Other Names for this Disease
- Devic syndrome
- Devic's neuromyelitis optica
- Neuromyelitis optica
Your QuestionIs Devic disease fatal? And if so, what are the percentages of people who succumb to this disease?
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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.
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.
- Weinshenker B, Wingerchuk D. Neuromyelitis optica. Orphanet. 2009; http://www.orphanet.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=71211. Accessed 5/27/2011.