Neurological manifestations of Covid-19 are well documented since the beginning of the recent pandemic. Regarding Parkinson’s disease (PD), the questions arising are if PD patients have a higher risk for contracting covid-19, or have worse outcomes following an infection.
The prevalence of Covid-19 among PD patients is estimated approximately to 2 %, with significantly higher rates of diabetes and immunocompromised states among those who were tested SARS-CoV-2 positive, as is the trend recorded in general population.
The hospitalization rate for COVID -19 among patients with PD was 40 %. However, the length of hospitalization (14 days), ICU admissions (4,7%), and mortality (25%), was comparable in PD patients with Covid-19 and Covid-19 patients without PD, and seems to be related to other, well known risk factors, such as diabetes, older age, and immunosuppression.
Interestingly, it seems that the rapid recognition of COVID-19 in PD patients could be challenging because the common clinical manifestations of COVID-19, such as fatigue, anosmia, flushing or limb pain, are also common non-motor PD signs.
But the most important change observed during the pandemic, was the mode of delivering health care services in PD patients. The stay-at-home mandate designed to protect individuals from contracting the virus, it also prevented patients from receiving medical care and appropriate timely interventions resulting in significant negative effects in the well-being of individuals with PD. In a few settings virtual visits via synchronous video conferencing increased to 95% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clearly, the pandemic situation made clear and accelerated the need for adequate, accurate, and objective digital monitoring of PD symptoms at home.
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