Neuropalliative Care: A Practical Guide for the Neurologist

K. Brizzi, MD; C. J. Creutzfeldt, MD


Semin Neurol. 2018;38(5):569-575. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Neuropalliative care is a new and growing field within neurology that focuses on improving the quality of life of patients with serious neurologic illnesses. While specialty-level palliative care training is available to interested neurologists, all neurologists can strive to provide primary palliative care for their patients. In this review, we will describe the scope of neuropalliative care, define patient populations who may benefit from palliative care, and explore the communication and symptom management skills essential to palliative care delivery.


One billion people worldwide suffer from neurologic disease and more than 1 in 10 deaths are related to neurologic illness.[1] Many neurologic diseases have no cure, and lead to significant disability, emotional distress, and chronic, debilitating symptoms. Recognizing the burden of neurologic disorders, increasing attention is being given to helping patients live well with neurologic disease using the principles of palliative care.[2–4] In this review, we will provide an overview of the field of neuropalliative care and discuss the essential palliative care skills needed for clinicians caring for patients with neurologic disease.