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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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Neuromyelitis Optica

It is possible that the main title of the report Neuromyelitis Optica is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Devic disease
  • Devic syndrome
  • optic neuromyelitis
  • opticomyelitis
  • (Asian, Japanese) opticospinal MS

Disorder Subdivisions

  • monophasic neuromyelitis optica
  • relapsing neuromyelitis optica
  • neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders

General Discussion

Neuromyelitis optica, also known as Devic disease (DD), is a chronic disorder of nerve tissue characterized by inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and inflammation of the spinal cord (myelitis). There appear to be two forms of this disease. In the classical, but less common monophasic type, one or both optic nerves and the spinal cord are affected by a series of attacks over a short period of time (days or weeks) but, after the initial outburst, there is no recurrence. The second form is more common and is characterized by repeated attacks separated by periods of remission. In this form, the interval between attacks may be weeks, months or years. In its early stages, Devic disease may be confused with multiple sclerosis.


American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668

Transverse Myelitis Association
1787 Sutter Parkway
Powell, OH 43065-8806
Tel: (614)766-1806

NIH/National Eye Institute
31 Center Dr
MSC 2510
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510
United States
Tel: (301)496-5248
Fax: (301)402-1065

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
TDD: (301)468-5981

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

AutoImmunity Community

SistaMoon Foundation
1438 Hometown Avenue
Henderson, NV 89074
Tel: (702)502-9685
Tel: (800)874-2185

Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation
8910 University Center Lane, Suite 725
San Diego, CA 92122
Tel: (858)638-7638
Fax: (858)638-7698

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 3/8/2012
Copyright 1987, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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