March 28, 2022

Multidisciplinary Care of Patients with Inherited Metabolic Diseases and Epilepsy: Current Perspectives

Abstract found on Dovepress

Abstract: More than 650 inherited metabolic diseases may present with epilepsy or seizures. These diseases are often multisystem, life-long and induce complex needs of patients and families. Multidisciplinary care involves all stages of disease management: diagnostics, specific or symptomatic, acute and chronic treatments, and integrated care that takes into account not only medical, but also manifold psychosocial, educational, vocational and other needs of patients and their caregivers.

Care coordination is indispensable to ensure smooth transitions of care across life and disease stages, including management of emergencies, transition from pediatric to adult services and palliative care. Care pathways are highly diverse and have to find the right balance between highly specialized and locally provided services. While multidisciplinary teams consist of many professionals, a named supervising physician in a highly specialized healthcare setting and a care coordinator are highly important. As the greatest burden of care always falls onto the shoulders of patients and/or families, patient empowerment should be a part of every care pathway and include provision of required information, involvement into common decision-making, patient’s and family’s education, support for self-management, liaison with peer support groups and emotional/ psychological support. Due to the rarity and complexity of these diseases, sufficient expertise may not be available in a national healthcare system and cross-border services (virtual or physical) in the recently developed European Reference Networks should be ensured through the proper organization of referral systems in each EU and EEA country. Finally, digital technologies are particularly important in the provision of services for patients with rare diseases and can significantly increase the availability of highly specialized services and expertise.