If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Devic's disease, you are undoubtedly wondering how Devic's Disease affects the heart. Devic's Disease, also known as neuromyelitis optica, is an inflammation of the nerve covering called the myelin. The inflammation usually occurs from the brain to the eyes via the optic nerve. Devic's Disease also causes inflammation to the nerves in the spinal cord.
Devic's Disease primarily affects vision and can lead to blindness. It also causes loss of color vision, light vision and visual sharpness.
Devic's can cause muscle spasms when the inflammation occurs in the spinal cord. These spasms can occur in the legs, arms, fingers and chest. The spasms and tightening of the muscles in the chest may feel like a heart issue, but the spasms have little to nothing to do with the heart and its function.
Devic's Disease can cause loss of bowel control due to the inflammation of the nerves to the bowels and bladder. Inflammation to the myelin covering the nerves disrupts the function between the bowels and the brain resulting in the loss of sensation.
Devic's Disease can cause the loss of coordination and a profound loss of balance. The inflammation to nerves leading from the spine to the middle ear and balance centers of the brain cause loss of balance and loss of coordination.
Devic's Disease has periods of remission and resurgence. At times the symptoms of Devic's Disease will ease and lessen and at other times they will worsen, there is no known cause for these periods.
Treatment of Devic's Disease consists of the use of both oral and intravenous steroids. For cases of Devic's Disease that do not respond to steroid, plasma replacement therapy is another treatment option.
Devic's Disease during the early stages can sometimes be confused with Multiple Sclerosis until proper testing is performed. Once testing is performed the differences between Devic's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis become apparent. Devic's Disease is a very rare neurological disorder that is still in a research and learning stage.