Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Funded Research

Characteristics of NMOSD and MOGAD in Canada

Year Awarded: 2021

Term: 2 years

Funding Amount: $49,764

Affiliation(s): University of Toronto

Province(s): Ontario

Researcher(s): Dr. Dalia Rotstein

Impact Goal(s): Advance Treatment and Care

Background: Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) and Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody-Associated Disease (MOGAD) are inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system that mimic MS and are often highly disabling. These conditions do not respond to most multiple sclerosis (MS) disease modifying therapies. In the past, many cases of NMOSD and MOGAD were misdiagnosed as MS, but in recent years, antibody blood tests help with early distinction from MS.

Overview: This research aims to establish the first Canadian prospective cohort study investigating diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes in NMOSD and MOGAD patients. This is the first collaborative national long-term study of NMOSD and MOGAD in Canada called CANOPTICS (Canadian Neuromyelitis Optica (and other demyelinating diseases) Cohort Study. This grant will evaluate demographic and clinical characteristics of NMOSD and MOGAD patients, collecting data for example on gender, ethnicity, presence of other medical conditions, living situation, independence, time from symptomatic onset to diagnosis, whether patients were initially misdiagnosed, attack types, recovery from attacks, and chance of recurrent attacks. The research team, led by Dr. Dalia Rotstein, brings together clinicians leading the two largest education and research programs in these demyelinating diseases in Canada and expertise in epidemiology. This pilot grant will support data collection at the first five sites in the initial year of the study and the feasibility of the data collection tools before expanding to MS centres across Canada.

Impact: Knowing more about the demographic and clinical profile of NMOSD and MOGAD patients in Canada will help facilitate early, accurate differential diagnosis of these diseases from MS, and thus lead to improvement in long-term outcomes of MS, NMOSD, and MOGAD. CANOPTICS database will also be able to facilitate the study of the safety and effectiveness of new drugs for NMOSD and MOGAD that have recently emerged.

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