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CONy 2020 | Neuromyelitis optica: new treatments and areas of development

Brian Weinshenker, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, discusses neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder diagnosis and treatment. With the use of the aquaporin-4 antibody test, many patients can be diagnosed before the onset of optic neuritis. Additionally, with the discovery of the aquaporin-4 antibodies, targeted treatments could be developed. In four clinical trials over the past year, the results have shown dramatic efficacy. Although, not all patients show improvement. Another issue lies in the immunosuppressive effects of treatment which can lead to severe infection. The development of more targeted therapies should increase the tolerability of treatments. This interview took place during the Virtual World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy) 2020.


Brian Weinshenker receives royalties from RSR Ltd, Oxford University, Hospices Civil de Lyon, and MVZ Labor PD Dr. Volkmann und Kollegen GbR for a patent of NMO-IgG as a diagnostic test for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders, served on adjudication committee for clinical trials in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders being conducted by MedImmune/VielaBio and Alexion, and consulted for Chugai/Roche/Genentech and Mitsubishi-Tanabe regarding a clinical trial for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders. He has received honoraria for speaking at internal meetings of Genentech, Novartis, and external meetings for Roche.