The Pandemic and Parkinson’s: Patients Face Challenges
For persons who are already suffering from a serious medical condition and are on disability, coping with the pandemic has been a serious challenge. Persons suffering from Parkinson’s disease have been no exception.
According to new research data released by the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, even when Parkinson’s disease patients were able to avoid infections, they suffered from the lack of access to medical services, physical therapy and social activities.
In many cases, patients found their medicine supply disrupted. Some medications have been more difficult to procure during the pandemic. In other cases, patients found that the restrictions on travel made it difficult for them to receive home care because caregivers were unable to travel. As hospitals became overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases, and non- essential medical services got disrupted, many Parkinson’s disease patients also found it difficult to keep up with treatments as appointments were cancelled.
Apart from the lack of medical care, Parkinson’s disease patients also suffered from a lack of social activities, and the reduced ability to exercise because of Covid-19 -related restrictions.
All of this has negatively impacted Parkinson’s disease patients. The researchers found that many patients reported a worsening of their symptoms during the pandemic. About 63% of the patients reported a worsening of their motor symptoms, while 75% reported the same about their non- motor symptoms.
Among patients who contracted Covid-19, the experience was similar to those without Parkinson’s disease. There was a higher risk of suffering pneumonia, and a greater requirement for supplemental oxygen.