Neurology Workforce Shortage Projected to Impact Alzheimer’s Care


Nearly half of US states are “deserts” for neurology, according to a report presented at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Meeting. These states have a chronic shortage of neurologists that will pose significant challenges as cases of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias continue to increase. Using the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Neurology Desert Index (ANDI), defined as the ratio of neurologists to Alzheimer’s/dementia population, researchers identified areas of the country with the widest gaps between the need for care and the number of neurologists, including Wyoming, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. The group outlined specific needs for these states, such as additional resources, training, and education for primary care physicians and caregivers.

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“The idea is not so much just complementary and alternative techniques but really making use of everything that might be good for our patients with chronic pain, regardless of the background that it comes from, if it has good evidence to support it. When we talk about integrative medicine we want to talk about things that are evidence-based that are really patient centered, that have a lot to do with the physician-patient relationship… That really has healing properties of its own and is very important, and there is excellent data and evidence to support that.”

In a video interview with Practical Neurology® at the AAN Meeting in April, Jessica Robinson-Papp, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, talked about patient-centered approaches to pain management. She also addressed the potential of low-risk, evidence-based complementary therapies to benefit care.


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About Practical Neurology

Launched in 2002, Practical Neurology is a publication uniquely dedicated to presenting current approaches to patient management, synthesis of emerging research and data, and analysis of industry news with a goal to facilitate practical application and improved clinical practice for all neurologists. Our straightforward articles give neurologists tools they can immediately put into practice.