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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Devic disease


Other Names for this Disease

  • Devic syndrome
  • Devic's neuromyelitis optica
  • Neuromyelitis optica
  • NMO
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Your Question

Is Devic disease fatal? And if so, what are the percentages of people who succumb to this disease?

Our Answer

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Is Devic disease fatal? And if so, what are the percentages of people who succumb to this disease?

The prognosis for those affected by Devic disease is variable. Some patients may recover completely from individual attacks, but residual neurological deficits are common and sometimes severe. Up to 30% of those with unrecognized or untreated Devic disease may die in the first 5 years of their illness. Most commonly, these individuals succumb to an attack of severe myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) leading to respiratory failure.[1]

A high proportion of patients will become legally blind in one or both eyes and/or have substantial residual paraparesis (partial paralysis of the legs). While the impact of early treatment is unknown, current evidence suggests that the attack rate may be reduced by over 50% with effective immunosuppressive therapy.[1]

Last updated: 5/27/2011

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Devic syndrome
  • Devic's neuromyelitis optica
  • Neuromyelitis optica
  • NMO
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.