A 6-month longitudinal study on worsening of Parkinson’s disease during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Institute of Global Health & Human Ecology

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Ali Shalash, Asmaa Helmy, Mohamed Salama, Ahmed Gaber, Mahmoud El-Belkimy, Eman Hamid

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

npj Parkinson's Disease

Publication Date

Summer 8-31-2022




Further studies are required to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Parkinson's disease (PD) progression. This study investigated the motor and non-motor progression of people with PD (PWP) at 6 months during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with that during the pre-pandemic period. Patients were recruited from Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo, in the period between April 2019 and December 2020. Fifty patients were included, of whom 17 and 33 patients were followed for 6 months before and during the pandemic, respectively. All patients were assessed at baseline and at 6 months using the MDS-UPDRS, Schwab and England scale (S&E), Hoehn and Yahr scale (H&Y), Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go test (TUG), International Physical Activity Questionnaire, New Freezing of Gait Questionnaire, Non-Motor Symptoms Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Both groups were matched in age, gender, and disease characteristics. Patients followed during the pandemic showed more significant worsening of the total, part I and motor part of MDS-UPDRS, and balance scores (p < 0.001) than those followed during the pre-COVID-19 period. Gait (TUG), balance, and physical activity worsening were significantly correlated with baseline BDI, gait and balance scores, total and part I MDS-UPDRS scores, H&Y, and S&E OFF scores. Gait deterioration (TUG) was correlated with baseline physical activity (r = -0.510, p = 0.002). PWP showed worsening of motor and non-motor symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic at the 6-month follow-up. Worsening of gait, balance, and physical activity was correlated with baseline motor and physical activity OFF scores.

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