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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-22

Spectrum of de novo movement disorders in the setting of COVID-19 infection: Part 1: Pathogenesis and hypokinetic-rigid syndrome

1 Department of Neurology, Sterling Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Neurology, Medisquare Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
3 Department of Neurology, Shree Krishna Hospital and Pramukhswami Medical College, Bhaikaka University, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Soaham Desai
Consultant Neurologist and Head, Department of Neurology, Shree Krishna Hospital and Pramukhswami Medical College, Bhaikaka University, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AOMD.AOMD_50_21

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The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been associated with a myriad of potential neurological manifestations, with de novo movement disorders still being reported. There is growing concern about a possible new wave of neurological complications in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of our review is to summarize all available evidence documenting new-onset movement disorders associated with COVID-19, with focus on hypokinetic movement disorders and their pathogenesis. We identified 66 new-onset movement disorder cases from using the PubMed and Google Scholar databases. Myoclonus was the most frequently reported movement disorder associated with COVID-19 alone or in combination with ataxia and tremor, while parkinsonism was the most notable movement disorder associated with the pandemic. To date, only eight cases of de novo parkinsonism associated with COVID-19 have been reported in the literature. Their exact pathophysiology is not well-understood but can include viral neuroinvasion–neurodegeneration, central nervous system-specific immune activation, vascular damage, systemic inflammation, autoimmune mechanisms, hypoxia, or metabolic disturbances. Although it is difficult to point out the specific relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and movement disorders, in this brief review, we unfold various potential plausible mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of movement disorders, with focus on hypokinetic movement disorders. Clinicians should closely monitor patients who have recovered from COVID-19 for the possibility of new-onset COVID-19-associated movement disorders. Longitudinal follow-up studies are necessary to ascertain the long-term neurological and neuropsychological consequences of the disease and the associated evolution of movement disorders.

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