Right then guys here at Relentless we are looking to do our bit for charity. We have been approached by up and coming Dj/Producer Dzine to help support a charity close to his heart. His sister is suffering from NMO. We are trying to raise money for awareness and to give to the unit that looks after her. The way we will raising money is by selling this tune. All the proceeds from this track will be donated so we need full support. The track will be available on all major download sites inc. I-tunes, Beatport, Trackitdown and Dj Download.
NMO is a very rare condition. There are few population-based studies in NMO. In Europe, it is estimated that there is one case of NMO for every 100,000 people potentially affecting less than 1000 people in the UK. This has affected my sister so am trying to raise money for awareness and to give to the unit that looks after her
NMO may be more common in people of Asian and African descent.
NMO can affect any age group.
NMO is predominantly a female disease with a ratio of 4 females:1 male being affected.
Here is some of the info from the NHS website.
Persons with NMO can visually impaired and lose limb function. This in turn can affect not only their health but employment, activities of daily living and leisure reducing overall quality of life. However no data exists on these important aspects. Hence no strategies have been put in place to improve these.
1. From a multidisciplinary perspective investigate the impact of NMO on employment driving, activities of daily living and leisure.
2. To evaluate the information gained
a. to refine service provision
b. create specific patient centred information
c. inform healthcare professionals
What is NMO?
Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO, also known as Devic’s disease) is an autoimmune condition characterised by inflammation (attacks) of the optic nerves (optic neuritis) and spinal cord (transverse myelitis).
NMO Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) is when a patient has a single or relapsing course involving just one area (either optic neuritis or transverse myelitis), AND they have the Aquaporin 4 antibodies in their blood.
The Immune System
NMO develops as the result of a defect in the immune system. The immune system has a role in producing antibodies against bacteria and viruses. This allows us, to recognise and destroy bacteria we have already encountered.
Unfortunately, when the immune system is not functioning properly it can produce antibodies against healthy proteins in the body causing an autoimmune disease. The majority of patients with NMO produce antibodies against a normal protein called Aquaporin 4.
Aquaporin 4 Antibodies
Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) is a water channel protein found on cells known as astrocytes that surround the blood-brain barrier, (a layer of cells responsible for preventing dangerous substances in the blood from crossing into the brain). It is presumed that the blood brain barrier is weakened in NMO, allowing the AQP4 antibodies to enter the central nervous system. This causes an inflammation and demyelination.
Most people (approximately 80%) have Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) antibodies present in their blood.
Inflammation and Demyelination in NMO
These words may sound complicated, but they are actually very straightforward.
Inflammation of the nervous system is similar to inflammation anywhere else in the body. It is a biological response to harmful stimuli (such as bacteria), with the aim to removing this stimuli and initiate healing. The bonding of Aquaporin 4 antibodies to Aquaporin 4 signals to the white blood cells to attack the ‘rogue’ protein. The white blood cells release many chemicals that lead to damage and swelling of the affected area causing loss of function. Nerves which make up the optic nerve and spinal cord are protected by a covering of fat and protein called the “myelin sheath”. This provides support for the nerve as well as acting as an insulator for the electrical impulses sent along the nerves. When the Aquaporin 4 antibodies attack the nervous tissue, they also damage the myelin sheath, a process called demyelination.
The combination of these processes causes the damage seen in NMO.
What are the causes of NMO?
The exact cause of Neuromyelitis Optica is not fully understood. NMO is an auto-immune condition similar to rheumatoid arthritis. The body’s immune system does not recognise some of its own cells and therefore attacks them. Attacks or relapses in NMO are usually due to transverse myelitis and/or optic neuritis.
Transverse Myelitis (TM)
Transverse refers to the inflammation being across the width of the spinal cord and myelitis refers to inflammation of the spinal cord. TM in NMO causes ‘long lesions’ (involving at least three vertebrae). The degree of weakness or numbness depends on the location and severity of the inflammation of the spinal cord. When the spinal cord in the neck is affected, all four limbs may be affected (as the nerves to the arms branch off from the spinal cord at the neck). The main symptoms of TM are muscle weakness in the legs (less commonly in the arms), altered sensations (pins and needles, numbness) in lower half of body, pain and bladder and bowel dysfunction. These symptoms may develop quickly over a few hours or gradually over weeks.
Optic Neuritis (ON)
Optic neuritis (ON) – is the inflammation of the optic nerve (which conducts messages picked up by the eyes to the brain to be interpreted into images that we see). It may be associated with eye pain on movement, blurred vision, double vision, problems seeing colours, visual field defects (where a certain section of a patients visual field is disturbed) sometimes complete visual loss. It causes visual loss, typically in one eye at a time, but can occasionally affect both eyes simultaneously.
In NMO, optic neuritis can affect one eye, but occasionally it can affect both eyes at once.
At the very top of the spinal cord is a structure called the ‘brainstem’ which is an area that can be affected by NMO, an attack in this area is thought to be much rarer. Symptoms that may be associated with the brain stem are prolonged hiccoughs, nausea and vomiting and dizziness.
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