Summit in Denver Features Research into Neuropalliative Care

The International Neuropalliative Care Society (INPCS) held a symposium in Denver in April 2024 where some dozen investigators presented research into neuropalliative care. The INPCS explains that neuropalliative care is an emerging field that embraces a whole-person approach to improving the quality of care for people living with neurological disorders and supporting their families. The Society says persons living with neurological disorders have significant palliative care needs that differ from needs related to other medical conditions. INPCS activities include building professional networks, supporting research, developing educational materials and opportunities, creating guidelines for clinical practice, and advocacy. The Society points out that neurological illnesses change not only physical health but also mental health. As an example, stroke can leave people with huge changes in identity. Neuropalliative care can alleviate the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual stresses of stroke, in addition to addressing physical symptoms. Dr. Farrah Daly, founder of Evenbeam Neuropalliative Care in Virginia, was quoted by Palliative Care News as saying many people with neurologic illness become distanced from the health care system, and “once they become homebound, if they’re not eligible for end-of-life care, they often have very limited resources, and they disappear from the eyes of the health care system.” The INPCS says it’s important to raise awareness of the unique neuropalliative issues that patients and their families face. One way to do that is to increase the number of specialists in the field. Another key is for hospice and palliative care providers to build relationships with neurologists in a partnership that is vital for the whole-body health of the patient. The INPCS is working with the National Institutes of Health, Congress, and others to raise the profile of neuropalliative care and improve the regulatory environment for it. Learn more at www.inpcs.org.

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