Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and other non-multiple sclerosis central nervous system inflammatory diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW This article reviews the clinical features, diagnostic approach, treatment, and prognosis of central nervous system inflammatory diseases that mimic multiple sclerosis (MS), including those defined by recently discovered autoantibody biomarkers. RECENT FINDINGS The discovery of autoantibody biomarkers of inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (aquaporin-4 IgG and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein IgG) and the recognition that, despite some overlap, their clinical phenotypes are distinct from MS have revolutionized this field of neurology. These autoantibody biomarkers assist in diagnosis and have improved our understanding of the underlying disease pathogenesis. This has allowed targeted treatments to be translated into clinical trials, three of which are now under way in aquaporin-4 IgG-seropositive neuromyelitis optica (NMO) spectrum disorder. SUMMARY Knowledge of the clinical attributes, MRI findings, CSF parameters, and accompanying autoantibody biomarkers can help neurologists distinguish MS from its inflammatory mimics. These antibody biomarkers provide critical diagnostic and prognostic information and guide treatment decisions. Better recognition of the clinical, radiologic, and laboratory features of other inflammatory MS mimics that lack autoantibody biomarkers has allowed us to diagnose these disorders faster and initiate disease-specific treatments more expeditiously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-844
Number of pages30
JournalCONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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