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Why does neuromyelitis optica (NMO) occur?

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NMO happens because your body's immune system attacks healthy cells in your central nervous system (your brain and your spinal cord). These attacks can happen over days or weeks -- this is called monophasic NMO. On the other hand, you could go a long time between attacks, even months or years. This is called relapsing NMO. With relapsing NMO, symptoms go away but can come back and get worse over time.

From: What Is Neuromyelitis Optica? WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava on November 11, 2018

Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2018

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic -- Diseases and Conditions: "Devic's Disease."

Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation: "NMO Fact Sheet," "NMO Patient Resource Guide."

Mayo Clinic: "Neuromyelitis Optica."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Understanding Autoimmune Diseases."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Neuromyelitis Optica."

National Organization for Rare Diseases: "Neuromyelitis Optica."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on November 11, 2018

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic -- Diseases and Conditions: "Devic's Disease."

Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation: "NMO Fact Sheet," "NMO Patient Resource Guide."

Mayo Clinic: "Neuromyelitis Optica."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Understanding Autoimmune Diseases."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Neuromyelitis Optica."

National Organization for Rare Diseases: "Neuromyelitis Optica."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on November 11, 2018

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Does neuromyelitis optica affect men, women, or children more often?

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