Merging Metabolic and Neurological Specialties

26/Nov/2020     Health

Two highly specialised medical departments have come together at the Mater Queensland Diabetes and Endocrine Clinic (QDEC) to improve and streamline care for patients impacted by very rare and serious medical conditions.

Teams working in Metabolic Diseases and Neurology departments have collaborated in a new clinic responding to an increasing number of referrals for patients with mitochondrial and other disorders affecting both metabolic and neurological systems.

The clinic is led by Senior Specialist Adult Medicine Endocrinology Dr Janelle Nisbet and Neurologist Dr Daniel Schweitzer who discovered patients were being referred to both specialities within the hospital.

“By having patients see two different specialists in the one hospital there is a potential risk they could not be given an appropriate work up or confirmed diagnosis. This could also lead to inappropriate referrals and unnecessary appointments,” Dr Nisbet said.

“If a patient is incorrectly diagnosed they can have fragmented care due to the staggering of appointments and being seen by different teams on different days. This new clinic will mitigate that risk and provide exceptional patient care.

“Our multidisciplinary teams are now working together in the one location addressing issues with the patients across the two specialties. For complex cases we can also incorporate family members into these meetings.”

Dr Schweitzer said the Neurometabolic clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic that brings together clinicians, nurses, dieticians and psychologists to help patients with a range of rare metabolic conditions which may have a range of systemic manifestations.

“Neurometabolic conditions are not well understood or managed in the community and this clinic will help address an unmet need. Disorders of the metabolism can result in a spectrum of neurological impairments which may include weakness, sensory symptoms, tremor, difficulty walking and cognitive impairments,” Dr Schweitzer said.

“By developing a multidisciplinary clinic, we hope that we can improve the quality of life of our patients across the spectrum of metabolic disorders. This includes patients with mitochondrial disorders, adrenoleukodystrophy and other rare metabolic disorders which lead to neurological impairments.

“Integrating existing resources at the Mater, we believe that we can provide holistic and evidence-based patient care to help the lives of our patients who suffer with neurometabolic disorders.”

The combined Metabolic and Neurology clinic also has the potential to help the transition process of children and young adults with neurometabolic disorders who are transitioning from the Children’s Hospital to the Metabolic Service at the Mater Hospital.

Find out more

To find out more about the Mater Queensland Diabetes and Endocrine Centre (QDEC), you can visit the website here or call  07 3163 2500, referrals to the centre can be made through a GP.

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