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Parkinson's disease could be a long-term consequence of Covid-19

Parkinson’s disease could be a long-term consequence of Covid-19

Research on Corona infection and its effects is constantly evolving. The first cases now indicate Parkinson’s disease is a possible long-term consequence.

Coronavirus can not only attack the lungs, but also other organs such as the heart, kidneys, or brain. The latter often causes neurological symptoms such as confusion and delirium Shows. Doctors assume that the virus penetrates into the brain and causes damage there.

Observations from the United States indicate that Parkinson’s disease symptoms and brain changes can also occur after a coronavirus infection.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease. In sufferers, nerve cells gradually die in a specific area of ​​the brain. The reason for this remains unclear. The most common symptoms include movement disorders, as well as gastrointestinal complaints, mood changes, and mental decline. The earlier this is recognized, the greater the chances of slowing down the process, but a complete cure is not possible.

As reported by the science journal scinexx, three middle-aged Covid-19 patients were diagnosed with signs of Parkinson’s disease a few weeks after they were infected – even though they weren’t inherited and had not previously been ill. Medical professionals do not rule out a virus to be the cause, or at least an accelerator.

Three Covid-19 patients have Parkinson’s symptoms

According to scientists led by Patrick Brunden of the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan (USA), the age of affected patients was 35, 45 and 58 years. The three became more typical because of Covid-19– The symptoms were treated in the hospital – she was discharged as well. But after two to five weeks, they developed neurological symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The observations were published in 2020 as a preliminary study in Trends in Neurosciences.

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“In all cases, brain scans revealed decreased dopamine system function, similar to Parkinson’s disease,” Brundin said. “The rapid onset of relatively severe motor symptoms soon after infection with MERS-CoV indicates a causal relationship.”

Researchers now discuss several triggers:

  • On the other hand, the damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 to the blood vessels in the brain can cause symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • It is also conceivable that the inflammation caused by the virus throughout the body is to blame. Because chronic inflammation is a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease.
  • The third possibility is that the virus directly attacks cells in the brain.

Covid patients were treated with Parkinson’s drugs containing dopamine. In two of them this improved, and the third improved on its own after a while.

The long-term effects should be investigated promptly further

Scientists warn to urgently investigate this possible long-term consequence of corona infection. “Because even if severe Parkinson’s disease associated with Covid-19 appears to be rare, the widespread prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population can lead to a large number of people at at least an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.”

Therefore, it is important to note whether and how many cases of sudden Parkinson disease occur in patients with Covid. “SARS-CoV-2 Although it is considered a respiratory virus, its pathogenic potential, especially for neurological complications, has repeatedly surprised us, “says Brundin.” The consequences of this infection could be with us for years and decades. “