Neuromyelitis Optica or Optic Neuritis

Neuromyelitis optica or optic neuritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the optic nerve and spinal cord. Some research suggests that the disorder may be a rare side effect of certain vaccines, including the HPV vaccine and the flu vaccine.

Contact a Vaccine Injury Lawyer Today

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free, no-obligation legal reviews to individuals who were diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica following vaccination. To learn if you might qualify for compensation, contact our vaccine injury lawyers by calling (888) 994-5118.

Neuromyelitis Optica: What is It?

Neuromyelitis optica, also sometimes called optic neuritis, Devic’s disease, or Devic’s syndrome, occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the protective myelin sheath covering the cells of the optic nerve and spinal cord.

Neuromyelitis occurs most frequently during childhood. However, it also affects adults in their 40s, mostly women.

Because the disease damages the spinal cord and optic nerve (which transmits signals from the eyes to the brain), neuromyelitis optica can cause paralysis and vision loss.

There are two types of neuromyelitis optica:

  • Relapsing form: People with relapsing neuromyelitis optica experience periodic flare-ups, with periods of recovery in between. Relapsing neuromyelitis optica is the most common form of the disease. It occurs more frequently in women than men.
  • Monophasic form: People with the monophasic form of neuromyelitis optica experience a single attack that lasts a month or two. The monophasic form occurs equally in both men and women.

Neuromyelitis Optica Symptoms and Complications

The possible signs and symptoms of neuromyelitis optica include:

  • Eye pain
  • Vision loss
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Paralysis of the arms and legs
  • Issues with bladder and/or bowel control
  • Uncontrollable vomiting and hiccups

Complications from neuromyelitis optica may include:

  • Visual impairment or blindness
  • Paralysis or weakness involving one or more limb
  • Stiffness or muscle spasms
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Depression
  • Fatigue

Treatment for Neuromyelitis Optica

There is no cure for neuromyelitis optica. However, there are treatments available that can reduce symptoms and mitigate the effects of the disease. These include:

  • Corticosteroid drugs
  • Immunosuppressant drugs
  • Plasmapheresis: A process to remove proteins from the blood that may be contributing to the disorder.
  • Other treatments to address symptoms such as pain and loss of bowel and bladder control

Neuromyelitis Optica and Vaccines

The United State’s government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System has received reports of neuromyelitis optica that occurred following administration of the seasonal flu vaccine and the HPV vaccines, as well as hepatitis B and DPT vaccines.

Studies have also suggested a link between the disease on the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) as well as a possible association between the influenza vaccine and relapses of neuromyelitis optica.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which was established by the federal government to compensate those who suffered vaccine-related side effects and complications, has also paid numerous claims involving neuromyelitis optica.

Call Now for Your Free, No-Obligation Vaccine Injury Consultation

Victims of vaccine-related neuromyelitis optica may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Past and future medical bills

To obtain your free, no-obligation vaccine injury consultation, please call our office today at (888) 994-5118.

Last Modified: July 9, 2018

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