Impact of COVID related social distancing in mood disorders in Parkinson's Disease patients

Nora Vanegas, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurological Surgery

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) currently affects more than 930,000 individuals in the United States and it is estimated that the number of cases will rise to 1,238,000 in 2030. Although the motor syndrome remains the core feature by which PD is diagnosed, more than 90 % of PD patients are also affected by one or more non-motor features, including neuropsychiatric symptoms. Apathy, depression and anxiety are particularly common non-motor neuropsychiatric issues and frequently have greater impact on patients’ quality of lives than their motor symptoms. The prevalence of PD is higher in age groups between 50-70 years. The recent COVID pandemic restrictions involve social distancing, especially in elderly populations. We hypothesize that social distancing has a negative impact on neuropsychiatric symptoms (apathy, depression, anxiety) in PD patients. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of social distancing related to the COVID pandemic restrictions, on neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with PD.