COVID-19 Pandemic: MDS Statement, References and Resources

The International Parkinson and  Movement Disorder Society leadership together with its Scientific Issues Committee want to express their concerns for the large community of patients, physicians and associated health providers in the midst of a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). During the last few weeks, spread of the infection continued to move fast with an uptick in cases across countries and continents despite massive measures to contain the dissemination of the virus (SARS-CoV-2). We are yet facing an exponential increase of spread in multiples regions around the world and the more serious forms of COVID-19 with pulmonary complications occur in the older population as well as people with systemic co-morbidities. Although at this time the relationship between COVID-19 and Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders remains unknown, the clinical presentations of this viral infection alert us of a potentially increased threat to a large number of our patients. Also, it is important to recognize that our understanding of COVID-19 is still unfolding and forthcoming data may reveal more insights into the risks of this outbreak for our community of patients.  Some of the recent published data can be consulted for further details on the incidence and clinical forms of COVID-191-10.

We feel that it is imperative to emphasize the importance of containment measures for all our patients.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have emphasized the importance of taking active measures to contain the spread of the virus in communities and mitigate the risk to vulnerable populations. In particular, CDC has specific recommendations for high-risk groups of patients.

In general, we recommend that our movement disorder patients do not assume they are at extreme risks, which for the time being are uncertain. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend following the standard measures strictly to avoid exposures to the virus. In addition to the basic recommendations to the public, we especially recommend our patient community to consult the websites of WHO and CDC for additional information, and importantly their doctors for specific recommendations depending on individual conditions.

  1. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, et al. Lancet 2020;395:497-506.
  2. Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, et al. Lancet 2020;395:565-574.
  3. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. Zhou F, Yu T, Du R, Fan G, Liu Y, Liu Z, Xiang J, Wang Y, Song B, Gu X, Guan L, Wei Y, Li H, Wu X, Xu J, Tu S, Zhang Y, Chen H, Cao B. Lancet. 2020 Mar 11. pii: S0140-6736(20)30566-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30566-3. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32171076
  4. Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China. Guan WJ, Ni ZY, Hu Y, Liang WH, Ou CQ, He JX, Liu L, Shan H, Lei CL, Hui DSC, Du B, Li LJ, Zeng G, Yuen KY, Chen RC, Tang CL, Wang T, Chen PY, Xiang J, Li SY, Wang JL, Liang ZJ, Peng YX, Wei L, Liu Y, Hu YH, Peng P, Wang JM, Liu JY, Chen Z, Li G, Zheng ZJ, Qiu SQ, Luo J, Ye CJ, Zhu SY, Zhong NS; China Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 28. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2002032. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32109013
  5. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. Li Q,  Guan X, Wu P et al. N Engl J Med. 2020; (published online Jan 29.) Doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2001316
  6. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X et al.
  7. Persistent shedding of viable SARS-CoV in urine and stool of SARS patients during the convalescent phase. Xu D, Zhang Z, Jin L, et al. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2005; 24: 165-171
  8. SARS-CoV-2 viral load in upper respiratory specimens of infected patients. Zou L, Ruan F, Huang M, et al. N Engl J Med. 2020; (published online Feb 19.) Doi:10.1056/NEJMc2001737
  9. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: the species and its viruses—a statement of the Coronavirus Study Group. Gorbalenya AE, Baker SC, Baric RS, et al. bioRxiv. 2020; (published online Feb 11.) (preprint). Doi:10.1101/2020.02.07.937862
  10. Neurological Manifestations of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective case series study. Mao L, Wang M, Chen S, He Q, Chang J, Hong C, Zhou Y, Wang D, Li Y, Jin H, Hu B. medRxiv 2020.02.22.20026500;

Suggested Reading
Coagulopathy and Antiphospholipid Antibodies in Patients with COVID-19

Are we facing a crashing wave of neuropsychiatric sequelae of COVID-19?

Thromboembolic Complications in COVID-19

Neurological Feature in Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Neurologic Manifestations in COVID-19

Four Waves of COVID-19 Distress

Redeployed to the COVID-19 Front Lines

For further reading on the most up-to-date COVID-19 research, follow this COVID-19 feed. 

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