Covid19 and PD

To help you cope and stay informed during this difficult time, here’s a list of online resources regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and PD. In addition to general info about COVID-19 and how it relates to PD, we have included info specifically for caregivers, support resources, and online exercise options.

Online Articles | Podcasts & Webinars | Healthcare Resources | Caregiving Information | Support Resources During Covid-19 | Exercise During Covid-19

Online Articles

Answering your questions about Parkinson’s Disease and coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), Updated

Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association, June 12, 2020

These are questions asked by people in the PD community and answered by Rebecca Gilbert, MD, movement disorder specialist.  A recent question is “Can the stress of the COVID-19 situation make Parkinson’s symptoms worse?”

APDA Covid-19 Information and Resources

Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association

This webpage has info on COVID-19 specifically for the PD community,  including a section on “what features in PD could increase complications from coronavirus?”

Ask the MD:  Coronavirus and Parkinson’s

Published by The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), March 11, 2020

Seven questions answered by Susan Bressman, MD, movement disorder specialist. 

Answering Your Questions About Parkinson's Disease and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association, January 6, 2021

Thirteen questions answered by Rebecca Gilbert, MD, movement disorder specialist.

Parkinson's & the COVID-19 Vaccine

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation, January 14, 2021

On January 7, 2021, movement disorders specialist, Michael Okun, MD, answered questions on facetime live about the COVID-19 vaccine.  Thirteen questions about the vaccine plus another four questions about COVID-19 and Parkinson's disease are summarized on this webpage.  A link to the facetime live event is also provided.

Top Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and Parkinson’s Disease

Published by the Parkinson’s Foundation, March 20, 2020

Eighteen questions answered by Michael Okun, MD, movement disorder specialist, and Fred Southwick, MD, infectious disease expert.  There is a helpful section on medication concerns, along with a link to a blog post about over-the-counter medications during flu and cold season

Available En Español: Principales Preguntas y Respuestas Sobre el COVID-19 y el Parkinson

Podcasts & Webinars

Ask the Expert: Live Q&A with Dr. Michael S. Okun about Coronavirus and Parkinson's disease

By the Parkinson’s Foundation, March 25, 2020

In this one-hour Facebook Live event, Michael S. Okun, MD, movement disorder specialist, answers questions about Parkinson’s disease and the COVID-19 coronavirus, and gives tips about the precautions you and your loved ones should take to stay healthy.

Ask the Experts: Coronavirus and Parkinson's disease

By the Parkinson’s Foundation, March 18, 2020 

In this one-hour Facebook Live event, Michael S. Okun, MD, movement disorder specialist, and Frederick S. Southwick, infectious disease expert, answer questions about COVID-19 and discuss the precautions you and your loved ones should take to stay healthy. 

Covid-19 & PD:  Lessons from the frontlines

By the Parkinson’s Foundation, May 13, 2020

In this 46 minute webinar movement disorders specialists, Alessandro Di Rocco and Ritesh Ramdhani, discuss lessons learned from treating people in New York with Parkinson’s who contracted COVID-19. 
Webinar Notes on the Stanford PD Community Blog

Information on coronavirus for the PD community

By The Michael J. Fox Foundation, March 19, 2020

In this 1-hour webinar, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) addressed concerns about the novel coronavirus for the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community, featuring a panel of speakers including neurologists, an infectious disease expert, and MJFF executives. The information pertains to PD but is relevant to those with other neurodegenerative diseases. The panelists discussed what we currently know about COVID-19 and PD, how social distancing may help prevent spread, and how to manage challenges and isolation, touching briefly on the potential impacts of the situation on research. The webinar ended with a Q&A session.  [Registration is required, but is free.]
Webinar notes on the Stanford PD Community Blog

Parkinson’s & COVID-19 Q&A with APDA’s Dr. Rebecca Gilbert

By the American Parkinson Disease Association, March 23, 2020

In this 45-minute Facebook Live event, the APDA's Leslie Chambers and Dr. Rebecca Gilbert answer your questions and concerns about coronavirus and PD. 

Parkinson's Disease and the COVID-19 Vaccine

By the Parkinson's Foundation, January 7, 2021

Movement disorder specialist Michael Okun, MD, shares information and answers questions about what people with Parkinson’s should know about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Read a summary.

Shelter in Place Information Series

By the Parkinson Association of Northern California, 2020

This series of five recordings are chats between movement disorder specialist Suketu Khandhar and other experts about maintaining health and wellness with Parkinson's disease during covid-19. 

  • Michael Okun, April 16
  • Davis Phinney's wife, Connie Phinney, April 23
  • Dance for PD founding dancer and Program Director, David Leventhal, April 30
  • Executive Director of the World Parkinson Coalition, Eli Pollard, May 7
  • Kaiser physical therapist Christine Shade and personal trainer Paul McCarthy, May 14

Healthcare Resources

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The World Health Organization (WHO)

Caregiving Information

Coping with novel coronavirus while caregiving

By the WellMed Charitable Foundation, March 18, 2020

This conference call featured speakers Dr. Elliot Montgomery Sklar and social worker Lucy Barylak in a discussion on caregiving during COVID-19. Though the conference call was for caregivers (and not necessarily Parkinson’s caregivers), there were useful suggestions shared for us all on the emotional and psychological aspects of coping with the current pandemic. The speakers answered some questions and offered suggestions for regaining some sense of control amid this chaotic situation. 
Teleconference notes on the Stanford PD Community Blog

Parkinson's Caregiving During COVID-19

By the Parkinson's Foundation, June 3, 2020

In this 45-minute webinar on Parkinson’s Caregiving During Covid-19.  Social worker, Jessica Shurer, discussed several issues Parkinson’s care partners frequently ask about, but which have been complicated by covid-19.  She touches on what Parkinson’s care and support might look like in the new ’normal,’ including telemedicine, hiring in-home help during covid-19, coping with anxiety and worsening PD symptoms, reassessing your support system, and self care strategies.

Support Resources During Covid-19

Stanford Parkinson’s Community Outreach maintains several email lists for sharing information on PD and caregiving. You can read more about the different lists and sign up to subscribe to a list for free.

For ongoing support, you might consider online support groups or groups that meet via video.

Do you live in Northern or Central California?  Due to shelter-in-place guidelines issued across California, many local support groups are transitioning to meeting “online” only. Some groups, especially the Stanford-run caregiver-only support group meetings, will be meeting more frequently than once a month, due to the heightened need for support that most of us are experiencing. Reach out to your support group leader to find out if they are organizing “virtual” meetings and learn how you can participate.  

Exercise During Covid-19

Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach has a list of PD exercise videos (and a few booklets) for those exercising at home!  And we have a list of live, online PD exercise classes.  The American Parkinson Disease Association offers a free, downloadable exercise guide that can guide you through creating a daily exercise program with step-by-step instructions.

If you live in Northern or Central California, we have a list of local exercise classes.  We encourage you to contact class instructors to find out if virtual options are in place, such as videoconferencing.

Last updated September 2020 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach.