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The Med & Mic™ 03.08.22

The Med & Mic™ 03.08.22

How busy doctors keep up on the medical news of the day – and get $1 CME!*

MED NEWS blog post from Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC


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Brain abnormalities, even with mild COVID

Even with mild COVID, changes in the brain associated can be detected. Researchers in the UK analyzed the brain imaging of 400 people who had COVID between March 2020 and April 2021. They had access to pre-infection MRI scans, as well as scans an average of 4.5 months after infection. These were compared to scans of about 400 patients who did not have COVID. Those who had coronavirus lost an additional 0.2% to 2% of gray matter beyond what is normally seen. The gray matter contains a high concentration of nerve cells. “We were quite surprised to see clear differences in the brain even with mild infection,” says lead author Gwenaëlle Douaud in a CNN report. This type of tissue loss was not seen on the scans of people who had non-COVID pneumonia. Those who lost the greatest amount of brain tissue did the worst on thinking and task completion tests. From these findings, the researchers raise the possibility that COVID might contribute to Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. The researchers will get another set of scans in a year.

Genetic susceptibility to severe COVID

People who developed severe COVID were more likely to have 16 genes in common. Researchers evaluated the DNA of 56,000 people in Britain. They compared those who became critically ill with COVID to those who didn’t. Among those who developed severe COVID, the researchers found genes that lead to excessive inflammation and blood clotting. They also found other genes that affect the immune system's ability to keep the virus in check. Researchers hope these insights could lead to new treatments. More from Reuters.

Pandemic Blood Pressure is Up

Blood pressures during the pandemic have risen. Researchers analyzed information from 73,000 participants in a digital health hypertension program between January of 2019 and August 2020. This was compared to 33,000 participants pre-pandemic. During the pandemic, the average systolic blood pressure was up 127 to 131, the average diastolic blood pressure was up 79 to 80, and the mean arterial pressure rose from 95 to 97. Also there was an increase in the proportion of participants with uncontrolled (15% to 19%) or severely uncontrolled high blood pressure (4% to 5%). The authors urge better control, because even small increases can make a difference in the risk for heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. More from HealthDay.

First case of polio in Israel in decades

The first case of polio in Israel since 1989 is an unvaccinated 4-year-old from Jerusalem. The Health Ministry’s director says there has been polio detected in sewage samples. She infers dozens to hundreds of asymptomatic cases. The Health Ministry recommends four doses of polio vaccine before a child’s first birthday. “We don’t expect that there will be a wave of kids with symptoms, but we know the virus is going around,” says Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the Health Ministry director, in an article from The Times of Israel. “A vaccinated child is protected.” Polio is cause by a virus that is transmitted by contaminated food or water. It infects the spinal cord and causes paralysis. There is no cure.

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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis, or the advice of your own physician. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.


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