Experts Propose Ways to Stem Rising Number of Parkinson’s Deaths in England

Parkinson's deaths in England

Experts are proposing ways to stanch the number of deaths from Parkinson’s disease and related disorders in England, including establishing dedicated nursing homes and giving Parkinson’s patients personal case managers, according to a recent report by Public Health England.

According to the study, more than 6.5 million England residents age 20 and older died between 2001 and 2014. Of those deaths, more than 90,000 were associated with a neurological condition. Some 31 percent of those were attributed to Parkinson’s disease.

Titled “Deaths Associated with Neurological Conditions in England 2001-2014,” the report was issued by the National Neurology Intelligence Network. The study looks at death rates related to neurological conditions, demographic characteristics, underlying causes, and place of death.

Now, an international team of experts led by Bastiaan R. Bloem, MD, PhD, who teaches at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, evaluated these findings in the study “Parkinson Matters,” published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

 “These statistics are important and should be used to inform and guide those who make long-term decisions about the practicalities of how Parkinson’s patients are managed by the various healthcare systems involved, working together to improve quality of care and quality of life,” Bloem said in a press release.

Bloem said the data correspond with a remarkable increase in the incidence of new patients with Parkinson’s disease, and should be used by those who decide how Parkinson’s patients are cared for by the various healthcare systems involved, with the aim of enhancing both the quality of care and life.

The study also shows that eight of 10 Parkinson’s patients die in hospitals or care homes — not a happy finding, according to the study’s first author Sirwan Darweesh, MD, Radboud University, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Being able to die at home is a core wish of most patients with Parkinson’s disease,” Darweesh said.

“Our current healthcare system is sometimes unable to meet this essential wish of patients and their families, particularly when medical issues requiring hospitalization occur.”

The authors suggest multiple ways to better manage Parkinson’s patients and increase standards of care in care homes and hospitals. In addition to the creation of nursing homes exclusively for those with the disease, and assigning case managers to Parkinson’s patients, they call for a network of specifically trained healthcare professionals with expertise in Parkinson’s management.

 They also suggest tailoring collaborative plans of care with patients and their families.

“Parkinson’s disease is a matter of serious concern for our future generations,” Bloem said. “Future efforts should be focused on providing resources for vulnerable elderly Parkinson patients, avoiding unplanned hospital admissions and out-of-home deaths as much as possible.”

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Source: Parkinson's News Today

New €10M Study Looks to Improve Integrated Care for Parkinson’s Patients in the UK and Netherlands

Neupro, UCB, China

The University of Bristol in England is leading a five-year, €10 million study aimed at finding ways to better integrate care for Parkinson’s disease patients while lowering costs, the institution recently announced. 

Over the course of the trial, the new care model is expected to be delivered to about 1,000 Parkinson’s patients in areas served by the Royal United Hospitals in Bath, England. At the same time, similar healthcare innovations will be implemented in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Titled Proactive and Integrated Management and Empowerment in Parkinson’s Disease (PRIME-PD), the trial will be led by Emily Henderson, MD, geriatrician at the Royal United Hospital and an honorary senior lecturer at the University of Bristol. 

Project partners include The Gatsby Foundation and Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

“The robust design and evaluation of this new conceptual model will ensure that any positive findings can be widely implemented to ensure that people living with the condition can benefit,” Henderson said.

Project methodology and evaluation will be led by the university’s Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration (BRTC) and Yoav Ben-Shalom, PhD, professor of clinical epidemiology.

BRTC designs and conducts randomized, controlled trials in patient care settings, as well as in schools and public health fields. It also conducts complex trials and feasibility studies that include methodological research, and provides collaboration and advice for researchers looking to develop and initiate new trials.

While a variety of healthcare providers typically support each Parkinson’s patient, according to the press release, collaboration can be inconsistent. As a result, patients may not get the right services at the right time to deal with disease symptoms.

By way of remedy, the project will craft and test a new model of proactive and cohesive care that hopes to better meet patients’ needs. It will be evaluated both for its ability to improve patient care and cost-effectiveness.

The model will build on the experience and infrastructure already in existence in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

 “The only way to overcome the current impasse in healthcare is to have two critical components at your disposal: firstly, adequate funding to cover the gap between the ideal model of care and what is currently reimbursed by national healthcare systems or insurers; and secondly, sufficient amount of time to scientifically demonstrate that the new concept works, as reflected by an improved quality of life for patients as well as cost savings for society,” said Bas Bloem, MD, PhD, professor of movement disorders in the neurology department of Radboud University.

With support from the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Trials Units Support Funding, the BRTC works with clinicians and researchers across the UK. Those interested in working with them may go here for information.

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Source: Parkinson's News Today