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See detailImpact of COVID-19 Pandemic on (Health) Care Situation of People with Parkinson’s Disease in Germany (Care4PD)
Fründt, Odette; Hanff, Anne-Marie UL; Mai, Tobias et al

in Brain Sciences (2022), 12(1 62),

The Care4PD study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the care situation of people (PwP) with Parkinson’s disease in Germany. A comprehensive, nationwide, anonymous questionnaire for PwP was ... [more ▼]

The Care4PD study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the care situation of people (PwP) with Parkinson’s disease in Germany. A comprehensive, nationwide, anonymous questionnaire for PwP was distributed by the members’ journal of the German Parkinson’s Disease Association and in several PD specialized in- and outpatient institutions. PwP subjectively evaluated their general care situation and individual impairments during the pandemic. We analyzed 1269 eligible out of 1437 returned questionnaires (88.3%) and compared PwP with (p-LTC) and without (np-LTC) professional long-term care. Both groups rated the general pandemic-related consequences as being rather mild to moderate (e.g., worsening of symptom or concerns). However, familial/social contact restrictions were indicated as most compromising, whereas access to outpatient professional health care providers was less affected. PwP with professional LTC reported more impairment than those without. COVID-19 vaccination rates and acceptance were generally high (p-LTC: 64.3%, np-LTC: 52.3%) at the time of the study, but realization of sanitary measures—especially wearing masks as a patient during care sessions—still needs to be improved. Technical options for telemedicine were principally available but only rarely used. Altogether, during the COVID-19 pandemic, PwP in Germany seemed to have a relatively stable health care access, at least in outpatient settings, while mainly social isolation compromised them. The p-LTC group was more impaired in everyday live compared with the np-LTC group. [less ▲]

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See detailDeterminants of Self-Stigma in People with Parkinson's Disease: A Mixed Methods Scoping Review
Hanff, Anne-Marie UL; Leist, Anja UL; Fritz, Joëlle UL et al

in Journal of Parkinson's Disease (2021)

Background: Self-stigma in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) can substantially impact quality of life and possibilities for social participation. An integrative analysis of determinants of self-stigma ... [more ▼]

Background: Self-stigma in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) can substantially impact quality of life and possibilities for social participation. An integrative analysis of determinants of self-stigma has been lacking. Objective: We sought to explore which complementary insights from qualitative and quantitative studies, as well as from expert consultation, could be gained. Methods: An established mixed methods study design was employed to first conduct a mixed methods scoping review of published qualitative and quantitative literature, and then consult with experts to arrive at an exhaustive list of determinants of self-stigma after a thematic synthesis. Results: A total of 87 unique determinants of self-stigma were identified. Quantitative studies and expert consultations mainly identified personal determinants of people with self-stigma (e.g., age, anxiety, or apathy). In contrast, qualitative studies identified social situations associated with self-stigma (e.g., joint meals of people with typical PD with others). Notably, self-stigma of people with PD was found to be particularly salient in unfamiliar places, at the working place or in contact with people without PD. Across methods, cognitive impairment, tremor, and abnormal walk and unsteady gait, respectively, were associated with self-stigma. Conclusion: The mixed method study design yielded complementary insights, but also factors commonly associated with self-stigma across methods. Future prioritization exercises may gain further insights into self-stigma of people with PD. Facilitating social encounters by both addressing needs of affected people and raising knowledge and public awareness may improve quality of life in people with PD [less ▲]

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See detailThe retrograde procedural memory in people with Parkinson’s disease with or without freezing of gait – a cross-sectional study
Pauly, Laure UL; Rauschenberger, Armin UL; Pauly, Claire UL et al

Poster (2021, September 17)

Objective: To investigate the retrograde procedural memory in people with typical Parkinson’s disease (PwP) with or without freezing of gait (FOG). We hypothesized that the retrograde procedural memory is ... [more ▼]

Objective: To investigate the retrograde procedural memory in people with typical Parkinson’s disease (PwP) with or without freezing of gait (FOG). We hypothesized that the retrograde procedural memory is more strongly impaired in patients with FOG (FOG+) than in patients without FOG (FOG-). Background: Given that cognitive functions, like executive control and automaticity, are crucial for mobility, it is of great importance to get a deeper knowledge of the cognitive impairment that may interfere with walking and causing gait disturbances in PwP, i.e. FOG. The integrity of retrograde procedural memory, the ability to execute skills that have been learned in earlier life stages, is essential for a person’s ability to complete routine, procedural activities like walking. As FOG is characterized as a de-automatization disorder, we hypothesized an impairment of the retrograde procedural memory in patients with FOG. Methods: A total of 194 patients from the Luxembourg Parkinson’s study were included into the cross-sectional study. All patients were assigned to the FOG+ / FOG- groups based on a semi-structured interview conducted by a study physician. The extended evaluation system of the cube copying test was applied to evaluate both the cube-drawing procedure, representing the retrograde procedural memory, and the final result, representing the visuo-constructive abilities (Pauly et al., 2020, MDS abstract). We compared the cube copying performance of n=97 FOG+ with n=97 age-, gender- and education-matched FOG-. Results: FOG+ scored lower on the cube copying procedure compared to the FOG- (p=0.027), which is suggestive of an impaired retrograde procedural memory in FOG+. No significant differences in the visuo-constructional abilities were detected (p=0.945). Conclusion: In line with FOG being considered a de-automatization of walking, a skill acquired in earlier life stages, the present results suggest that PwP with FOG have an impaired retrograde procedural memory in comparison to PwP without FOG. The results lend support to the ability of the extended evaluation system of the cube copying test to assess impaired retrograde procedural memory and help improve our understanding of behavioral symptoms in PwP. [less ▲]

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See detailPrevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Luxembourgish population: the CON-VINCE study.
Snoeck, Chantal J.; Vaillant, Michel; Abdelrahman, Tamir et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

BACKGROUND: After the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease to be a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, the first SARS-CoV-2 infection ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: After the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease to be a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, the first SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in Luxembourg on February 29, 2020. Representative population-based data, including asymptomatic individuals for assessing the viral spread and immune response were, however, lacking worldwide. METHODS: Using a panel-based method, we implemented a representative sample of the Luxembourgish population based on age, gender and residency for testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection and antibody status in order to define prevalence irrespective of clinical symptoms. Participants were contacted via email to fill an online questionnaire before biosampling at local laboratories. All participants provided information related to clinical symptoms, epidemiology, socioeconomic and psychological assessments and underwent biosampling, rRT-PCR testing and serology for SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: We included a total of 1862 individuals in our representative sample of the general Luxembourgish population. Of these, 5 individuals had a current positive result for infection with SARS-CoV-2 based on rRT-PCR. Four of these individuals were oligosymptomatic and one was asymptomatic. Overall we found a positive IgG antibody status in 35 individuals (1.97%), of which 11 reported to be tested positive by rRT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 previously and showed in addition their IgG positive status also a positive status for IgA. Our data indicate a prevalence of 0.3% for active SARS-CoV-2 infection and an infection rate of 2.15% in the Luxembourgish population between 18 and 79 years of age. CONCLUSIONS: Luxembourgish residents show a low rate of acute infections after 7 weeks of confinement and present with an antibody profile indicative of a more recent immune response to SARS-CoV-2. All infected individuals were oligo- or asymptomatic. Bi-weekly follow-up visits over the next 2 months will inform about the viral spread by a- and oligosymptomatic carriers and the individual changes in the immune profile.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Clinical TrialNCT04379297Funding StatementThe CON-VINCE Study is funded by the Research Fund Luxembourg (FNR; CON-VINCE) and the André Losch Foundation (Luxembourg).Author DeclarationsAll relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript.YesAll necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.YesDue to ethical concerns, supporting data cannot be made openly available. [less ▲]

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