Impact of neurological conditions
11. Some neurological conditions present as an abrupt “one off” event with life changing consequences (e.g. traumatic brain injury). Other conditions may evolve over many years, either in a relapsing remitting manner (e.g. multiple sclerosis), or in a relentlessly progressive way (e.g. motor neurone disease). Some neurological conditions are more readily identified and defined (e.g. Parkinson’s disease) than others (e.g. ataxia), and some generic headings mask enormous variation in how symptoms affect people’s lives (e.g. epilepsy, myalgic encephalomyelitis, cerebral palsy, functional neurological symptoms).
12. Neurological conditions affect people and their families in different ways. We know that for some people and their families a neurological condition is a life changing diagnosis, affecting the person’s ability to live independently, achieve personal ambitions, sustain their personal identity or life roles, work, or drive. For others their condition may affect their ability to communicate, walk, think, swallow or breathe. Any of these factors can cause stress, anxiety and depression for the person and their family/carers, increasing isolation, and dependency on local support.
13. While developing a plan for all of these diverse groups, we recognise the challenges this presents. We acknowledge that while in some areas care and support for people with neurological conditions work well, across Scotland there is scope for improvement.
14. We have developed this plan with the expectation that it will stimulate the evolution of new ideas that can be further tested and evaluated. The plan aims to build on what already works well, challenge the more traditional models in some areas that may not be providing the best solutions for people living with a neurological condition, and introduce innovative ideas to improve standards of care and support.