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A study by University of Cincinnati researchers and four Italian institutions reviewing neuroimaging and neurological symptoms in patients with COVID-19 may shed light on the virus’s impact on the central nervous system.

The findings, published in the journal Radiology, reveal that altered mental status and stroke are the most common neurological symptoms in COVID-19 patients, which authors say could help physicians notice “red flags” earlier.

“Studies have described the spectrum of chest imaging features of COVID-19, but only a few case reports have described COVID-19 associated neuroimaging findings,” says lead author Abdelkader Mahammedi, MD, assistant professor of radiology at UC and a UC Health neuroradiologist. “To date, this is the largest and first study in literature that characterizes the neurological symptoms and neuroimaging features in COVID-19 patients. These newly discovered patterns could help doctors better and sooner recognize associations with COVID-19 and possibly provide earlier interventions.”

Full article at Science Daily

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Increased blood flow to the brain after a microscopic stroke doesn’t mean that part of the brain has recovered. At least not yet.

A study in Science Advances by Rice University neuroengineer Lan Luan and her colleagues used advanced neural monitoring technology to discover a significant disconnect between how long it takes blood flow and brain function to recover in the region of a microinfarct, a tiny stroke in tissue less than 1 millimeter in size.

The study led by Luan, a core faculty member of Rice’s Neuroengineering Initiative, shows “a pronounced neurovascular dissociation that occurs immediately after small-scale strokes, becomes the most severe a few days after, lasts into chronic periods and varies with the level of ischemia,” the researchers wrote.

The study in rodent models revealed the restoration of blood flow in the brain occurs first, followed by restoration of neuronal electrical activity. They observed that neuronal recovery could take weeks even for small strokes, and possibly longer for larger strokes.

Full article at Science Daily

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Back home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Richard and Denise Victor would get to see their four grandchildren almost every day. One set of kids lives around the block; the others are half an hour away, all close enough for frequent visits and sleepovers.

“With the younger ones, we have a routine of stories when they spend the night,” Richard Victor said.

But when the coronavirus hit, the couple were at their vacation home in Florida and, suddenly, it wasn’t safe to leave. They’ve been sheltering there for three months, missing the grandkids, struggling with an absence that FaceTime just can’t fill.

“It’s very, very difficult,” said Victor, a 70-year-old lawyer and founder of the nonprofit Grandparents Rights Organization. “You have to try your best because we don’t know when this will be over with.”

Of all the hardships imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, few are as poignant as the reshaping of relationships between children and the grandparents who love them.

Full article at US News

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No matter where you live, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are now lethal centers for COVID-19 in the United States.

Im fact, nursing home residents and workers now comprise between 30% and 40% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the United States, according to estimates.

The care centers serve as a “well of infection” for the coronavirus that will continue to feed the ongoing epidemic, said Donald Taylor, director of the Duke University Social Science Research Institute in Durham, N.C.

“I believe if we don’t manage to control the epidemic within nursing homes, we’re not going to control it in the United States,” Taylor said.

Full article at US News

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Some people experience anxiety after drinking. This hangover-related anxiety, or “hangxiety,” can last for several hours after a person’s blood alcohol levels return to normal.

Although researchers are unsure why some people experience this hangover symptom while others do not, there is evidence that certain risk factors make post-alcohol anxiety more likely.

In this article, learn more about hangover anxiety, including its symptoms and how to prevent it.

Full article at Medical News Today

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Young to middle-aged asthmatics who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are likely to be on a ventilator longer than patients without asthma, new research reports.

Patients with asthma who were between 20 and 59 years of age needed a ventilator to help with breathing five days longer than patients without asthma in that age group, researchers reported.

“Among the patients who developed severe respiratory symptoms requiring intubation [the use of a ventilator], asthma was associated with a significantly longer intubation time in the younger group of patients who would seemingly have a better disease course than patients over the age of 65,” said lead author Dr. Mahboobeh Mahdavinia. She’s chief of allergy and immunology in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Full article at US News

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Roughly 16 million Americans have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but only a fraction have access to a lifesaving treatment called pulmonary rehabilitation.

COPD is a family of diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that make breathing difficult and worsens over time. The main cause is smoking. Other causes include secondhand smoke and exposure to polluted air, chemical fumes or dusts. There is no cure.

But pulmonary rehab can help after a hospital stay, according to Dr. David Mannino, director of the Pulmonary Epidemiology Research Laboratory at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington.

Full article at WebMD

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A new tool using cutting-edge technology is able to distinguish different types of blood clots based on what caused them, according to a study published in eLife.

The tool could help physicians diagnose what caused a blood clot and help them select a treatment that targets cause to break it up. For example, it could help them determine if aspirin or another kind of anti-clotting drug would be the best choice for a person who has just had a heart attack or stroke.

Blood clots occur when small sticky blood cells called platelets cluster together. This can help stop bleeding after a cut, but it can also be harmful in causing a stroke or a heart attack by blocking a blood vessel. “Different types of blood clots are caused by different molecules, but they all look very similar,” explains lead author Yuqi Zhou, a PhD student at the Department of Chemistry, University of Tokyo, Japan. “What’s more, they are nearly impossible to tell apart using existing tools such as microscopes.”

Full article at Science Daily

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The number of people evaluated for signs of stroke at U.S. hospitals has dropped by nearly 40% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study led by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who analyzed stroke evaluations at more than 800 hospitals across 49 states and the District of Columbia. The findings, published May 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine, are a troubling indication that many people who experience strokes may not be seeking potentially life-saving medical care.

“Our stroke team has maintained full capacity to provide emergency stroke treatment at all times, even during the height of the pandemic,” said lead author Akash Kansagra, MD, an assistant professor of radiology at Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR). Kansagra sees stroke patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “Nevertheless, we have seen a smaller number of stroke patients coming to the hospital and some patients arriving at the hospital after a considerable delay. It is absolutely heartbreaking to meet a patient who might have recovered from a stroke but, for whatever reason, waited too long to seek treatment.”

Full article at Science Daily

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The Administration on Disabilities (AoD) at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing a new funding opportunity for “Closing the Health Disparity Gap for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD): Strengthening the U.S. Health Care Workforce”.

Many health care providers do not receive the training needed to ensure that individuals with ID/DD receive adequate and equitable care. AoD seeks to improve health outcomes for the ID/DD population by changing the training received by medical and other health-professions students. This project is a critical activity of AoD’s strategic priority to reduce health disparities, extend life expectancy, and ensure access to equitable and accessible healthcare. It will complement the AoD’s Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities (CDHPD) at the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCCEDD) funded last year.

Full article at ACL

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