In this commentary, Prof Helmich and Prof Bloem focus on several less visible – but also potentially grave – consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with Parkinson's. More specifically, they highlight how the preventive social measures to mitigate the risk of becoming infected have drastically changed the way of life for many affected persons, particularly in respect to:
- increased levels of stress, which may have may have several short-term as well as long-term adverse consequences for individuals with Parkinson's both in terms of motor and non-motor/psychiatric symptoms;
- the reduction in physical activities – and in particular of aerobic exercise – due to the necessity of staying indoors, which can lead to a worsening of Parkinson's motor symptoms and to an increase of psychological stress.
In addition, the authors highlight and recommend possible solutions – such as, for example, the adoption of new interventions such as web-based exercise programmes – and address how this crisis is already beginning to lead to new initiatives that offer help and support for patients and their near ones.