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Palliative care for patients with motor neurone disease: current challenges

Authors Oliver D

Received 16 November 2015

Accepted for publication 16 February 2016

Published 26 May 2016 Volume 2016:6 Pages 65—72

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DNND.S85103

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Mafalda Cacciottolo

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Müller


David J Oliver

1Wisdom Hospice, Rochester, 2University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Abstract: Motor neurone disease is a progressive disease, and the patient and his/her family face many challenges during the disease progression, with increasing weakness and multiple losses of function. The provision of care for these patients and their families is equally challenging, anticipating and responding to the person's needs. There are increasing challenges as more is understood about the disease and its management, including the genetic basis, cognitive change, the use of interventions such as ventilatory support, and gastrostomy. There is also an increasing need to ensure that the later stages are recognized so that all can be more prepared for the end of life, including recognition of deterioration and end of life, advance care planning, symptom management and psychosocial care at the end of life, and coping with requests for assisted dying. Careful assessment and good multidisciplinary team (MDT) work can enable patients and their families to have as good a quality of life as possible, and allow a peaceful death of the patient.

Keywords:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, end of life care, cognitive change, noninvasive ventilation, gastrostomy, advance care planning

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