Covid complications

Since the lockdowns started, Parkinson’s UK has been advising sufferers to treat ourselves as more at risk than the general population. The organisation’s advice has changed somewhat over the weeks; at the beginning they thought we would be in the shielded category, which in fact we never have been.
The latest advice (attached to a fundraising ad.) is that “Parkinson’s puts people at increased risk of complications if they get coronavirus”. I would like some clarification of what Parkinson’s UK means by that.
What I would expect, if I got Coronavirus, is that my Parkinson’s symptoms would become worse, because this is something which tends to happen, even with minor illness. I’d also expect to have more difficulty managing my Parkinson’s, taking my meds at the correct times, getting exercise, etc. The BMJ list of complications lists these problems under the heading ‘comorbidities.’
But apart from that, I’ve seen no evidence that we Parkinson’s sufferers are at risk from other complications (e.g. sepsis, or respiratory failure). Is there evidence?

Hello Jane. Thanks for your comment. Our advice has been shifting over the past few weeks, in line with updated advice across UK governments. Each time changes, or new information is produced, we look over this in order to update our coronavirus webpage:

In terms of why *eople with Parkinson’s have an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus - we have consulted our clinical director to try and understand this better. As you’ll know, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness. So we don’t yet have accurate information about it and Parkinson’s. But we do know that people with Parkinson’s are more prone to pneumonia and infections. And, Parkinson’s can cause respiratory issues for some people. If you have advanced Parkinson’s or have lived with the condition for a long time, you’re more likely to have breathing and respiratory difficulties. Coronavirus affects your lungs and airways. This is why people with Parkinson’s are described as being at greater risk of severe illness if they get coronavirus. There is more information on the link I shared above, and Dr Donald Grosset has done this podacts on Coronavirus and Parkinsons:

I hope that helps give some clarity? Best wishes, Lucy - forum moderation team

I would be very interested to hear some facts about what has actually happened to PWP rather than supposition as to what might happen. As I posted some time ago, my Parkinson’s nurse was surprised that none of her clients had contracted Covid19 and was speculating that either the medication or the disease itself might actually offer some protection. No one on this site has yet posted that they’ve had Covid19 so would be interested to hear from anyone with Parkinson’s who has had it.

Thanks. I listened to the podcast.

My GP had me placed in the Shielded group, probably just depends on the GP.

One of my meds’ is Amantadine, which is a repurposed anti viral, I assume it’s a popular prescription and might have some positive effect on Covid 19.

No, I don’t think GPs have discretion. It must be something else.

Neither myself or my wife have had any notification to self isolate. Yet my wife has MS, and I have Parkinsons, and are both over 70.

Trying to find a tesco shopping slot is always very difficult, and the government help site does not include Parkinsons in the list. So I don’t know what to believe!

Using common sense, we have stayed at home. We contact a local help line for prescriptions otherwise we can manage.

My eldest son had the symptoms, as some of his people at work may have had the virus. My youngest son has Crohns, and had an official letter telling him to self isolate.

So it seems we are not a high risk, but there is no real clarification. Confusion means you use your own judgement, and do what’t best for you…

1 Like