Scientists at the Flory Institute of Neurology and Mental Health (USA) determined that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was able to provoke the development of Parkinson's disease. Researchers fear that the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a massive outbreak of related neurological disorders in the future, which could affect millions of people. This is reported in an article published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.
Researchers have proposed the “double whammy” hypothesis that a viral infection can cause inflammation in the central nervous system, causing the brain to react more sharply to a neurological event later in life. This event could be a viral infection, pesticide exposure, or ordinary aging. In this case, an abnormal nervous reaction occurs, leading to neurodegeneration and Parkinson's disease.
There is growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is a neurotropic virus, which means that it has the ability to invade brain tissue and have a destructive effect. A similar situation was observed during the influenza pandemic in 1918, when, five years after the end of the Spanish flu, the incidence of Parkinson's disease in the world almost tripled.
Over the past 20 years, the number of cases of Parkinson's disease has doubled from three to six million. Even excluding the pandemic by 2040, the disease will affect more than 12 million people.