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Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an autoimmune disorder that manifests as inflammation of the optic nerves and central nervous system.

Cases of NMOSD can typically be diagnosed with an antibody test for myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) or aquaporin-4 (AQP4). Most cases are AQP4 antibody–seropositive NMOSD, with a mean age of onset of 40 years old. These features can help distinguish NMOSD from multiple sclerosis. Data on the prevalence and incidence of NMOSD are evolving, with specific genetic components and biomarkers coming into play.

This study, published in Frontiers in Neurology, sought to better characterize the prevalence and pathogenesis of NMOSD. Data were gathered from population-based studies pooled from the PubMed database between 2000 and 2020. Studies were selected based on their relevance to keywords, such as “epidemiology” and “prevalence.”

Ultimately, it was found that the prevalence of NMOSD ranges from around 0.5 to 4 per 100,000 up to 10 per 100,000 in specific racial or ethnic groups. Compared to multiple sclerosis, which has a prevalence range of about 1 or 2 per 100,000 to 200 per 100,0000, NMOSD has a smaller prevalence range. Finally, East Asians and Blacks were found to have a higher prevalence of NMOSD than whites, and clinical features seemed to be heavily influenced by age of onset, race, and sex, in addition to genetic and environmental factors.

In conclusion, although more diverse population-based studies and longitudinal studies are needed to accurately determine the prevalence of NMOSD, healthcare providers should be aware of differences in age of onset, race, and sex when diagnosing and treating NMOSD [1].

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Source:

[1] Hor, J. Y., Asgari, N., Nakashima, I., Broadley, S. A., Leite, M. I., Kissani, N., Jacob, A., Marignier, R., Weinshenker, B. G., Paul, F., Pittock, S. J., Palace, J., Wingerchuk, D. M., Behne, J. M., Yeaman, M. R., & Fujihara, K. (2020). Epidemiology of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and its prevalence and incidence worldwide. Frontiers in Neurology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00501

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