Testing for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)
This has allowed us to broaden the definition of what we consider NMO and introduce the concept of an NMO spectrum disorder. Some patients that have brain MRI abnormalities have abnormalities that we consider to be NMO typical. In this slide, you can see the orange dots. These dots represent aquaporin-4, the water channel, which is the target of NMO-IgG.
This water channel is highly expressed in these regions. It is of interest that some patients with neuromyelitis optica have MRI abnormalities that localize to these aquaporin-4-rich sites. Here you can see flair signal abnormality around the floor of the fourth ventricle, in the thalamus, and hypothalamus. And, in this slide, on coronal section, again you can see the high flair signal abnormality again around the floor of the fourth ventricle in the brain stem.
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