Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Devic disease

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.


Devic disease, is an autoimmune disease affecting the spinal cord and optic nerves (the nerves that carry information regarding sight from the eye). In Devic disease the protective outer covering of the nerves (myelin) is lost. The syndrome can also damage nerve fibers and leave areas of broken-down tissue.[1]  Signs and symptoms worsen with time and include optic neuritistransverse myelitis, sensory impairment, and bladder and bowel dysfunction.[2] Currently there is no cure for Devic disease, but there are therapies to treat an attack while it is happening, to reduce symptoms, and to prevent relapses. In its early stages, Devic disease may be confused with multiple sclerosis.[3] 
Last updated: 10/13/2010


  1. NINDS Neuromyelitis Optica Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). 2007; Accessed 11/18/2009.
  2. Weinshenker BG. Neuromyelitis Optica. NORD Guide to Rare Disorders. Philadelphia PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2003;
  3. Weinshenker B. Neuromyelitis Optica. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2008; Accessed 11/18/2009.
  4. Calabresi PA. Multiple Sclerosis and Demyelinating Conditions of the Central Nervous System. In: Goldman. Cecil Medicine, 23rd edition. Phildelphia, PA: Saunders; 2007;
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

3 question(s) from the public on Devic disease have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Devic disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles