Is Neuromyelitis Optica An Inherited Disorder?

About Neuromyelitis Optica

Neuromyelitis Optica is a rare autoimmune disorder which affects the spinal cord and the optic nerve although in some cases the brain also gets affected by this condition. It is caused when the immune system attacks the central nervous system of the body specifically the optic nerve and the spinal cord causing a variety of symptoms like vision loss, problems with ambulation, bowel and bladder dysfunction as a result of damage to the spinal cord.

There is no known cause as why the immune system attacks the central nervous system although studies have shown that certain infections or another autoimmune disorder can cause a condition like Neuromyelitis Optica.

In cases where children are affected, then they may experience symptoms like altered mental status, seizures, and even at times coma due to Neuromyelitis Optica. Sometimes, patients come up with a question about whether this condition can be inherited. This article throws light upon whether Neuromyelitis Optica is an inherited disorder.

Is Neuromyelitis Optica An Inherited Disorder?

Is Neuromyelitis Optica An Inherited Disorder?

The answer to this question is that while majority of the studies show no evidence to prove that Neuromyelitis Optica can be inherited or it runs in families the fact that most patients of this condition belong to the African or Asian decent tends to point towards genetics playing a role in the development of Neuromyelitis Optica.

In majority of the cases, patients with Neuromyelitis Optica do not have a direct family member with this condition. There are a few instances where patients have a family member with this condition but this does not in any way prove that genetics played a part in the development of this condition.

Thus it can be said that Neuromyelitis Optica is not hereditary but an autoimmune disorder caused when the immune system of the body attacks the central nervous system causing the symptoms classic for Neuromyelitis Optica.

In conclusion, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Neuromyelitis Optica is a hereditary disorder although some studies have stated a genetic link based on the countries of origin that most patients who have Neuromyelitis Optica belong to. However, this is just a hypothetical observation with no substantial proof to suggest a genetic link to the development of this condition.

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