Latest News in Parkinson Disease: COVID-19 Neurological Complications, Technological Innovations, and More

An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease (PD) reported across MJH Life Sciences.


COVID-19 Neurological Complications Linked With Mortality, Longer Hospital Stay

Patients with neurological conditions such as PD, Alzheimer disease (AD), and all-cause dementia have been shown in prior research to be at greater risk of COVID-19 disease severity and death, and a study highlighted by NeurologyLive® finds that neurological manifestations caused by the virus may also significantly increase risk of mortality and functional decline in patients.

Individuals who developed neurological complications of COVID-19 were shown to be of older age and stay in hospitals more than 2-fold longer, on average, compared with regular patients, and they were also associated with more frequent discharge to a subacute rehabilitation facility.

Notably, research presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference indicated that brain fog, a long-term neurological symptom of COVID-19, may increase the risk of developing AD.

Integrating Novel Technology in Management of Advanced PD

In a Peer Exchange series by NeurologyLive®, titled “Recognizing and Managing Advanced Parkinson Disease,” panelists discussed the use of technology in the management of advanced PD and how to optimally integrate these devices into practice.

Addressing approaches to incorporate technology in the management of PD, panelists mentioned 2 ways to do so: the use of wearable technology and the use of smart homes. Smart homes, which function by having devices planted in the house to track the motor behavior of patients, were regarded as an experimental approach still currently under investigation.

Furthermore, the use of deep-brain stimulation and in-brain sensing was noted, which may open possibilities for adaptive devices that would alter or administer doses based on a patient’s dopamine levels.

Cause for Most Common Form of PD Identified

In a recent study by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, the most common form of PD, sporadic PD, was found to be caused by the blockage of a pathway that regulates the mitochondria.

Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the blockage was noted to be caused by a dysregulation of the immune genes, particularly the type 1 interferon, which causes neurons to gradually die and lead to the development of PD and associated dementia.

Following their findings, researchers said they hope the study will serve as a catalyst for further research on the blockage and how to counteract it. Moreover, they noted that future research conducted by their team will focus on how the pathway contributes to neuronal homeostasis and survival, and how its dysregulation causes neuronal cell death.