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Parkinson’s disease

Covid hit Parkinson’s treatment

Movement disorders are neurological conditions affecting motor systems

Debraj Mitra | Published 19.03.23, 04:01 AM
Representational image

Representational image

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The pandemic affected the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease in multiple ways, a panel of international experts said on Saturday.

"The impact of Covid has been tremendous. Patients were not being able to come to the clinics. The hospitals and the entire medical system were overburdened with Covid...," said Fransisco Cardoso, president of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), a global platform of doctors, students and researchers. 


Cardoso, and several other leading neurological experts in the world, are in Kolkata for the Asia-Oceania Parkinson and Movement Disorder Conference (AOPMC 2023).

"The second issue was that Parkinson's disease patients are quite frail at times. They were at a greater risk of developing more complications from Covid. 

"The third problem was home confinement. Exercise is a fundamental part of the management of the disease. There was not enough opportunity to do that under supervision," he said.

"Finally, there are psychiatric complications of isolation," Cardoso, who hails from Brazil, said at a press conference on the sidelines of the conference.  

The four-day conference, which ends on Sunday, is a collaboration of the Asian and Oceanian section of the MDS and the Movement Disorder Society of India (MDSI). 

Movement disorders are neurological conditions affecting motor systems. They include Parkinson's disease, tremors, dystonia and other ailments. 

Delegates from Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other countries are participating in the conference, being held at a star hotel off EM Bypass.  

The conference includes plenary lectures, workshops and case presentations.

Victor Fung, from Australia and the president-elect of MDS, spoke on the global prevalence rate of Parkinson's disease.  

"The global prevalence is estimated to be around 50 to 100 people per 100,000 population. In India, with a population of 1.4 billion, that translates to almost 10 million patients."

Hrishikesh Kumar, secretary of the MDSI and head of neurology at the Institute of Neurosciences Kolkata, was asked about the state of research on and treatment of Parkinson's disease in India.

"In terms of medical care, we are on a par with the best in the world...I am not as happy with the way research is progressing," said Kumar. "The research is limited to only a few centres."

There is a lack of awareness about the disease, said Kumar.

Raymond Rosales, from the Philippines, the chair of the MDS Asian and Oceanian section, and Yih Ru Wu, from Taiwan, the secretary of the section, were also part of Saturday's press conference.

Last updated on 19.03.23, 04:01 AM

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