Collaborative International Research in Clinical and Longitudinal Experience for NMO Studies
In North America, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) affects four in 100,000 people, and can cause loss of vision in one or both eyes (optic neuritis) and numbness and weakness in the arms and legs (transverse myelitis). It is an unpredictable and chronic illness that is often confused with Multiple Sclerosis, but NMO is a distinct disease requiring different treatment.
The NMO Clinic and Research Program at Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) has joined the Collaborative International Research in Clinical and Longitudinal Experience for NMO Studies (CIRCLES), a multicentre North American study that aims to create an open-access repository of data and samples for patients with NMO and control participants. These materials will be used to help researchers and caregivers to better understand NMO pathogenesis, clinical course and impact of therapy.
Results of the study may identify the etiology and risk factors, biomarkers for disease progression and treatment outcomes to guide development of new therapies. Funded by the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation, the hope is findings may facilitate future research and clinical trials to improve the lives of individuals suffering from NMO.
The NMO Clinic and Research Program at DMCBH is the only centre in Canada dedicated to the treatment and investigation of NMO. The program was established in 2009, and was made possible through generous donations from Dr. Susan Diamond and Rick Diamond and the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation.
NMO Information Day
On November 1, the NMO Clinic and Research Program, led by director Dr. Tony Traboulsee, hosted its third annual NMO Information Day at DMCBH. More than 90 patients, family members, friends, caregivers, students and trainees participated in a full day of interactive community-focused workshops to learn more about NMO.
Panels of experts from across Canada and the US, and patient advocates discussed diagnosis, research opportunities, pain management, government advocacy, and sexual health education, in both English and Chinese. A highlight of the event was introducing the UBC research team dedicated to improving the lives of those with NMO.
For more information about the NMO Clinic and Research Program, or the CIRCLE study, call 604-822-3598.