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Mult Scler. 2007 Sep;13(8):968-74. Epub 2007 Jul 10.

Low-dose corticosteroids reduce relapses in neuromyelitis optica: a retrospective analysis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a relapsing neurologic disease characterized by severe optic neuritis and transverse myelitis. A disease-modifying therapy for NMO has not been established. We retrospectively analysed the effect of low-dose corticosteroid (CS) monotherapy on the annual relapse rate in nine patients with NMO. We divided the clinical course in each patient into two periods; the CS Period in which CS was administered, and the No CS Period in which CS was not administered. Periods related to other immunological therapies, such as high-dose methylprednisolone, immunosuppressants, interferon-beta, and plasma exchange, were excluded. As a result, the annual relapse rate during the CS Periods [median, 0.49 (range, 0-1.31)] was found to be significantly lower than that during the No CS Periods [1.48 (0.65-5.54)]. As for the dose of CS, relapses occurred significantly more frequently with ;10 mg/day or less' than with ;over 10 mg/day' (odds ratio: 8.75). The results of the present study suggest a beneficial effect of low-dose CS monotherapy in reducing relapses in NMO.

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