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Immune-mediated Disorders of the Central Nervous System 

Immune-mediated Disorders of the Central Nervous System
Immune-mediated Disorders of the Central Nervous System

Patricia K. Coyle

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date: 02 March 2021

This chapter reviews pregnancy in multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), and acute transverse myelitis (ATM) syndrome. MS is a major acquired disease of young adults, with a rising female predominance. MS has no direct negative consequences on fertility or pregnancy. Pregnancy has a profound effect on MS, with decrease in disease activity during the last trimester counteracted by a three-month postpartum increase in disease activity. With the development of disease-modifying therapies, important questions arise about washout periods, the feasibility and risks of treating during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the potential of treatment-related adverse fetal effects. Fortunately, there is good information to counsel women with MS. Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) is a neuroimmune channelopathy. It is a distinct disorder from MS. NMOSD disease activity is not favorably affected by pregnancy. The postpartum period has real risk for disabling attacks. This influences recommendations about breastfeeding and how quickly to resume therapy postpartum. Acute transverse myelitis (ATM) syndrome can occur in both MS and NMOSD but can also be due to other disorders. Workup and treatment of ATM during pregnancy is reviewed, as well as implications for delivery.

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