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Early advance care planning in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: results of a systematic intervention by a palliative care team in a multidisciplinary management programme – a 4-year cohort study

Original article
Sukockienė E, Iancu Ferfoglia R, Boegli M, Lefranc Barranco C, Truffert A, Héritier Barras AC, Genton L, Leuchter I, Adler D, Janssens JP, Escher M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20484

Early initiation of advance care planning is feasible in most ALS patients during a routine consultation, and relevant treatment issues can be discussed. All ALS patients should be offered the opportunity to write advance directives as completion was not associated with disease severity.

Continuous versus routine EEG in critically ill adults: reimbursement analysis of a randomised trial

Original article
Urbano V, Novy J, Schindler K, Rüegg S, Alvarez V, Zubler F, Oddo M, Lee JW, Rossetti AO
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20477

In a Swiss Diagnosis Related Groups billing system applied to critically ill adults, reimbursement largely depends on duration of acute hospital stay, whereas continuous EEG and lack of seizure/ status epilepticus detection also contribute to the bill. This differs from the USA, where charges are directly increased by continuous EEG.

Characterisation of advanced Parkinson’s disease: OBSERVE-PD observational study – results of the Swiss subgroup

Original article
Möller JC, Baumann CR, Burkhard PR, Kaelin-Lang A, Küng I, Onuk K, Bohlhalter S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20419

Currently, the characterisation of advanced Parkinson’s disease does not follow standardised diagnostic criteria, which complicates the evaluation of ongoing care and treatment strategies, such as eligibility for device-aided treatment. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the proportion of advanced and non-advanced Parkinson’s disease patients treated at specialised movement disorder centres in Switzerland, to compare clinical characteristics and to assess eligibility for and use of device-aided treatment.

Expert recommendation from the Swiss Amyloidosis Network (SAN) for systemic AL-amyloidosis

Review article: Medical guidelines
Schwotzer R, Flammer AJ, Gerull S, Pabst T, Arosio P, Averaimo M, Bacher VU, Bode P, Cavalli A, Concoluci A, Dirnhofer S, Djerbi N, Dobner SW, Fehr T, Garofalo M, Gaspert A, Heimgartner R, Hübers A, Jung HH, Kessler C, Knöpfel R, Laptseva N, Manka R, Mazzucchelli L, Meyer M, Mihaylova V, Monney P, Mylonas A, Nkoulou R, Pazhenkottil A, Pfister O, Rüfer A, Schmidt A, Seeger H, Stämpfli SF, Stirnimann G, Suter T, Théaudin M, Treglia G, Tzankov A, Vetter F, Zweier M, Gerber B
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20364

These are the Swiss Amyloidosis Network recommendations which focus on diagnostic work-up and treatment of AL-amyloidosis. One aim of this meeting was to establish a consensus guideline regarding the diagnostic work-up and the treatment recommendations for systemic amyloidosis tailored to the Swiss health care system.

Conference report: dementia research and care and its impact in Switzerland

Special article
Leyhe T, Jucker M, Nef T, Sollberger M, Riese F, Haba-Rubio J, Verloo H, Lüthi R, Becker S, Popp J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20376

A Swiss panel of experts met for the Dementia Summit in Brunnen, Switzerland, to discuss the latest scientific findings on basic and clinical research, as well as practical and political approaches to the challenges of dementia disorders in Switzerland. Here, they present the conference summary.

Immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy-associated encephalitis: a case series and review of the literature

Original article
Stuby J, Herren T, Schwegler Naumburger G, Papet C, Rudiger A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20377

Encephalitis should be suspected in patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors who present with rapidly evolving confusion. Blood tests, CSF analysis, cerebral MRI and an EEG should be performed. Therapy with intravenous corticosteroids is recommended. Steroid unresponsiveness is rare and should lead to a review of the diagnosis. Alternative treatment options are IVIG, plasma exchange therapy and rituximab.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome with refractory cardiogenic shock due to acute myocarditis and mononeuritis multiplex after SARS-CoV-2 infection in an adult

Original article
Othenin-Girard A, Regamey J, Lamoth F, Horisberger A, Glampedakis E, Epiney JB, Kuntzer T, de Leval L, Carballares M, Hurni CA, Rusca M, Pantet O, Di Bernardo S, Oddo M, Comte D, Piquilloud L
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20387

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 can occur in adults. The clinical presentation can include severe organ damage with features of incomplete or complete Kawasaki disease, including coronary aneurysm, as well as myocarditis-associated cardiogenic shock and also mononeuritis multiplex.

Outcomes after spinal stenosis surgery by type of surgery in adults aged 60 years and older

Original article
Degen T, Fischer K, Theiler R, Schären S, Meyer OW, Wanner G, Chocano-Bedoya P, Simmen HP, Schmid UD, Steurer J, Stähelin HB, Mantegazza N, Bischoff-Ferrari HA
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20325

Homonymous visual field defects in patients with multiple sclerosis: results of computerised perimetry and optical coherence tomography

Original article
Schmutz L, Borruat FX
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20319

Homonymous visual field defects can be the first manifestation of multiple sclerosis and have a relatively good prognosis. The incidence of HVFD in multiple sclerosis is unknown, as it is probably underdiagnosed. 

Understanding the mechanisms of placebo and nocebo effects

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Frisaldi E, Shaibani A, Benedetti F
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20340

The placebo effect represents an elegant model to understand how the brain works. It is worth knowing that there is not a single but many placebo effects, with different mechanisms across different systems, medical conditions and therapeutic interventions.

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