As the lead for the national NMO service in the UK I am delighted at the launch of a charity for patients with NMO and for choosing to support our research.
Neuromyelitis Optica is a serious disabling condition affecting the nervous system particularly the optic nerves and the spinal cord . The most seriously affected persons can be paralysed in all four limbs and may lose sight in both eyes. Thankfully it still remains a relatively rare condition compared to Multiple Sclerosis but the distinction is important as it is a much more severe illness and its treatment is markedly different. A wrong diagnosis treatment can lead to serious consequences.
New treatments are on the horizon and older treatments and treatment strategies are being redefined. But we desperately need to raise awareness of this devastating disease, better diagnostic tests and treatments during an attack and effective treatments that would prevent further episodes and hopefully a cure.
The UK service for Neuromyelitis Optica in the UK is based currently at two centres in Liverpool (Walton Centre) and Oxford (John Radcliffe Hospital). The researchers in UK have published several landmark studies that have shaped the way Neuromyelitis Optica is diagnosed and treated worldwide.
Though the number of patients has been rising worldwide there are very few dedicated charities. Without continuing financial support our research and training will dwindle and the momentum gathered over the last few years falter. At a time when Governmental funding for scientific research for rare disorders is hard to come by charities such as this are a godsend. I would therefore appeal to everyone to contribute generously.
Dr. Anu Jacob MD, DM, FRCP
The Walton NHS Trust, Liverpool,
NMO Team UK
Working for you and with you. Our mission? The cure.
Back Row (L-R)
Nabeela Ahmad – Admin Assistant, Dr Patrick Waters – Senior postdoctoral Scientist, Catherine Pollard – Assistant psychologist
Annaliza Rye – NMO Service Coordinator, Macirj Jurynczyk – Research Fellow, George Tackley – NMO Clinical Fellow, Emily Gerrans – Physiotherapist, Jackie Thomas – NMO Co-ordinator, Val Trimble – Orthoptist