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Front Neurol ; 11: 616550, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006082


Background: The containment measures taken by Italian government authorities during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic caused the interruption of neurological activities of outpatient clinics. Vulnerable patients, as Parkinson's disease (PD) and dystonic patients with deep brain stimulation (DBS), may have an increased risk of chronic stress related to social restriction measures and may show a potential worsening of motor and psychiatric symptoms. Methods: This cross-sectional multicenter study was carried out during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and was based on a structured survey administered during a telephone call. The questionnaire was designed to gather motor and/or psychiatric effects of the lockdown and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemiologic information in PD and dystonic patients with a functioning DBS implant. Results: One hundred four patients were included in the study, 90 affected by PD and 14 by dystonia. Forty-nine patients reported a subjective perception of worsening of global neurological symptoms (motor and/or psychiatric) related to the containment measures. In the multivariate analysis, having problems with the DBS device was the only independent predictor of motor worsening [odds ratio (OR) = 3.10 (1.22-7.91), p = 0.018]. Independent predictors of psychiatric worsening were instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) score [OR = 0.78 (0.64-0.95), p = 0.012] and problems with DBS [OR = 5.69 (1.95-16.62), p = 0.001]. Only one patient underwent nasopharyngeal swabs, both negative, and no patient received a diagnosis of COVID-19. Conclusions: Lockdown restriction measures were associated with subjective worsening of motor and psychiatric symptoms in PD and dystonic patients treated with DBS, and they may have exacerbated the burden of neurological disease and increased the chronic stress related to the DBS management.

Front Psychiatry ; 11: 581144, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983681


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents a condition of increased vulnerability and frailty for elderly patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Social isolation may worsen the burden of the disease and specifically exacerbate psychiatric symptoms, often comorbid with PD. This study aimed at identifying risk/protective factors associated with subjective worsening of psychiatric symptomatology during the COVID-19 outbreak in a sample of individuals with PD aged 65 years or older. Methods: Patients with PD routinely followed at the outpatient clinic of Gemelli University Hospital, Rome, were assessed for subjective worsening of psychiatric symptoms through a dedicated telephone survey, after Italy COVID-19 lockdown. Patients' medical records were reviewed to collect sociodemographic and clinical data, including lifetime psychiatric symptoms and pharmacological treatment. Results: Overall, 134 individuals were assessed and 101 (75.4%) reported lifetime psychiatric symptoms. Among those, 23 (22.8%) presented with subjective worsening of psychiatric symptomatology during the COVID-19 outbreak. In this group, the most frequent symptom was depression (82.6%), followed by insomnia (52.2%). Subjective worsening of neurological symptoms (Wald = 24.03, df = 1, p = 0.001) and lifetime irritability (Wald = 6.35, df = 1, p = 0.020), together with younger age (Wald = 5.06, df = 1, p = 0.038) and female sex (Wald = 9.07 df = 1, p = 0.007), resulted as specific risk factors for ingravescence of psychiatric presentation. Lifetime pre-existing delusions, having received antipsychotics, and not having received mood stabilizer were also associated with subjective worsening of psychiatric symptomatology due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: Individuals with PD and lifetime history of psychiatric symptoms may be exposed to increased vulnerability to the stressful effect of COVID-19 outbreak. Interventions aimed at reducing irritability and mood instability might have an indirect effect on the health of patients with PD during the COVID-19 pandemic.