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Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener ; : 1-9, 2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703167


The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare. Our aim was to identify how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) care in the UK has been affected by the pandemic by exploring the experiences of people living with ALS (plwALS), healthcare professionals (HCPs) working with plwALS, and ALS care centers. Three surveys were carried out to explore the experiences of plwALS, HCPs and ALS care centers during the pandemic. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and triangulated with the qualitative data which were analyzed thematically. Responses from 53 plwALS, 73 HCPs and 23 ALS care centers were analyzed. Five main themes were identified: keeping safe, losses, negative emotions, delivering care and alternative care delivery in a pandemic. PlwALS and HCPs felt that care was sub-optimal as a result of the pandemic. Changes to care included longer waiting times and face-to-face appointments being canceled or replaced by virtual consultations. While benefits of virtual consultations were reported, concerns were raised about incomplete clinical assessments and the disruption of provision of testing and interventions. ALS care has changed as a result of the pandemic. Patients have had a lack of face-to-face contact with HCPs and have experienced delays to investigations and treatments. PlwALS and HCPs were concerned about the impact of this change, but the long-term implications remain unclear. We propose recommendations for HCPs caring for plwALS, that will promote continuity of evidenced based care in the context of a pandemic.

J Med Internet Res ; 23(9): e28766, 2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443964


Despite recent and potent technological advances, the real-world implementation of remote digital health technology in the care and monitoring of patients with motor neuron disease has not yet been realized. Digital health technology may increase the accessibility to and personalization of care, whereas remote biosensors could optimize the collection of vital clinical parameters, irrespective of patients' ability to visit the clinic. To facilitate the wide-scale adoption of digital health care technology and to align current initiatives, we outline a road map that will identify clinically relevant digital parameters; mediate the development of benefit-to-burden criteria for innovative technology; and direct the validation, harmonization, and adoption of digital health care technology in real-world settings. We define two key end products of the road map: (1) a set of reliable digital parameters to capture data collected under free-living conditions that reflect patient-centric measures and facilitate clinical decision making and (2) an integrated, open-source system that provides personalized feedback to patients, health care providers, clinical researchers, and caregivers and is linked to a flexible and adaptable platform that integrates patient data in real time. Given the ever-changing care needs of patients and the relentless progression rate of motor neuron disease, the adoption of digital health care technology will significantly benefit the delivery of care and accelerate the development of effective treatments.

Motor Neuron Disease , Biomedical Technology , Caregivers , Health Personnel , Humans , Motor Neuron Disease/diagnosis , Motor Neuron Disease/therapy , Technology
Lancet ; 398(10306): 1147-1156, 2021 09 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437625


BACKGROUND: A new syndrome of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) has emerged as a rare side-effect of vaccination against COVID-19. Cerebral venous thrombosis is the most common manifestation of this syndrome but, to our knowledge, has not previously been described in detail. We aimed to document the features of post-vaccination cerebral venous thrombosis with and without VITT and to assess whether VITT is associated with poorer outcomes. METHODS: For this multicentre cohort study, clinicians were asked to submit all cases in which COVID-19 vaccination preceded the onset of cerebral venous thrombosis, regardless of the type of vaccine, interval between vaccine and onset of cerebral venous thrombosis symptoms, or blood test results. We collected clinical characteristics, laboratory results (including the results of tests for anti-platelet factor 4 antibodies where available), and radiological features at hospital admission of patients with cerebral venous thrombosis after vaccination against COVID-19, with no exclusion criteria. We defined cerebral venous thrombosis cases as VITT-associated if the lowest platelet count recorded during admission was below 150 × 109 per L and, if the D-dimer was measured, the highest value recorded was greater than 2000 µg/L. We compared the VITT and non-VITT groups for the proportion of patients who had died or were dependent on others to help them with their activities of daily living (modified Rankin score 3-6) at the end of hospital admission (the primary outcome of the study). The VITT group were also compared with a large cohort of patients with cerebral venous thrombosis described in the International Study on Cerebral Vein and Dural Sinus Thrombosis. FINDINGS: Between April 1 and May 20, 2021, we received data on 99 patients from collaborators in 43 hospitals across the UK. Four patients were excluded because they did not have definitive evidence of cerebral venous thrombosis on imaging. Of the remaining 95 patients, 70 had VITT and 25 did not. The median age of the VITT group (47 years, IQR 32-55) was lower than in the non-VITT group (57 years; 41-62; p=0·0045). Patients with VITT-associated cerebral venous thrombosis had more intracranial veins thrombosed (median three, IQR 2-4) than non-VITT patients (two, 2-3; p=0·041) and more frequently had extracranial thrombosis (31 [44%] of 70 patients) compared with non-VITT patients (one [4%] of 25 patients; p=0·0003). The primary outcome of death or dependency occurred more frequently in patients with VITT-associated cerebral venous thrombosis (33 [47%] of 70 patients) compared with the non-VITT control group (four [16%] of 25 patients; p=0·0061). This adverse outcome was less frequent in patients with VITT who received non-heparin anticoagulants (18 [36%] of 50 patients) compared with those who did not (15 [75%] of 20 patients; p=0·0031), and in those who received intravenous immunoglobulin (22 [40%] of 55 patients) compared with those who did not (11 [73%] of 15 patients; p=0·022). INTERPRETATION: Cerebral venous thrombosis is more severe in the context of VITT. Non-heparin anticoagulants and immunoglobulin treatment might improve outcomes of VITT-associated cerebral venous thrombosis. Since existing criteria excluded some patients with otherwise typical VITT-associated cerebral venous thrombosis, we propose new diagnostic criteria that are more appropriate. FUNDING: None.

COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Intracranial Thrombosis/epidemiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/epidemiology , Vaccination/adverse effects , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cohort Studies , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products , Humans , Intracranial Thrombosis/drug therapy , Intracranial Thrombosis/mortality , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Count , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Venous Thrombosis/drug therapy , Venous Thrombosis/epidemiology