Man Develops Parkinson’s Disease Three Weeks After COVID-19

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parkinson's disease
Image: NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland

Coronavirus infection, which was previously assumed to be a respiratory illness, is currently being re-examined by researchers. According to the updates on the disease, it can affect multiple organs in the body in addition to the lungs including the heart, kidneys, liver, and cause several associated side effects both in the short and long term.

Now, a new case reported by doctors from the city of Ashod in Israel shows that a forty-five-year-old man who tested positive for the coronavirus infection and recovered following a three week of isolation and treatment started displaying symptoms which are generally linked to Parkinson’s disease.

The patient was admitted to Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital prior to recovery and was observed to display all the known signs of the coronavirus infection such as dry cough, fever, loss of smell, and fatigue.

After a total of three days in the hospital and twenty-one days in isolation, the man recovered and tested negative for the virus, after which he was discharged. Even though he recovered from the infection, the doctors overlooking his case noted a few strange symptoms displayed by the patient which had not been seen in previous patients.

During the three week time period of isolation, the patient also developed complications such as tremors in his hands. Moreover, he also found it increasingly difficult to perform certain tasks such as writing and reading.

Within sixty days after going home, the patient had to be hospitalized again but this time in the hospital’s Department of Neurology as the doctors suspected the symptoms he displayed was of the neurodegenerative disorder called Parkinson’s disease.

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However, after undergoing several tests for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, it was found that the patient actually did not have the disorder and had stable cognitive health.

Therefore, the doctors stated that he was suffering from “parkinsonism”, which is any disorder that causes signs similar to those of Parkinson’s.

Currently, the man has developed more symptoms including hypomimia, which is the inability to make certain facial expressions. In addition, he is also no longer able to write normally as his handwriting is not readable. The case is reported in the journal The Lancet Neurology.

Till now, it is well-known that the coronavirus infection causes signs such as loss of smell and taste but none of the patients have ever been diagnosed with the aforementioned cognitive effects after recovery.

The scientists are yet unclear about whether the development of Parkinsonism or Parkinson’s disease in the new case was a result of the coronavirus infection or not but the doctors found no family history of the disease in the man’s family nor was he at high risk of the disorder.

These findings add to the medical literature on the virus which argues that the infection can have a long-term impact on neurological health. Prior to the new case, there have been patients who have experienced the effects on the infection on mental and psychological health.

The case also shows that even though there has been a lot of investigation on the virus, there is a lot of room for further research on its impact on the human body.

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