Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) is an autoimmune, inflammatory disorder in which the myelin sheath of the optic nerve and spinal cord is attacked and damaged by a person’s own immune system. It is also known as Devic’s disease and is a rare neurological condition.
An individual suffering from NMO may present with visual impairment or loss, sensory loss or hypersentivity of skin or joint and muscle proprioceptors, motor impairment and loss of bladder and bowel function.
Specifically an individual may suffer an inability to distinguish between hot and cold and also sense of vibration. Therefore at the Birkdale Clinic a thorough sensory assessment is undertaken looking at sharp/blunt, vibration, brushing, two-point discrimination, hot/cold and proprioception. Furthermore due to the location of lesion with NMO, the vestibular system and ocular cephalic reflex are also assessed in association with static and dynamic balance in varying postural sets.
At the Birkdale Clinic we have found the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation to have successful results either in conjunction with the Motor Med Bike or with use of the Stiwell to facilitate normal movement patterns. Furthermore we use various techniques to improve motor impairment, balance, sensory abnormality and to facilitate normal postural alignment. The abnormal posture observed in NMO can in turn cause further compensatory mechanisms, which is detrimental to regaining maximal recovery potential. Therefore indicating how essential specialist Neuro Physiotherapy intervention is for those individuals recovering from NMO.