The epidemiology of TM depends on its underlying cause. The annual incidence of idiopathic complete TM is uncertain, but conservative estimates based on studies in US, European, and Israeli populations range from 1 to 4 cases per million, with a bimodal distribution of age presentation, peaking at ages 10 to 19 and 30 to 39 years. A population-based study estimated a mean annual incidence rate of 0.82 per 100,000 person-years, or 1.2 per 100,000 person-years for adults. However, these studies preceded the discovery of the aquaporin-4-IgG and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-IgG auto-antibodies, which have provided a definable aetiology for some TM previously thought to be idiopathic.
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