COVID-19 manifestations in people with Parkinson’s disease: a USA cohort

Yaqian Xu, Matthew Surface, Amanda K. Chan, Joshua Halpern, Nora Vanegas-Arroyave, Blair Ford, Megan P. Feeney, Kimberly T. Kwei, Linn E. Katus, Sheng Han Kuo, Hiral Shah, Cheryl Waters, Linda M. Winfield, James C. Beck, Serge Przedborski, Stanley Fahn, Roy N. Alcalay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: With the explosion of COVID-19 globally, it was unclear if people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) were at increased risk for severe manifestations or negative outcomes. Objectives: To report on people with PD who had suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to understand how COVID-19 manifested in PD patients. Methods: We surveyed PD patients who reported COVID-19 to their Movement Disorders specialists at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and respondents from an online survey administered by the Parkinson’s Foundation that assessed COVID-19 symptoms, general clinical outcomes and changes in motor and non-motor PD symptoms. Results: Forty-six participants with PD and COVID-19 were enrolled. Similar to the general population, the manifestations of COVID-19 among people with PD were heterogeneous ranging from asymptomatic carriers (1/46) to death (6/46). The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms were fever/chills, fatigue, cough, weight loss, and muscle pain. Worsening and new onset of motor and non-motor PD symptoms during COVID-19 illness were also reported, including dyskinesia, rigidity, balance disturbances, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Conclusion: We did not find sufficient evidence that PD is an independent risk factor for severe COVID-19 and death. Larger studies with controls are required to understand this further. Longitudinal follow-up of these participants will allow for observation of possible long-term effects of COVID-19 in PD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeR21NS111176


    • COVID-19
    • Parkinson’s disease


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