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Earlier Diagnosis – One Key to Improved Management of Neurological Disorders?

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Some members of the audience shared their personal experiences to answer questions.

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The issue of neurological diseases struck a personal note for many who took part in the tweetchat, indicating just how many people were being touched by these conditions around the world.

The #1year2long tweetchat on neurological disorders and the importance of an earlier diagnosis, hosted by @GEHealthcare and @pharmaphorum, made for informative conversations on Twitter. Participants were able to exchange suggestions and highlight the issues facing patients and caregivers.

The exchange of ideas began with the question: ‘What are the underlying causes of late diagnosis for Neurological Disorders?’ Participants noted that education, an ongoing theme throughout the discussion, was especially relevant. The need for an increase in awareness for patients and caregivers on what to look out for in the early stages was highlighted.

During the tweetchat, @angel189 thought “lack of knowledge of general population,” was one underlying cause (of a delayed diagnosis), and later contributed another insightful point noting, “awareness campaigns absolutely, but aimed not only to inform/educate but to make the people really tick on this.”

@wailang_chu noted that “From own experience Asian countries find this subject difficult to speak about especially with elderly population.”

The next question asked: ‘How can earlier, more accurate diagnosis of Neurological Disorders best be implemented?’ Many participants identified the role of governments as key to future investment in improving access to better care.

During the tweetchat session solutions put forward included: ‘Knowledge and use of psychometric tools in dementia is also needed to improve diagnosis and care,’ and ‘Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s pathology may appear as early as 25 years before clinical symptoms,’ both from @WRY999.

The final question of the session asked: ‘What are the consequences of delayed diagnosis for patients and carers?’ Similarly to the tweets from earlier in the chat, members of the audience shared their personal experiences to answer the question.

@vj_CR said “delayed diagnosis means poor quality of life, especially before diagnosis because something is wrong but not knowing what it is is worse.”

The issue of neurological diseases struck a personal note for many who took part in the tweetchat, indicating just how many people were being touched by these conditions around the world. With campaigns such as the G8 dementia summit pushing for early diagnosis to become an integral part of neurological disease care, the hope is treatment and support can be given to those who most need them.

“It is not acceptable that some patients with progressive neurological disorders have to wait so long before they receive a diagnosis, during which time many face the possibility of receiving the wrong or unnecessary treatment and needing to consult with multiple healthcare professionals, ” said Gabrielle Silver, MD and Head of Neuroscience Marketing at GE Healthcare.

“This delay can be stressful to patients, and can also cost the health economy millions of dollars in unnecessary use of resources. Patients and their families should not have to tolerate lengthy delays.”*

The tweetchat session coincided with the G8 dementia summit hosted in London the same day. The summit aimed to develop co-ordinated global action on dementia and put into action a program of work designed to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their families and caregivers.

A full transcript of the event can be found on Symplur.

 

References

* – http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/Lengthy-Neurological-Diagnosis-DelayMay-Impact-Patients-Survey-Shows-42ba.aspx