What is Neuromyelitis Optica?
Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), also known as Devic’s disease or Devic’s syndrome, is an autoimmune disorder that affects the optic nerves and the spinal cord. It causes immune system cells and antibodies to mistakenly attack and destroy myelin cells in the optic nerves and the spinal cord. Myelin is a fatty substance that surrounds nerve fibers and helps move nerve signals from cell to cell.
NMO causes damage to the optic nerve, which results in inflammation, pain, and loss of vision. The damage done to the spinal cord causes loss of sensation, bladder, and bowel function problems, and weakness or paralysis in the arms and legs.
Two Forms of Neuromyelitis Optica
NMO typically occurs in one of two ways: either a single attack that lasts about a month or two or recurring attacks over many years. Most people have clusters of attacks followed by a remission period with partial recovery.
Our attorneys are currently representing a number of patients in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program who developed Neuromyelitis Optica following a vaccination.
Vaccination and Neuromyelitis Optica
The cause of NMO is still unknown, although experts believe it’s the result of a dysfunction in immune tolerance. Immune tolerance is the body’s ability to distinguish its own cells or proteins from foreign materials. Even more, some studies show a possible link between the influenza vaccine and vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV).
A German study conducted by researchers at Heinrich Heine University showed at least four patients had symptoms of NMO a few months after receiving the HPV vaccine. Others reported they developed NMO after receiving the flu vaccine. Some studies have shown a possible link between influenza and HPV vaccines, and NMO.
Neuromyelitis Optica Vaccine Injury Case Results
Our firm is currently representing patients in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program who developed Neuromyelitis Optica following a vaccination. Review recent case results below and read the actual decisions handed down by the Vaccine Court. Remember, each case is different and the results of this case don’t guarantee or predict a similar result in future cases.
What is the Difference Between NMO and Multiple Sclerosis?
It was once thought that NMO was a variant of multiple sclerosis, or MS because both conditions affect the central nervous system and can cause attacks of optic neuritis and myelitis. But research has concluded they are distinct illnesses that require different treatments.
Recently an antibody was discovered that helps doctors distinguish NMO from MS. In NMO, the immune system sees the aquaporin 4 molecule, a membrane protein, as foreign. It creates an antibody, known as NMO-IgG, to attack those cells. It is found in about 70 percent of people with NMO and is something doctors are able to test for. This antibody is not found in people with MS. Other differences include:
- Symptoms after an NMO attack tend to be more severe than what’s experienced with MS.
- NMO tends to only strike the optic nerves and the spinal cord at the beginning of the disease. MS usually affects the brain in addition to the spinal cord and optic nerve.
- Episodes of NMO are usually more severe than those experienced with MS.
- NMO does not typically have the secondary progressive stage that occurs with MS. The disabilities that arise from NMO happen due to the acute attacks.
- Fatigue associated with NMO is usually an indirect result of the disease and is considered secondary fatigue. With MS, fatigue is a direct result of the disease and is considered primary fatigue.
Diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica After a Vaccine?
One of our highly experienced vaccine attorneys can review your case for free
Who is Affected by NMO?
- It is estimated that about 4,000 people in the United States have NMO, and worldwide it is estimated that around half a million people are affected.
- The single-episode form of the syndrome affects men and women equally. However, more than 80 percent of people with the recurring form are women.
- Neuromyelitis Optica strikes at almost any age, starting as young as 3 years old. However, it most commonly strikes during childhood and between the ages of 40 and 50.
What are the Treatment Options for NMO?
There is no cure or FDA-approved treatment specifically indicated for this syndrome. However, there are some therapies available to treat attacks, control symptoms, and help prevent future episodes. A high-dose IV corticosteroid is usually the first treatment given to reduce disease activity and restore neurologic function. Some people may need to stay on a low dose of steroids for a longer period if they experience relapses. Other options include immunosuppressant drugs or monoclonal antibodies.
Plasma exchange, or plasmapheresis, is used on some patients who are unresponsive to steroid treatments. The process separates antibodies out of the bloodstream. There are also several medications and treatments available to manage the symptoms and complications associated with NMO.
Common Adverse Vaccine Reactions
Find out right now if you have a vaccine injury claim
Your Case Review is Free. Don’t Wait to Get Help Because There is a Deadline.
COVID-19 Vaccines are NOT Eligible
My experience with mctlaw for my hip claim was remarkable, I found the communication to be outstanding. I also felt they did an excellent job setting expectations and then delivering on those stated expectations. From net amount, timing of the settlement, how much each related party would receive etc. they were outstanding. I would highly recommend them. They are very professional and set the bar in vaccine injury practice.
Five stars for mctlaw! Paralegal Leslie Williams did an outstanding job communicating with us and keeping us informed. Thanks for all the help.
I am excited to be receiving my final payment so I can put all this behind me. I am really grateful to everyone who played a part in getting me this well deserved settlement as my life has been negatively impacted over the years.
We cannot thank you enough for the services your firm has provided for Marie and I in our time of need. I could not have chosen a finer firm near or far to represent us.
John and Marie (Last Name Withheld for Privacy)
My first response is “Wow!” It has only been 11 months since I first heard of “SIRVA” and an HHS program that awarded compensation to its victims and only 7 months since MC&T accepted my case. I feel that your efforts on my part made all the difference.
Thanks to you I am living comfortably in my own home with assistance. After my devastating GBS diagnosis from the flu vaccine six years ago, I didn’t know what to do. Thank goodness I found you and your law firm. Thank you so much!
Name Withheld for Privacy
Alison is a phenomenal attorney… When she put together the demand letter she was able to explain what I had been through and how I had felt… I want to thank your firm but personally thank all that had a hand in resolving my case.
Name Withheld for Privacy
The past 10 months have been a whirlwind to say the least but we are truly thankful, grateful and appreciative of …all you have done for our family. This is truly life changing for us. The weight that this lifts off of our shoulders and the peace of mind it will give us….its priceless. So again, thank you.
Name Withheld for Privacy of a Minor Child
Thank you so much. It was so nice to deal with someone who treated us with respect and had a true interest in our future. This would not have happened without your hard work. Please tell anyone who helped with this that we truly appreciate it.
Martin (Last Name Withheld)
I am so grateful for all of your time and tireless work that you have put into resolving my case. Most sincere thanks.
I just wanted to thank you for your help over the past 3 years…Thank you for negotiating with the DOJ in order to get as much as we could under the circumstance…It has been a pleasure having you and your wonderful staff here to assist me in this long and tedious effort.
Name Withheld for Privacy
Thank you for all of your efforts all along to help resolve lifelong issues I will always have due to this defective implant. You have held my hand through a lot and each and everyone of you at MCT are appreciated for all of your efforts.
Name Withheld for Privacy
Mr. Maglio, I want you to know the appreciation I have for Diana Stadelnikas and her team for the effort they have put into my wife’s claim! The settlement negotiation they achieved (in a very frustrating situation) is outstanding! While there’s a way to go yet, I want to assure you will they have my full confidence and gratitude to the finish! I know you must be proud of your people!
I thank you so much for your diligent and hard work on my behalf. You are a thoroughly professional and pleasant person and I am grateful for having you on my case.