COVID-19 Scan for Oct 02, 2020 | CIDRAP – CIDRAP

Higher risk of COVID-19 death in Parkinson’s patients, study finds

People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have a 30% higher risk of COVID-19 death, according to a University of Iowa news release yesterday and a recent study in Movement Disorders.

The retrospective study analyzed mortality data for 694 PD patients in a database of 79,049 US adults with COVID-19 from Jul 15 to Sep 9. Among patients without PD, 4,290 died, compared with 148 PD patients—a 5.5% risk of death for non-PD patients versus 21.3% for PD patients (P < 0.001).  

PD patients were more likely to be older, male, and less likely to be African American than patients without PD. After adjusting for differences in age, sex, racial composition, and residual confounders, the study authors found a 30% higher risk of dying from COVID-19 in the PD group (odds ratio 1.3, 95% confidence interval, 1.13 to 1.49, P = 0.001).

Pneumonia is a leading cause of death in PD patients, because Parkinson’s-related difficulties with swallowing and choking can lead to aspiration pneumonia—pneumonia caused by the accidental inhalation of food or fluid into the lungs. The elevated risk of COVID-19 death may be related to the increased potential for aspiration in PD patients.

While recognizing the limited geographic scope of the study and a lack of information on comorbidities and recovery, senior author Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, PhD, said in a University of Iowa Health Care press release, “We are confident that these data show that Parkinson’s disease is [an] independent risk factor for death in COVID-19.”

Lead author Qiang Zhang, MD, adds, “For our own patients, we can give advice that it’s important that you wear a mask. It’s important that you socially distance.” Zhang advises that physicians weigh the increased risk of death from COVID-19 when considering in-person care for PD patients during the pandemic.
Oct 1 University of Iowa Health Care
news release
Sep 21 Mov Disord

COVID-19 plasma antibodies decline within months, researchers discover

A study yesterday in the journal Blood shows that antibodies for COVID-19 decline in donor plasma 3 months after symptom onset.

Antibodies produced in response to viruses can remain in blood plasma for months or years, but the duration of COVID-19 antibodies after infection is not yet fully understood. Clinical trials are under way to determine how long COVID-19 antibodies remain after initial infection, as well as to determine the effectiveness of using convalescent plasma—obtained from donors previously exposed to COVID-19—as a potential treatment.

“A key question is at what time point is it most effective to collect donor plasma based on the presence of antibodies that help fight the virus,” said study author Renée Bazin, PhD, in an American Society of Hematology news release.

The study drew data from 282 plasma donors in Quebec, Canada, following 15 adults who had mild to severe illness (11 men and 4 women) who were recently diagnosed as having, and recovered from, COVID-19. Participants donated plasma from four to nine times from 33 to 114 days post–symptom onset. The study measured antibodies to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the virus—a protein on the viral surface that binds to cell receptors, allowing entry and infection.

The level of anti-RBD antibodies at first donation varied greatly among donors, but all showed significant decreases over the course of the study, with a 36.8% decrease in mean values (P = 0.0052) and a 70.1% decrease in median values from 70 to 114 days after symptom onset.

Bazin said the study is one of the first longitudinal analyses to show that people who were seropositive (had antibodies) become seronegative, which means they had no detectable antibodies. “Based on our findings, clinicians should ideally use plasma that is collected early on after a donor’s onset of symptoms and check for the presence of antibodies before giving donor plasma to a patient,” Bazin said in the release.

The study also has implications for gauging the impact of COVID-19 in a community. “If antibodies wane three to four months after a peak of infection, we could underestimate the prevalence of the infection in communities or populations,” Bazin said.
Oct 1 Blood
Oct 1 American Society of Hematology press release

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Author: The Covid-19 Channel