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The role of dsDNA in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with NMOSD is not fully understood, but researchers have found that the levels are higher in this population.

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) causes inflammation in the central nervous system and results in severe myelitis and optic neuritis. Double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) has been found to be involved in the pathogenesis of a variety of autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus. The role of dsDNA in NMOSD is unclear, and this study, published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, quantifies the concentration of dsDNA in the cerebrospinal fluid of 23 patients with NMOSD and 16 patients with other neurological diseases.

All patients with NMOSD in this study tested AQP4-Ab-positive according to the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test, and met the 2015 NMOSD diagnostic criteria. Of the patients with other neurological diseases, 11 had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), 2 had Parkinson’s disease, and 3 had idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. The median age of patients with NMOSD was 56.0 years, with a median disease duration of 3 months. The median Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was 3.5. Lesions were found in the spinal cord, brain, and optic nerve.

Levels of dsDNA in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with NMOSD were found to be significantly higher than those in patients with other neurological diseases. NMOSD patients showed a median of 0.03 ng/µL, while the others showed a median of 0.01 ng/μl. Furthermore, these dsDNA levels showed no difference before or after treatment. The authors conclude by noting that the elevation of dsDNA in the cerebrospinal fluid may suggest its essential role in augmenting central nervous system inflammation in patients with NMOSD.

de Sèze, J., Kremer, L., & Collongues, N. (2016). Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD): A new concept. Revue Neurologique, 172(4-5), 256-262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurol.2016.03.003

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