In April 2010, a Nationally Commissioned Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) service was set up as a joint venture between Liverpool and Oxford. This service covers neurological specialist care to patients with NMO spectrum disorders (NMOSD) and specialist advice to clinicians around the UK. The service team involves adult and paediatric neurology expertise, neurophthalmology input and teams of specialist nurses, clinical training fellows, and a full therapy team. Each Centre (Liverpool and Oxford) now has approximately 100 patients under their care. The service is in the process of creating written and website based information on NMO as well as interest groups for Clinicians (first meeting in the ABN October 2011). This service also offers the AQP4 antibody assay (free of charge for England, Scotland and Republic of Ireland). This service is provided by Professor Vincent and her research group. In the first year of the service, 2900 UK samples were tested, with 139 patients found to be positive for AQP4 antibodies. Now in its second year, the NMO service is developing further clinical and research projects, increasing interactions with patients, carers and of course the clinicians who come into contact with NMO patients.
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* On behalf of the clinical and diagnostic teams from the Walton Centre, Liverpool and the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.