University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Acute Worsening of Atypical Parkinson’s Syndrome After Receiving Second Dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Rachel Russell, MD; Brian Quinn, MD

WMJ. 2022;121(3):e46-e49

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Introduction: Atypical Parkinson’s syndromes are a rare set of neurodegenerative conditions in which a patient experiences the typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, in addition to various other unrelated issues.

Case Presentation: We present the case of a 71-year-old White man with a 1-year history of weakness and upper extremity tremors that, per patient report, rapidly worsened after receiving the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. His symptoms were consistent with an asymmetric atypical Parkinson’s disease, with electromyogram results indicating chronic motor neuron involvement.

Discussion: There have been multiple reports of deterioration in patients with Parkinson’s disease and atypical Parkinson’s syndromes in response to contracting COVID-19. However, there are few, if any, case reports that describe an acute change in Parkinson-related symptoms in association with the COVID-19 vaccines.

Conclusions: As the pandemic continues, we must continue to remain vigilant as we learn more about the long-lasting effects of the virus and vaccines.

Author Affiliations: Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Russell); Department of Internal Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Quinn).
Corresponding Author: Rachel Russell, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 W Watertown Plank Rd, Wauwatosa, WI 53226, phone 608.658.7791; email
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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