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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.

World Neurosurg ; 139: e818-e826, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-324728


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has consistently changed medical practice throughout specialties, regardless of their contribution in facing the disease itself. We surveyed neurosurgeons worldwide to investigate the situation they are experiencing. METHODS: A 17-question, web-based survey was administered to neurosurgeons worldwide through the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and the Neurosurgery Cocktail from March 28 to April 5, 2020, by web link or e-mail invitation. Questions were divided into 3 subgroups: general information, health system organization, and institutional plans for the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Collected data were initially elaborated using SurveyMonkey software. Country-specific data were extracted from the World Health Organization website. Statistical analysis was performed using R, version 3.6.3. RESULTS: Of the 446 respondents, most were from Italy (20%), India (19%), and Pakistan (5%). Surgical activity was significantly reduced in most centers (79%) and dedicated in-hospital routes were created for patients with SARS-CoV-2 (58%). Patient screening was performed only when there were symptoms (57%) and not routinely before surgery (18%). The preferred methods included a nasopharyngeal swab and chest radiograph. Health professionals were rarely screened (20%) and sometimes, even if SARS-CoV-2 positive, were asked to work if asymptomatic (26%). Surgical planning was changed in most institutions (92%), whereas indications were modified for nonurgent procedures (59%) and remained unchanged for subarachnoid hemorrhages (85%). CONCLUSIONS: Most neurosurgeons worldwide reported work reorganization and practices that respond to current international guidelines. Differences in practice might be related to the perception of the pandemic and significant differences in the health systems. Sharing data and experiences will be of paramount importance to address the present moment and challenges in the near future.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Global Health/standards , Neurosurgeons/standards , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Surveys and Questionnaires/standards , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Global Health/trends , Humans , Neurosurgeons/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2