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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Clinic referrals

NHS website about NMO available at:

The Department of Clinical Neurology, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, jointly with The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery NHS Trust, Liverpool, have been awarded National Specialist Services funding for a National Diagnostic and Advisory Service for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO).

Both teams (Oxford and Liverpool) offer clinical services, and Oxford offers also the AQP4 antibody assay, which is now free of charge for all the NHS patients from England and Scotland.

The group, consisting of Dr Palace, Dr Leite and Professor Vincent, has a longstanding expertise in antibody mediated diseases, and NMO has been identified as having an association with a newly discovered antibody, aquaporin 4, in about 70 percent of cases.

Professor Vincent's NMO group has set up the UK AQP4 antibody assay in Oxford as part of their research into this condition.

A fortnightly clinic led by Dr Palace and Dr Leite for patients with probable/suspected NMO (and related conditions, such as transverse myelitis, recurrent optic neuritis, Devic's syndrome and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis) is now running.

Referrals can be made by GPs via eReferral, directly to Dr Palace, Dr Leite and hospital specialists.

  • Dr Jacqueline Palace (Consultant Neurologist)
  • Dr Maria Isabel Leite (Consultant Neurologist)
  • Department of Neurology, Level 3
    West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital
    Headley Way
    Oxford OX3 9DU
  • Tel: 01865 231900

The team

Clinical evaluation

  • Dr Jacqueline Palace (Consultant Neurologist)
  • Dr Maria Isabel Leite (Consulant Neurologist, Clinical Postdoctoral Scientist)
  • Rosie Everett (NMO Specialist Nurse)
  • Sandra Reeve (NMO Specialist Nurse)
  • Kay Day (Occupational Therapist)
  • Nina Eagle (NMO Physiotherapist)
  • Silvia Messina (Clinical Fellow)


Dr Srilakshmi Sharma (Consultant Medical Ophthalmologist)


  • Dr Saleel Chandratre (Consultant Paediatrician)
  • Dr Sithara Ramdas (Consultant Paediatrician)

Antibody tests

  • Professor Angela Vincent (Head, Neurosciences Group, WIMM)
  • Dr Patrick Waters
  • Dr Mark Woodall

Diagnosis and management advice

These depend on a combined approach incorporating

  • clinical assessment
  • specialised imaging
  • analysis of serum antibodies (anti-aquaporin 4, AQP4)
  • outpatient or inpatient evaluation of immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapies
  • specialist therapy and nursing input
  • easy access to phone and email advice for patients in the south of England.

When referring please include detailed information on relapses and disability investigations (where already done) such as MRI and CSF and antibody results, and if not urgent we would prefer to review the imaging ahead.

Please forward all referrals to:

  • Dr J Palace c/o Alix Platt
    NMO Service
    Neuroscience Offices, Level 3
    West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital
    Headley Way
    Oxford OX3 9DU
  • Tel: 01865 231900
  • Email:

Serum samples for screening

Please use the request form below to send samples for testing.

Aquaporin-4 (NMO) antibody request form (Word, 156 KB)

Diagnostic and Advisory Service for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Annual Reports

Contact us

External links