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Worldwide prevalence of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders
  1. Masahiro Mori1,
  2. Satoshi Kuwabara1,
  3. Friedemann Paul2
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
  2. 2 Charité — Universitätsmedizin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence and Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Masahiro Mori, Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba 260-8670, Japan; morim{at}

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Genetic and environmental risk factors are distinct in NMOSD and MS

The prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been reported from many countries in the world, and prominent geographical differences among regions are well known: over 100 per 100 000 in European and North American populations vs 0–20 per 100 000 in Asian populations. These differences suggest that genetic factors are important in the development of MS. Moreover, it is also known that higher latitude is associated with higher prevalence of MS. The latitude gradient for MS risk is thought to be related to low sun exposure, possibly because this is associated with low serum levels of vitamin D, which has an immunomodulatory effect.

In contrast, data on the prevalence of neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and its wider disease spectrum, …

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  • Contributors MM drafted this article, and SK and FP made critical revision of the article for important intellectual content.

  • Funding This work was supported in part by the Health and Labour Sciences Research Grant on Intractable Diseases (Neuroimmunological Diseases) from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, and by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG Exc 257 to FP).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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