NMOSD Drug Approved in China, But Challenges Remain


A 2019 Survey Found 70% of Patients with NMOSD Relapsed Every Year.

According to a recent article in China Daily, the patients interviewed for this article said that their disease increases significantly with each relapse.


The disease is rare and debilitating. It is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system that reacts against its own cells. The most common symptoms are inflammation of the spinal cord and the optic nerve.

NMOSD occurs mostly in women between the ages of thirty and forty. The initial attack of NMOSD may be severe, leading to visual impairment or neurological damage.

Symptoms include muscle weakness, blindness, fatigue, loss of sensation, and painful spasms. These symptoms increase in severity with each succeeding relapse.

The disease may appear as a result of an infection, or it may be connected to other autoimmune conditions. Although NMOSD is in its own distinct category it is sometimes misdiagnosed as MS or even a type of MS.

NMOSD patients can experience attacks resulting in transverse myelitis causing weakness or paralysis in legs and arms. These symptoms are accompanied by the loss of bowel and bladder control. The majority of attacks last for days, months, or years. Patients often experience partial recovery between the attacks.

Detecting NMOSD

The doctor will look for damage in your optic nerves, brain, or spinal cord. The test that detects early diagnosis of NMOSD is a blood test to identify the NMO-lgG autoantibody. This test distinguishes NMOSD from Multiple Sclerosis or other such conditions.

The above-referenced 2019 survey of Chinese NMOSD patients found that fifty percent reported difficulty in obtaining their medication.

Cui Liying M.D. chief physician at Peking’s medical college stressed that controlling relapse may one day lead to a cure for the disease.

Therefore, patients and doctors welcomed the announcement that the first drug for relapse of NMOSD has been approved in China.

The World Health Organization expanded on this announcement with data showing that ninety-five drugs were approved as of December 2020 for rare diseases. In addition, fifty-five drugs that treat twenty-four rare diseases are now covered by Chinese insurance providers.


Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email