The Need for Palliative Care in Parkinson Disease: Indu Subramanian, MD

The director of the VA Southwest Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers spoke to the importance of utilizing palliative care principles in the regular care of Parkinson disease. [WATCH TIME: 7 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 7 minutes

“One of the things that I’ve been excited to talk about with palliative care—and Janis M. Miyasaki, MD, MEd, FRCPC, FAAN, talked about this as well—is the sort of sense that the principles of palliative care can be used, not just at end of life, but throughout the disease course.”

Palliative care has emerged over the years as a majorly important phase of care for those with serious and lifelong illness, and within that field, a focus has recently been placed on neuropalliative care. This specialty focus aims to improve the quality of care for those with neurological disorders using the palliative care framework.

In a conversation with NeurologyLive, Indu Subramanian, MD, director, VA Southwest Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers, spoke to the development of this focus in neurology from the recognition of the care needs of individuals with these disorders, and offered an overview of some of the reasons why this approach is crucial to patient management and meeting their long list of unmet needs.

Her focus being on movement disorders, namely Parkinson disease (PD), Subramanian highlighted that the palliative care approach offers clinicians the ability to view patients in a more holistic way—fitting into the comprehensive care model quite nicely. For Subramanian, it’s like “thinking about the patient in the center, and all the things that matter to them” around them, making for “more of a unit of care needs.”

She also pointed clinicians to the newly formed International Neuropalliative Care Society, which will be virtually holding its first annual conference November 4-6, 2021. The theme of the conference is “Taking Flight” which aims to celebrate the society’s beginnings and highlight the emerging prominence of the field.