Neuromyelitis Optica (Draft) *Twitter*

Submitted by palmergrabner on Tue, 03/14/2023 - 17:04

Title Tweet: Neuromyeltis Optica 

Tweet 1: Formerly known as Devic disease, neuromyelitis optica can have extreme effects on one’s vision. Most commonly, eye symptoms involve the appearance of faded colors as well as gradual vision loss.

Tweet 2: Neuromyelitis optica is an autoimmune disease. This means that the host's immune system starts to attack its own cells, which can have pretty severe consequences. In this case, the immune system attacks cells in the optic nerve and spinal cord. 

Tweet 3: This attack on the central nervous system makes neuromyelitis optica a dangerous condition. Left untreated, 22%-30% of patients die within five years; however, with treatment this rate declines to 3-7%.  

Tweet 4: Most often this condition is not genetic, neuromyelitis optica can develop after a viral infection. Antibodies made against the virus cross-react with proteins on the surface of cells in the optic nerve and spinal cord. 

Tweet 5: The antibodies allow a variety of things to happen to these cells: they can activate the complement system which can puncture holes in the cellular membrane. 

Tweet 6: The damage of these cells leads to the myriad of symptoms associated with neuromyelitis optica.  Unfortunately, at this time there is no cure. 

Tweet 7: Some immunosuppressants have been used with varying levels of success, such azathioprine. Other medications such as steroids have been used in an attempt to reduce inflammation.