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Moving Forward in Times of Crisis

In a recent editorial in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease [1], we alerted our readers to the speed at which the times are changing – the field of Parkinson’s disease itself being no exception. That editorial from 2018 introduced a special issue that contained a series of papers that depicted how Parkinson’s might look like 20 years from now. How little did we know at the time just how radically different the world would look today, now that the unfolding COVID-19 crisis has hit the world. It has been impressive how the Parkinson’s world has responded to the unprecedented challenges, for example with an accelerated introduction of telemedicine as a service to patients, many of whom are grounded at home, or unable to travel to medical centers for an in-person evaluation. But also with new fundamental research, aimied at understanding how the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus affects multiple organs, including the brain.

We are proud that the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease has emerged as an important and timely forum where many of these new developments in the field of Parkinson’s disease or parkinsonism are being discussed. The present volume contains a series of valuable contributions that illustrate the enormous impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Parkinson field. Several contributions address the lessons learned around the use of telemedicine, in both clinical Parkinson’s care and in research studies. Miocinovic and colleagues provide very pragmatic recommendations on how to optimally manage patients with implanted deep brain stimulation electrodes. A provocative viewpoint raises the possibility that the neurotropic effects of SARS-CoV-2 – which can enter the brain via olfactory pathways – could potentially trigger the neurodegenerative cascade underlying Parkinson’s disease and thereby further accelerate the rise in Parkinson’s disease that appears to be taking place over recent decades. But science and research have obviously continued during the COVID-19 crisis, and you will find that this present volume is richly larded with many more fine fundamental and applied research contributions dedicated to Parkinson’s disease.

We are also pleased to announce new additions to the editorial board of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. After several years of highly valued services to the journal, Howard Federoff, Thomas Gasser, Peter LeWitt and Tamas Revesz have decided to step down as associate editors of the journal. We want to thank all of you for your relentless efforts to support the journal, and for helping us to further raise the profile of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. At the same time, we are very excited to welcome the following incoming associate editors: Alice Nieuwboer (Belgium), Caroline Moreau (France), Rodolfo Savica (USA), Tim Lynch (Ireland), Kelly Foote (USA) and Matt Lavoie (USA). Welcome to the team; with your support and that of the remainder of our excellent editorial board, we feel that we are ready to move forward and face the future, whatever the new challenges that we will encounter.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

BRB was supported by a center of excellence grant of the Parkinson’s Foundation.

REFERENCES

[1] 

Brundin P , Bloem BR , The Times They Are a-Changin’: Parkinson’s Disease 20 Years from Now. J Parkinsons Dis. 2018; 8(s1):S1–s2.