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Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33860702


Objective: To assess patients Quality of life (QoL) and the burden of their caregivers during Covid-19 pandemic and specifically the impact of two-month lockdown period. Methods: In April 2020, a total of 60 patients and 59 caregivers were administered by phone scales assessing patients' QoL (McGill QoL Questionnaire), general health status (EQ-5D-5L), and caregiver burden (Zarit Burden Interview). The administration was repeated one month after the end of lockdown measures, with the addition of a qualitative questionnaire (COVID-QoL Questionnaire) exploring family reorganization and personal perception of lock down. Results: QoL and perceived health status did not worsen during lockdown, while caregiver burden increased (p = 0.01). Patient's QoL and caregiver burden were inversely correlated at T1 (ZBI total score mildly correlated with Mc Gill existential subscore, p = 0.02, rho = 0.30 and with Mc Gill total score, p = 0.05, rho = 0.265). No significant correlations were found at T2. According to the COVID-QoL questionnaire, caregivers perceived lower family help compared to patients (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Restricted measures of lockdown period during COVID-19 pandemic did not result in a significant reduction of QoL in our cohort of ALS patients, while caregiver burden significantly increased. ALS motor impairment may have played a role in the unchanged life conditions of patients. Instead, the restriction of family help for primary caregivers could be responsible of their increased burden, reflecting the importance of a wide social support in the management of this clinical condition.

Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32924624


We describe the telemedicine experience of an Italian ALS tertiary Center during COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 144 visits were scheduled between 6th March and 6th April 2020. These mostly consisted of neurological or psychological visits (139, 96.5%). One hundred thirty-nine (96.5%) visits were performed as telemedicine and mostly via phone call (112, 80.6%). Three (2.1%) visits were considered as urgent and maintained as outpatient care. Additionally, patients were still able to telephone, being put through directly to their neurologists. Many requests of contact were addressed at getting information about the scheduled visits or examinations (45, 43.3%). Globally, patients and caregivers were satisfied with the telemedicine service. However, the majority (85, 65.9%) would prefer a face-to-face visit. In conclusion, telemedicine could be considered a good complement to face-to-face care, even after social restrictions have been eased.

Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/terapia , COVID-19 , Neurologia , Preferência do Paciente , Satisfação do Paciente , Psicologia , Telemedicina/métodos , Idoso , Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/fisiopatologia , Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/psicologia , Gerenciamento Clínico , Feminino , Humanos , Itália , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Equipe de Assistência ao Paciente , SARS-CoV-2 , Fonoterapia , Centros de Atenção Terciária
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32856494


OBJECTIVES: To validate and assess the reliability of the Italian version of self-administered ALSFRS-R, considering patients' clinical and cognitive features and caregiver's help. Methods: During the COVID-19 pandemic, by analyzing the results of 70 paired self-administered vs standard telephone-administered ALSFRS-R, we calculated overall score, single item scores, ALSFRS-R domain scores, King's and MiToS stage inter-rater agreement and reliability using different validated methods. We created the Italian version of self-administered ALSFRS-R following ENCALS recommendation. Results: Correlation between the two scales was 0.94 and no systematic directional bias was found. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was very high (>0.90) for the vast majority of the considered classification criteria, especially King's total score (0.96) and MiToS score (0.94). A higher ICC was found when the patients answered the questionnaire with the caregiver's help (0.95). Conclusions: Online self-administered ALSFRS-R scale is a valid tool to stratify ALS patients into clinical stages and to implement telemedicine monitoring.

Atividades Cotidianas , Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/epidemiologia , COVID-19/epidemiologia , Índice de Gravidade de Doença , Inquéritos e Questionários/normas , Telemedicina/normas , Atividades Cotidianas/psicologia , Idoso , Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/diagnóstico , Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/psicologia , COVID-19/psicologia , Feminino , Seguimentos , Humanos , Itália/epidemiologia , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Telemedicina/métodos
Brain Sci ; 10(9)2020 Sep 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32961718


(1) Background: Cognitive features of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have never been specifically analyzed according to the lateralization of motor impairment. In the present study we investigated the cognitive performances of ALS patients to describe the relationship between motor and cognitive dysfunction, according to site and side of disease onset. (2) Methods: Six-hundred and nine ALS patients underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation at diagnosis in Turin ALS Centre Tests included-mini-mental state examination (MMSE), frontal assessment battery (FAB), trail-making test A/B (TMT A-B), digit span forward and backward (digit span FW/digit span BW), letter fluency test (FAS), category fluency test (CAT), Rey auditory verbal learning test (RAVLT), Babcock story recall test (BSRT), Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test (ROCFT), Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST), Raven's coloured progressive matrices (CPM47). Cognitive performances of patients, grouped by side and site of onset, were statistically compared using z-scores, as appropriate. (3) Results: Bulbar patients and bilateral spinal onset patients (Sbil) were generally characterized by lower cognitive performances in most neuropsychological tests, when compared to patients with lateralized onset (right-side spinal onset, Sri and left-side spinal onset, Sle). Digit span backward and visual memory task (ROCFT) median z-scores were significantly higher, reflecting a better cognitive performance, in Sri patients when compared to bulbar/Sbil patients, while verbal memory tasks (RAVLT and BRST) resulted in significantly higher scores in Sle patients. Our results are in keeping with hemispheric functional lateralization of language and visuospatial abilities. (4) Conclusions: In ALS patients, as in other neurodegenerative diseases, we found a direct relationship between lateralized motor and cognitive features.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 91(3): 291-297, 2020 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31871138


OBJECTIVE: The lack of prognostic biomarkers in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) induced researchers to develop clinical evaluation tools for stratification and survival prediction. We assessed the correlation between patterns of functional involvement, considered as a cumulative number of body regions involved, and overall survival in a population-based series of patients with ALS (PARALS). METHODS: We derived the functional involvement of four body regions at diagnosis using ALSFRS-R subscores for bulbar, upper limbs, lower limbs and respiratory/thoracic regions. We analysed the effect of number of body regions involved (NBRI) at diagnosis on overall survival, adjusting for age at onset, sex, site of onset, diagnostic delay, forced vital capacity, body mass index, mutational status, cognition and comparing it with King's staging system. RESULTS: The NBRI was strongly related to survival, with a progressive increase of death/tracheostomy risk among groups (two body regions HR=1.24, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.45, p=0007; three body regions HR=1.65, 95% CI 1.38 to 1.98, p<0.001; four body regions HR=2.68, 95% CI 2.11 to 3.39, p<0.001). Using ALSFRS-R score, the consistency between the number of regions involved and King's clinical stage at diagnosis was very high (81%). The evaluation of respiratory/thoracic region and cognition allowed to subdivide patients into different prognostic categories. Regional spreading of the disease is associated with survival, independently from the initial region involved. CONCLUSIONS: The evaluation of NBRI, with the inclusion of initial respiratory/thoracic involvement and cognition, can be useful in many research fields, improving the stratification of patients. Our findings highlight the importance of the spatial spreading of functional impairment in the prediction of ALS outcome.

Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/complicações , Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/diagnóstico , Idoso , Esclerose Amiotrófica Lateral/mortalidade , Diagnóstico Tardio , Progressão da Doença , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Prognóstico , Taxa de Sobrevida , Avaliação de Sintomas , Capacidade Vital