Controversies in Neurology
June 2007

Is Neuromyelitis Optica Distinct From Multiple Sclerosis?Something for “Lumpers” and “Splitters”

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Copyright 2007 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2007

Arch Neurol. 2007;64(6):903-905. doi:10.1001/archneur.64.6.903

In the current “Controversies in Neurology” series, the contentious issue arises as to whether we have sufficient evidence to designate neuromyelitis optica (NMO) (Devic disease) as a disease entity distinct from multiple sclerosis (MS).1,2 As with many such debates, there will be “lumpers” (similar disorders should be characterized under a common rubric) and “splitters” (similarly appearing disorders should be differentiated on a pathophysiologic, genetic, or phenotypic basis).

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