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Review of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder with pain-depression comorbidity

Xue Zhang1, Yan Xu2, Lijian Pei1*   

  1. 1Department of Anesthesiology, 2Department of Neurology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing 100730, China

Abstract: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system predominantly targeting optic nerves and the spinal cord. The prevalence of the disease is much higher in Asia than in other parts of the world. Pain can be detected in more than 80% of NMOSD patients, with evoked pain mostly being caused by painful tonic muscle spasms and neuropathic pain as the most characteristic types. Depression is often comorbid with pain, and their comorbidity can severely influence quality of life. In recent years, studies have found considerable overlaps between the mechanisms of pain and depression; however, their association remains unclear. This article reviews the epidemiology, mechanism, evaluation and treatment of pain-depression comorbidity in NMOSD patients.

Key words: neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, pain;, depression;, comorbidity

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