PSP – more than just difficult PD, and how geriatricians have a key role to play…

Carol Amirghiasvand is the Helpline and Information Services Manager for the PSP Association (PSPA). She has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 20 years providing information and support to people with neurological conditions. Her current role is managing the Information and Support services provided by PSPA to ensure knowledge and understanding of PSP and CBD is increased and that people affected by these conditions have access to a more acceptable quality of care and support. Follow the PSP Association @PSPASSOCIATION

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a commonly misdiagnosed neurological condition with an average age of onset of 63. Almost 40% of respondents to a recent survey by the PSP Association saw a geriatrician before being referred to a neurologist, meaning that geriatricians can play a vital role in identifying the disease and ensuring rapid access to the most appropriate care. Continue reading

BGS Movement Disorders Prize 2015

BGS Logo CMYKEarlier this year, Donald McVinnie, Elliot Gemmell and Emma Fisher were annnounced as the winners of the 2015 BGS Movement Disorders Essay Prize. Each of them has written a short blog about their experiences.

Donald McVinnie

Participating in the BGS Movement Disorder Prize has been a very valuable experience. As medical students we learn all about the science behind the disease, how to diagnose and manage the symptoms, and consider the impact upon patients. However the BGS prize encourages a much deeper understanding of the patient experience.

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Report from the BGS Falls and Postural Stability Meeting 2015

BGS Logo CMYKThis year’s well attended Falls and Postural Stability Conference was held in Wembley, London. BGS member Mary Ni Lochlainn reports back.

The first session at this year’s BGS Falls and Postural Stability Conference was opened by Professor Alice Nieuwbower, from University of Leuven, Belgium, who discussed falls in the context of Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

Patients with PD are twice as likely to fall, compared to healthy older adults. It seems wobbling is a major factor here with ‘sway’ more predictive of falls than ‘gait speed’ in this population. Sway-metrics (probably not as much fun as they sound) show increased sway in patients taking levodopa, leading to a therapeutic challenge for clinicians.

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My Patient With Parkinson’s Disease Can’t Swallow: Gulp…

James Fisher is an St6 in Geriatric Medicine at Health Education North East, and tweets at @drjimbofish

If you look after people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) you’ll know that sometimes medication administration in hospital is sub-optimal. Things can get particularly challenging when patients are unable to take their usual tablets due to swallowing difficulties…

Missing PD medications is risky – not only will patients’ symptoms get worse, but abrupt withdrawal is associated with the rare, but potentially fatal, neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

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Calling all students: win a BGS essay prize of £500!

BGS Logo CMYKThe BGS Movement Disorders Section award an annual prize for an essay on various aspects of Parkinsons Disease (title of which is decided upon by the section) for medical students, nursing students, therapy students and science students.

The first prize is a whopping £500; second and third prizes are also substantial at £300 and £200 respectively. The winning essay is also published on the British Geriatrics Society website.

This year’s title is “If I Had Parkinsons Disease” and the deadline for entries is 1st July 2015. Full details can be found on the BGS website, and  all entries should be sent to Joanna Gough at scientificofficer@bgs.org.uk.

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Geriatric medicine in New Zealand: the patients

2234656851_00f307137b_zIn the first part of this two-part blog, Vicky Henstridge looks at the patients she’s cared for since moving from the UK to New Zealand.

Today marks exactly one year since we arrived in our new home town, and I am in a reflective mood. There are many differences between medicine in the UK and New Zealand, but those between primary care and geriatrics in the two are perhaps most striking. The semi-private nature of General Practice is something that on the surface seems abhorrent, as we Poms still hold dear to the ideals of a healthcare system free at the point of use.

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Improving bone health and reducing fractures in Parkinson’s Disease

Celia Gregson (@CeliaGregson) is an academic at University of Bristol who combines bone research with clinical work as a consultant in the Hip Fracture Unit at the Royal United Hospital Bath (@RUHBath). She and her colleague Veronica Lyell, who has also a special interest in Parkinson’s disease, have written a review article on bone health in Parkinson’s disease, and here they describe the work as recently published in Age and Ageing journal.parkinsonsFracture

A collaboration between the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust and the University of Bristol has recently published the first suggested guideline regarding the assessment and management of bone health and fracture risk in patients with movement disorders for whom to date no specific guidelines exist. The full paper can be seen here and below we outline the key points.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD), affecting almost 127,000 UK adults, is the second most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s disease. Prevalence is increasing within our ageing population, affecting an estimated 1% aged >60 years. PD is primarily a neurological disorder; causing tremor, slowness of movement and muscle rigidity. However, it is less commonly recognised that people with PD have substantially higher fracture risk. Continue reading

British Geriatrics Society Scientific meeting: Day 3

This week sees the 2013 BGS Autumn Scientific Meeting take place in Harrogate. This international multi-disciplinary conference is for professionals concerned with the the health and care of older people. We will be presenting a packed scientific programme, with updates on a variety of clinical topics covering several special interests.DSC_3306

The third day of our conference opens with two parallel sessions (9.00-10.30):

  • Session Q: Bereavement: Beginning with Prof David Jolley (University of Manchester) on psychiatric disorders after bereavement. Next is Mr Alan Casseden (Cruse Bereavement Care) on who will be encouraging attendees to reflect on their own death. Finally Dr Peter Dean (Coroners Office) describes changes in the coroner’s jurisdiction.
  • Session R: Care Homes: Dr Clive Bowman (City University, London) begins with a presentation entitled: “Care Home Medicine: Outside the box but not at large.” Dr Adam Gordon (Nottingham) will discusses “Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment in care homes”, and Ms Julie Whitney (Kings College Hospital) will speak about on falls prevention in Care Homes. Continue reading

Early Diagnosis of Dementia

Dr Simon Wright is Consultant Psychiatrist for Older People at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and mamber of the BGS Dementia and related disorders special interest groupbrain

The issue of the early diagnosis of dementia, although not new, has recently been highlighted by the National dementia CQUIN for the screening for cognitive disorders in patients admitted to acute care, which commenced in 2012.

Other initiatives including a new NHS Call to Action, “The Right Care” has highlighted the need for acute hospital to be more “dementia aware and friendly”,  given the problems associated for caring for somebody with dementia in an acute setting. including delayed discharge and increased re-admission rates. A similar CQUIN programme is to be started in primary care from April 2013.  Continue reading