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

Research on corona infection and its effects is constantly evolving. Now the first cases indicate Parkinson’s as a possible long-term consequence.

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

Observations from the USA indicate that Parkinson’s symptoms and brain changes can also occur after a corona infection.

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

As the science magazine “scinexx” reports, three middle-aged Covid-19 patients were diagnosed with signs of Parkinson’s a few weeks after their infection – although they were neither hereditary nor previously ill. Medical professionals do not rule out that the virus was the trigger, or at least an accelerator.

Three Covid-19 patients with Parkinson’s symptoms

According to scientists led by Patrik Brundin from the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan (USA), the affected patients were 35, 45 and 58 years old. All three became more typical because of Covid-19-Symptoms treated in hospital – and discharged as recovered. Two to five weeks later, however, they showed Parkinson’s neurological symptoms. The observations were published in 2020 as a preprint study in the journal “Trends in Neurosciences”.

“In all cases, brain scans revealed decreased function of the dopamine system, similar to Parkinson’s,” said Brundin. “The rapid onset of severe motor symptoms relatively soon after the coronavirus infection suggests a causal relationship.”

The researchers are now discussing various triggers:

  • On the one hand, the damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 to the blood vessels in the brain could cause Parkinson’s symptoms.
  • It is also conceivable that the inflammation that the virus causes throughout the body is responsible. Because chronic inflammation is a risk factor for Parkinson’s.
  • A third possibility would be for the virus to attack cells in the brain directly.

The Covid patients were treated with dopamine-containing Parkinson’s medication. In two of them this brought about an improvement, the condition of the third improved on its own after a while.

Further investigate long-term effects urgently

The scientists warn to urgently investigate this possible long-term consequence of the corona infection. “Because even if acute Parkinson’s disease in connection with Covid-19 seems to be rare, the wide spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the population could lead to a large number of people who are at least at an increased risk for Parkinson’s. “

It is therefore important to observe in the further course of the corona pandemic whether and how many more cases of sudden Parkinson’s occur in Covid patients. “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 remain with us for years and decades. “

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

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