NMO stands for Neuromyelitis Optica. NMO is not the same as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), although they have some similar symptoms. Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) also called Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) is a distinctive, but rare autoimmune disease. NMO is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by attacks known as relapses of swelling and damage in the optic nerves (optic neuritis or ON) and spinal cord (transverse myelitis or TM). It can cause temporary or permanent blindness and/or paralysis, and may have periods of remission and relapse.
NMO is considered a rare disease. There are an estimated 15,000 cases of NMO in the United states and hundreds of thousands patients worldwide. There is no cure for NMO.
NMO is most commonly characterized by inflammation of the spinal cord and/or the optic nerves. The symptoms are eye pain or vision loss (optic neuritis), numbness, weakness, and paralysis (transverse myelitis), loss of bladder and bowel control, as well as prolonged nausea, vomiting and hiccup.