Role of Race, Income in Optic Neuritis in Patients With NMOSD or MOGAD

Presenting at CMSC 2022, researchers evaluated whether racial patterns exist in NMOSD- and MOGAD-associated ON and the potential role of social disadvantage in these patterns.

Race and ethnicity were not a strong predictor of optic neuritis (ON) in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disorder (MOGAD), according to study results presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) held from June 1-4, in National Harbor, Maryland.

ON results in painful loss of central, peripheral, and color vision with contrast sensitivity. It is caused by demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), NMOSD, and MOGAD. Previous research has indicated that there are some racial differences in trends of ON in the MS setting. For example, Black patients with MS tend to have more accelerated vision impairment and Hispanic individuals with MS more often present with ON than White patients. This study sought to evaluate whether there may also be racial patterns in NMOSD- and MOGAD-associated ON and what role, if any, social disadvantage plays.

Data were sourced from the Keck Hospital and Los Angeles County Hospital. Patients (N=62) diagnosed with NMOSD or MOGAD were evaluated for 5-year disease history and visual function at baseline, the most recent visit, and during an acute attack. Median household income and Social Deprivation Index (SDI) metrics were estimated using 2015-2019 American Community Survey and the Robert Graham Center data on the basis of the patients’ zip code.

Black and Hispanic patients were associated with lower median income and SDI compared with White (P =.007) and Asian (P =.004) patients and Hispanic patients were more likely to have public health insurance than all other groups (χ23, 12.8; P =.007).

At baseline (P =.012) and the most recent visit (P =.014), serotype was associated with visual acuity.

During acute attack visits, eye pain was more likely to be reported by Hispanic patients compared with White or Asian patients (P =.005).

No trends in visual acuity were observed during any visit on the basis of race, median household income, or SDI.

This study did not observe trends in visual acuity among patients with NMOSD- and MOGAD-associated ON on the basis of race or economic disadvantage. “Because Hispanic patients were more likely to report eye pain during an ON attack, eye pain may be a useful clinical indicator of relapse among Hispanics,” the researchers concluded.

Additional study is needed to validate these observations.

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.


Gukasyan J, Gokoffski K, Brandt A, Amezcua L. Racial Differences in Visual Outcomes in Patients With Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder and Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody Disorder. Presented at: CMSC 2022 Annual Meeting; June 1-4, 2022; National Harbor, Maryland. Abstract PSY05.