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The Coronavirus Disease 2019 Crisis as Catalyst for Telemedicine for Chronic Neurological Disorders

Educational Objective
To understand how COVID-19 is changing care for chronic neurological disorders.
1 Credit CME

The unfolding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is transforming neurological care more than any other crisis in modern history. Social distancing and quarantine have cut off access to routine medical care for numerous individuals with neurological diseases. Many are at increased risk when coinfected with COVID-19 because of their advanced age (eg, those with Alzheimer disease), comorbid conditions (eg, those with respiratory impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or immunosuppressive treatments (eg, those with multiple sclerosis). The current COVID-19 crisis is catalyzing the use of telemedicine and remote home monitoring to ascertain a continuation of care for these vulnerable populations.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Bastiaan R. Bloem, MD, PhD, Radboud University Medical Centre, Department of Neurology, Centre of Expertise for Parkinson & Movement Disorders, PO Box 9101 (947) 6500 HB Nijmegen, the Netherlands (bas.bloem@radboudumc.nl).

Published Online: April 24, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.1452

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Bloem currently serves as co-editor in chief for the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease; serves on the editorial board of Practical Neurology and Digital Biomarkers; has received honoraria from serving on the scientific advisory board for Abbvie, Biogen, and UCB; has received fees for speaking at conferences from AbbVie, Zambon, Roche, GE Healthcare, and Bial; and has received research support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the Michael J Fox Foundation, UCB, Abbvie, the Stichting Parkinson Fonds, the Hersenstichting Nederland, the Parkinson’s Foundation, Verily Life Sciences, Horizon 2020, and the Parkinson Vereniging. Dr Okun serves as a consultant for the Parkinson’s Foundation and has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, Parkinson’s Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson Alliance, Smallwood Foundation, Bachmann-Strauss Foundation, Tourette Syndrome Association, and UF Foundation (University of Florida); Dr Okun has also participated as a site principal investigator and/or co-investigator for several National Institutes of Health–funded, foundation-sponsored, and industry-sponsored trials but has not received honoraria. Dr Okun’s deep brain stimulation research is supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01 NR014852 and R01NS096008. Dr Okun has received royalties for publications with Demos, Manson, Amazon, Smashwords, Books4Patients, Perseus, Robert Rose, Oxford, and Cambridge; is an associate editor for New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch Neurology; and has participated in continuing medical education and educational activities on movement disorders sponsored by the Academy for Healthcare Learning, PeerView, Prime, QuantiaMD, WebMD/Medscape, Medicus, MedNet, Einstein, MedNet, Henry Stewart, American Academy of Neurology, Movement Disorders Society, and Vanderbilt University. Dr Okun’s institution receives grants from Medtronic, Abbvie, Abbott, and Allergan, and research projects at the University of Florida receive device and drug donations. Dr Dorsey is a medical advisor to and holds stock options in Grand Rounds; has received honoraria for speaking at American Academy of Neurology courses; has received compensation for consulting activities from 23andMe, Clintrex, GlaxoSmithKline, Lundbeck, MC10, MedAvante, Medico Legal services, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Shire, Teva, and UCBand; and has received research support from AMC Health, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Davis Phinney Foundation, Duke University, GlaxoSmithKline, Great Lakes Neurotechnologies, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, Huntington Study Group, Michael J. Fox Foundation, National Science Foundation, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Prana Biotechnology, Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Roche, Saffra Foundation, and the University of California, Irvine. The Centre of Expertise for Parkinson & Movement Disorders was supported by a center of excellence grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation.

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