The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with lysosomal storage disorders in Israel

Eyal Kristal, Ben Pode-Shakked, Guy Hazan, Ehud Banne, Galina Ling, Odeya David, Eilon Shany, Annick Raas-Rothschild, Yair Anikster, Katya Kneller, Eli Hershkovitz, Yuval E. Landau, Ronen Spiegel, Yoav Zehavi, Orna Staretz-Chacham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) is the causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Lysosomal storage disorders (LSD) comprise of 70 inherited inborn errors of metabolism. Affected individuals suffer from multi-systemic involvement with variable severity and rate of disease progression between different diseases. Some of the LSDs have established treatments, whether parenteral or oral therapies. The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic together with the lockdown on the wellbeing and medical management of patients with rare diseases, such as LSDs, is widely unknown. Herein, we describe the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated mandatory home lockdown on patients with LSDs in Israel. Results: We present a prospective multi-center questionnaire study including 48 LSD patients from four medical centers in Israel. The study objective was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on individuals with LSDs in Israel, as reported by their caregivers. Secondary objectives were to assess the morbidity from SARS CoV-2 in LSD patients and the impact of changes in mood and behavior on compliance to treatment and to assess the relationship between changes in mood to changes in cognition and behavior. Thirty one of 38 patients (82%) who received any kind of regular treatment did not miss treatments. Among patients receiving enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) in the in-hospital setting, 5 patients (20%) experienced treatment disruptions. Four patients had tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 virus infection by PCR. Seven out of the 48 patients (14%) described mood changes with cognitive and motor deterioration during the home quarantine. Conclusions: We observed high rates of treatment adherence and low morbidity through the COVID-19 pandemic in patients with LSDs in Israel. LSDs patients can be a model for patients with complex chronic diseases requiring routine treatments and surveillance during a pandemic or other disruption of daily routine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number379
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Lysosomal storage disorder


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