Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.
In the last few years, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was widely used to investigate the architecture of brain networks by investigating the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent response. This technique represented an interesting, robust and reliable approach to compare pathologic and healthy subjects in order to investigate neurodegenerative diseases evolution. On the other hand, the elaboration of rs-fMRI data resulted to be very prone to noise due to confounding factors especially the head motion. Head motion has long been known to be a source of artefacts in task-based functional MRI studies, but it has become a particularly challenging problem in recent studies using rs-fMRI. The aim of this work was to evaluate in MS patients a well-known motion correction algorithm from the FMRIB's Software Library - MCFLIRT - that could be applied to minimize the head motion distortions, allowing to correctly interpret rs-fMRI results.
Cortisol is important to our immune system, regulates our stress response, and is a factor in maintaining brain temperature. Saliva cortisol is a practical and useful non-invasive measurement that signifies the presence of the important hormone. Electrical activity in the jaw muscles typically rises when the muscles are moved during yawning and the electrical level is found to be correlated with the cortisol level. In two studies using identical paradigms, a total of 108 healthy subjects were exposed to yawning-provoking stimuli so that their cortisol levels and electrical nerve impulses from their jaw muscles was recorded. Electrical activity is highly correlated with cortisol levels in healthy people. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Yawning Susceptibility Scale, General Health Questionnaire, demographic, health details were collected and exclusion criteria applied for voluntary recruitment: chronic fatigue, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart condition, high blood pressure, hormone replacement therapy, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Significant differences were found between the saliva cortisol samples for the yawners as compared with the non-yawners between rest and post-stimuli. Significant evidence supports the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis that suggests rises in cortisol levels are associated with yawning. Ethics approval granted and professional code of conduct, confidentiality, and safety issues are approved therein.