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Eur J Neurol ; 2023 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2258691


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of the coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on European clinical autonomic practice. METHODS: Eighty-four neurology-driven or interdisciplinary autonomic centers in 22 European countries were invited to fill in a web-based survey between September and November 2021. RESULTS: Forty-six centers completed the survey (55%). During the first pandemic year, the number of performed tilt-table tests, autonomic outpatient and inpatient visits decreased respectively by 50%, 45% and 53%, and every-third center reported major adverse events due to postponed examinations or visits. The most frequent newly-diagnosed or worsened cardiovascular autonomic disorders after COVID-19 infection included postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), orthostatic hypotension, and recurrent vasovagal syncope, deemed likely related to the infection by ≥50% of the responders. Forty-seven percent of the responders also reported about people with new-onset of orthostatic intolerance, but negative tilt-table findings, and 16% about people with psychogenic pseudosyncope after COVID-19. Most patients were treated non-pharmacologically and symptomatic recovery at follow-up was observed in ≥45% of cases. By contrast, low frequencies of newly-diagnosed cardiovascular autonomic disorders following COVID-19 vaccination were reported, most frequently POTS and recurrent vasovagal syncope, and most of the responders judged a causal association unlikely. Non-pharmacological measures were the preferred treatment choice, with 50-100% recovery rates at follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiovascular autonomic disorders may develop or worsen following a COVID-19 infection, while the association with COVID-19 vaccines remains controversial. Despite the severe pandemic impact on European clinical autonomic practice, a specialized diagnostic work-up was pivotal to identify non-autonomic disorders in people with post-COVID-19 orthostatic complaints.

J Neural Transm (Vienna) ; 129(9): 1119-1132, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007153


Parkinsonism secondary to viral infections is not an uncommon occurrence and has been brought under the spotlight with the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. A variety of viruses have been described with a potential of inducing or contributing to the occurrence of parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease (PD), although the relationship between the two remains a matter of debate originating with the description of encephalitis lethargica in the aftermath of the Spanish flu in 1918. While some viral infections have been linked to an increased risk for the development of PD, others seem to have a causal link with the occurrence of parkinsonism. Here, we review the currently available evidence on viral-induced parkinsonism with a focus on potential pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical features. We also review the evidence on viral infections as a risk factor for developing PD and the link between SARS-CoV-2 and parkinsonism, which might have important implications for future research and treatments.

COVID-19 , Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 , Parkinson Disease , Parkinsonian Disorders , Virus Diseases , Viruses , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Parkinson Disease/epidemiology , Parkinsonian Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2
Int Rev Neurobiol ; 165: 1-16, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1982432


There are several known causes of secondary parkinsonism, the most common being head trauma, stroke, medications, or infections. A growing body of evidence suggests that viral agents may trigger parkinsonian symptoms, but the exact pathological mechanisms are still unknown. In some cases, lesions or inflammatory processes in the basal ganglia or substantia nigra have been found to cause reversible or permanent impairment of the dopaminergic pathway, leading to the occurrence of extrapyramidal symptoms. This chapter reviews current data regarding the viral agents commonly associated with parkinsonism, such as Epstein Barr virus (EBV), hepatitis viruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes viruses, influenza virus, coxsackie virus, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). We present possible risk factors, proposed pathophysiology mechanisms, published case reports, common associations, and prognosis in order to offer a concise overview of the viral spectrum involved in parkinsonism.

COVID-19 , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections , Parkinsonian Disorders , Virus Diseases , COVID-19/complications , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/complications , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/diagnosis , Herpesvirus 4, Human , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Diseases/complications