A research paper accepted for publication in the journal Movement Disorders suggests that people who have lived with Parkinson’s for an average of 12.7 years may be more susceptible to infection with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Individuals with longer duration of Parkinson’s who become infected may also have a higher mortality rate (40 percent in a 10-case series). Individuals on advanced therapies such as infusions of levodopa or deep brain stimulation seemed to be at particularly high risk.
In this study of two individuals in Italy and eight in the United Kingdom who have an average age of 78.3 years, five patients needed increased doses of Levodopa during treatment for COVID-19.
Increased risk of COVID-19 for people with Parkinson’s may be related to respiratory muscle rigidity as well as impairment of the cough reflex alongside pre-existing shortness of breath.
There is also evidence for a link between Parkinson’s and COVID-19. It has been known for more than two decades that antibodies to Coronaviruses occur in people living with Parkinson’s – and have been suggested as evidence for a role of infectious processes in the cause of Parkinson’s.
The ability of Coronaviruses to enter the brain through nasal passages determines the loss of smell (anosmia) and taste (ageusia) that has been seen in COVID-19 and is also a symptom of Parkinson’s.
Source: Practical Neurology