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PLoS One ; 17(5): e0265861, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933213


BACKGROUND: Little is known about how people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their families comprehend advance care planning (ACP) and its relevance in their lives. AIM: To explore under what situations, with whom, how, and why do people with MS and their families engage in ACP. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study comprising interviews with people living with MS and their families followed by an ethical discussion group with five health professionals representing specialties working with people affected by MS and their families. Twenty-seven people with MS and 17 family members were interviewed between June 2019 and March 2020. Interviews and the ethical discussion group were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using the framework approach. RESULTS: Participants' narratives focused on three major themes: (i) planning for an uncertain future; (ii) perceived obstacles to engaging in ACP that included uncertainty concerning MS disease progression, negative previous experiences of ACP discussions and prioritising symptom management over future planning; (iii) Preferences for engagement in ACP included a trusting relationship with a health professional and that information then be shared across services. Health professionals' accounts from the ethical discussion group departed from viewing ACP as a formal document to that of an ongoing process of seeking preferences and values. They voiced similar concerns to people with MS about uncertainty and when to initiate ACP-related discussions. Some shared concerns of their lack of confidence when having these discussions. CONCLUSION: These findings support the need for a whole system strategic approach where information about the potential benefits of ACP in all its forms can be shared with people with MS. Moreover, they highlight the need for health professionals to be skilled and trained in engaging in ACP discussions and where information is contemporaneously and seamlessly shared across services.

Advance Care Planning , Multiple Sclerosis , Family , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/therapy , Palliative Care , Qualitative Research
J Neurovirol ; 27(4): 656-661, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260618


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) commonly results in a respiratory illness in symptomatic patients; however, those critically ill can develop a leukoencephalopathy. We describe two patients who had novel subacute MRI findings in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) leukoencephalopathy, which we hypothesize could implicate a potent small-vessel vasculitis, ischemic demyelination and the presence of prolonged ischemia. Recent evidence of the direct neuroinvasiness of SARS-CoV-2 leading to ischemia and vascular damage supports this hypothesis.

COVID-19/complications , Demyelinating Diseases/pathology , Leukoencephalopathies/pathology , Leukoencephalopathies/virology , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/pathology , Demyelinating Diseases/virology , Female , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/virology
Brain ; 143(10): 3104-3120, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066271


Preliminary clinical data indicate that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with neurological and neuropsychiatric illness. Responding to this, a weekly virtual coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) neurology multi-disciplinary meeting was established at the National Hospital, Queen Square, in early March 2020 in order to discuss and begin to understand neurological presentations in patients with suspected COVID-19-related neurological disorders. Detailed clinical and paraclinical data were collected from cases where the diagnosis of COVID-19 was confirmed through RNA PCR, or where the diagnosis was probable/possible according to World Health Organization criteria. Of 43 patients, 29 were SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive and definite, eight probable and six possible. Five major categories emerged: (i) encephalopathies (n = 10) with delirium/psychosis and no distinct MRI or CSF abnormalities, and with 9/10 making a full or partial recovery with supportive care only; (ii) inflammatory CNS syndromes (n = 12) including encephalitis (n = 2, para- or post-infectious), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (n = 9), with haemorrhage in five, necrosis in one, and myelitis in two, and isolated myelitis (n = 1). Of these, 10 were treated with corticosteroids, and three of these patients also received intravenous immunoglobulin; one made a full recovery, 10 of 12 made a partial recovery, and one patient died; (iii) ischaemic strokes (n = 8) associated with a pro-thrombotic state (four with pulmonary thromboembolism), one of whom died; (iv) peripheral neurological disorders (n = 8), seven with Guillain-Barré syndrome, one with brachial plexopathy, six of eight making a partial and ongoing recovery; and (v) five patients with miscellaneous central disorders who did not fit these categories. SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a wide spectrum of neurological syndromes affecting the whole neuraxis, including the cerebral vasculature and, in some cases, responding to immunotherapies. The high incidence of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, particularly with haemorrhagic change, is striking. This complication was not related to the severity of the respiratory COVID-19 disease. Early recognition, investigation and management of COVID-19-related neurological disease is challenging. Further clinical, neuroradiological, biomarker and neuropathological studies are essential to determine the underlying pathobiological mechanisms that will guide treatment. Longitudinal follow-up studies will be necessary to ascertain the long-term neurological and neuropsychological consequences of this pandemic.

Coronavirus Infections , Nervous System Diseases , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Adolescent , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Drug Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , London/epidemiology , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/cerebrospinal fluid , Nervous System Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Nervous System Diseases/drug therapy , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult