by John Molseed
After being dealt a rare autoimmune disease, Marlin Pruismann can no longer shuffle a deck of cards. However, autoimmune neurology researchers at Mayo Clinic have just stacked the deck in his favor. Pruismann, of Blairsburg, Iowa, has neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. The disorder causes the immune system to attack optic nerves and the spinal column. The attacks can cause paralysis, blindness or death. Pruismann’s attacks began in 2014 and have robbed him of some of his fine motor skills. In 2016, he began participating in a study of a drug to treat the disorder. Mayo Clinic led the study that involved 143 patients across 18 countries.
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Context: Sean Pittock, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic neurologist and is director Mayo Clinic's Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology and of Mayo's Neuroimmunology Research Laboratory. Dr. Pittock's clinical and laboratory expertise lies in modifying, for clinical application, the antibody assays developed by the Neuroimmunology Research Laboratory. Specific areas of focus include multidisciplinary, collaborative research into autoimmune neurological disorders, autoimmune gastrointestinal dysmotility (AGID) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).
Contact: Heather Carlson Kehren