A study suggests that people diagnosed with covid-19 and subjected to oxygen therapy can experience neurological symptoms. Some of the patients with the virus who were admitted to hospitals encountered symptoms that include confusion and impaired consciousness. And while most of the imperceptible brain effects of covid-19 are already proven, the physical effects are still in question.
The alteration of the gray matter in the frontal lobe is first observed in Brescia, Italy. According to the research published in RSNA Radiology entitled "Imaging of Neurologic Disease in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: An Italian Multicenter Retrospective Observational Study", patients who undergo CT scans are found to have smaller amounts of neuron cells on the outer layer of the brain.
One hundred twenty patients were assessed, where 58 were diagnosed with COVID-19. Both the groups who had the virus and the remaining negative group do not have any discrepancies in their gray matter area. However, the individuals who experienced oxygen treatment had their gray matter reduced to those who did not require the therapy, reports Medical News Today.
The reducing volume of the frontal area is commonly associated with other neurological disabilities. The Rankin scale, for example, measures the disability in relation to the patient's experience. Also, among the experiences are fever, which had an effect on the temporal lobes of the brain compared to those who did not have the symptom. The observation is included in the research entitled "Alterations of frontal-temporal gray matter volume associate with clinical measures of older adults with COVID-19" published in the Neurobiology of Stress.
Reduction of Gray Matter Changes Mood
Along with the impaired consciousness and confusion, the reduction of gray matter inflicts mood. In reference to the study, changes in mood such as agitation are effects of reducing the cells in the frontal lobe. Vince Calhoun, the author of the research and director of Tri-institutional Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS), says that the number of documented patients with neurological disease increases. The examination of patients includes some results which show alterations in mood that are also found in most brain disorders such as schizophrenia, he added.
The changes in the frontal and temporal lobe, however, can be used in future studies to produce treatment options and prognosis. The research concludes that covid-19 indirectly harms the specified brain areas as an effect of lack of oxygen and illness such as fever.
Research for Gray Matter and Covid-19 Association Still on Progress
The research between the association of covid-19 and gray matter decrease is still in an ongoing investigation. More to the snapshot of the subject's brain, a whole series of CT scans must be met for researchers to be able to add data to their findings.
Though many patients are subjected to the study, more groups should also be examined in order to make the data more reliable. In the published research, experts admit that there are still limitations. For example, CT scans that were conducted were also limited in data due to time differences. The researchers hope to replicate the study in a broader scale, with a larger group included. In general, the research only applies to patients hospitalized who experience neurological symptoms.
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