2017 Neuromyelitis Optica Awareness Month


WHEREAS, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), previously known as Devic’s disease, is a rare autoimmune disease that primarily affects the eye nerves and spinal cord, and has no known cure; and

WHEREAS, NMO occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells, sometimes causing permanent disabilities including blindness and paralysis; and

WHEREAS, the cause of NMO is still largely unknown, and there are currently no FDA-approved treatments for the disease; and

WHEREAS, NMO is often misdiagnosed as a type of Multiple Sclerosis, but it is its own distinct condition; and

WHEREAS, increasing awareness about NMO has caused NMO diagnoses to rise, as doctors have become more likely to recognize the varying manifestations of the disease; and

WHEREAS, the NMO community is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of this disease in order to promote research, improve patient care and outcomes, and ultimately find a cure;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize March 2017 as neuromyelitis optica awareness month in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.