Ailments & ConditionsYour Health

Neuromyelitis Optica vs Multiple Sclerosis – What’s the Difference

Multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis are two autoimmune diseases that trigger the immune system to attack body cells. This similar mechanism leads to some common symptoms that make it hard to differentiate between them. However, the affected areas are not the same. While multiple sclerosis occurs in the outside area of nerve cells, neuromyelitis happens in the spinal cord and optic nerves. As a result, there are several significant differences that you should know for a more precise diagnosis.

Overview of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a common autoimmune disorder that typically affects the central nervous system, including the spinal cord and brain. It triggers the immune system to attack myelin, which is the protective sheath that covers your nerve fibers. This leads to some communication issues between the brain and other body parts. In advanced stages, the condition would lead to permanent deterioration or damage to the nerves. The exact symptoms can vary a lot, depending on the affected areas and the amount of damage. There is still no cure for multiple sclerosis, but some treatment options can alleviate the condition and aid in recovery. [1]