On 23 September 2020, the ABC published a story online titled Experts warn coronavirus may cause ‘wave’ of neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease about Australian research into the potential of COVID-19 to cause longer term damage to the brain, leading to conditions such as Parkinson’s.
This is one study only and just the most recent example of research focusing on what is called the ‘multiple hit hypothesis’ – the idea that a combination of risk factors leads to the development of Parkinson’s.
COVID-19 has presented researchers with a new opportunity to explore this existing hypothesis.
Research was being conducted on other diseases as a risk factor as far back as early this century when there was a significant increase in the incidence of Parkinson’s following the Spanish Flu epidemic. Other similar studies have focused on environmental risk factors such as chemicals and pollutants, for example.
It is important to note that it is not a certainty that anyone who has had COVID-19 will develop Parkinson’s, says Dr Lyndsey Collins-Praino, Head of the Cognition Ageing Laboratory at the University of Adelaide.
If you have questions about this research or other Parkinson’s-related symptoms, medication or treatment, phone the Parkinson’s InfoLine on 1800 644 189 and speak to one of our experienced Parkinson’s Registered Nurses.