Portugal: New EAN Guideline on Palliative Care in MS

The European Academy of Neurology (EAN) has developed a new guideline on the palliative care of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Increasingly, palliative care is becoming a topic of interest and concern to neurologists all over the world. Delegates to the Congress of the EAN 2018 discussed palliative care as it relates to neurology in general — but also in the setting of multiple sclerosis (MS) in particular — as a guideline targeted to patients with severe MS was discussed.

The new MS guideline emphasizes the need for a multidisciplinary approach to care but the consensus globally is that conditions requiring palliative care are not restricted to tumors and ALS. Such care could also be pertinent for patients with severe dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, brain trauma, and MS. “Patients with severe MS may be suffering intolerable pain and spasms and be unable to move freely,” said Franz Fazekas, MD, Medical University Graz, Austria.

“This is different from, for example, neuro-oncology, where after probably a limited time, patients will pass away, and the same is true for some neuromuscular diseases. But with MS, there can be a prolonged period of suffering.”

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