Comparing neuromyelitis optica and MS

Multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica (NMO) spectrum disorders (NMOSD) have a similar clinical picture. It was only recently that NMOSD was recognized as an independent disease entity and thus no longer considered a rare variant of MS. Despite the similarities, these diseases differ in important aspects, above all in prognosis and therapy responsiveness. A comparison of both diseases is thus urgently necessary in order to advance research and patient care.

In its third funding period, the KKNMS is establishing a NMOSD cohort (NationNMO) of 250 patients which will be similar to the already established MS cohort study of the KKNMS. For this, the cohort of the active study group NEMOS, which began in 2008, will be expanded to include 90 new, yet to be recruited patients and merged together under the umbrella of the KKNMS, in accordance with standards for biobanking, imaging and clinical investigations. The aim of this cohort will be to compare patients from both cohorts to identify new parameters for predicting the disease course as well as to validate already established as well as new diagnostic criteria for NMOSD.

The study will be headed by Prof. Dr. Orhan Aktas (University of Düsseldorf), supported by co-principle investigators Prof. Dr. Tania Kümpfel (NEMOS coordinator, University of Munich), Prof. Dr. Ingo Kleiter (University of Bochum), Prof. Dr. Corinna Trebst (University of Hannover), Prof. Dr. Brigitte Wildemann (University of Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Andreas Ziegler (University of Lübeck), Dr. Jan-Patrick Stellmann (University of Hamburg) and Gisela Antony (University of Marburg).