that you seek a specialist like those at Medical Imaging Center of Southern California who understand the disease and what signs to look out for. In its early stages, NMOSD is often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis. 

To differentiate the two, your doctor relies on advanced diagnostic tools, such as an MRI of your brain, as well as an extensive analysis of your spinal fluid.

How is neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder treated?

If your doctor confirms a diagnosis of NMOSD, they typically recommend treating both areas of inflammation with corticosteroids. The earlier your doctor is able to address your inflammation, the better able you are to avoid long-term consequences. Through quick intervention, your NMOSD can be brought under control, before permanent vision or mobility problems take hold.

To learn more about diagnosing and treating neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, call the Medical Imaging Center of Southern California or use the online scheduler to set up a consultation.