MS and NMO are inflammatory, demyelinating diseases that affect the central nervous system (CNS). In MS the inflammation leads to the patchy destruction of the myelin and the nerve impulses are stopped. Certain data indicate that it is myelinspecific T lymphocytes that cause the disease. Autoantibodies against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) and myelin basic protein (MBP) also occur.
Indications: Suspicion of multiple sclerosis (MS) or neuromyelitis optica (NMO).
MOG is a small part of the myelin (0.01-0.05%) and is only found in the central nervous system. MBP constitutes about 30% of the myelin protein and is located on the cytoplasmic side. The antibodies may occur in up to half the patients, more often in men than women. It is, however, not clear if they constitute a specific part of MS or are only a marker for CNS injury.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) used to be regarded as a variant of MS but is now regarded as a separate disease. With the support of, among other things, detected autoantibodies against the ion channel aquaporin 4 it has now been possible to define the condition as a separate entity. The differential diagnosis of MS is important, as the diseases require different treatments. The test is of interest in myelitis and optic neuritis, individually or in combination.