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The latest research shows that COVID-19 changes the gray matter in the brain



Pointing at the brain X-ray

A new study led by researchers at Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology showed that Covid-19 patients who received oxygen therapy or had a fever had a reduction in the volume of gray matter in the frontotemporal lobes of the brain.

The study found that even six months after discharge, lower levels of gray matter in the brain regions of Covid-1

9 patients were also associated with higher levels of disability.

Gray matter is essential for processing information in the brain, and gray matter abnormalities may affect the function and communication capabilities of neurons.This research was published in May 2021 The neurobiology of stress, It indicates that the gray matter in the frontal lobe network may represent the core area of ​​the brain involved in Covid-19, even beyond the damage related to the clinical manifestations of the disease (such as stroke).

Researchers affiliated with the Translational Research Center for Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS) analyzed computerized tomography scans of 120 patients with neurological diseases, including age, gender, and disease. This work was done with Enrico Premi of the University of Brescia, Italy, and his colleagues, who provided the data for the study. They used source-based morphological analysis to improve the statistical power of studies with medium sample sizes.

Kuaikuai Duan and Vince Calhoun

Researchers Kuaikuai Duan and Vince Calhoun found that even six months after discharge from the hospital, neurological complications in Covid-19 patients may be related to the decrease in the volume of gray matter in the front of the brain.Image credit: Vince Calhoun, Georgia Institute of Technology

The study’s first author, TReNDS and PhD graduate research assistant Kuaikuai Duan said: “Science shows that the structure of the brain affects its function, and abnormal brain imaging has become a major feature of Covid-19.” Georgia Institute of Technology Electrical With students in the School of Computer Engineering. “Previous studies have used univariate methods to study the effects of Covid-19 on the brain, but we are the first to use a multivariate, data-driven approach to link these changes with specific characteristics of Covid-19 (such as fever and fever). People who lack). Oxygen) and results (disability level).”

Analysis shows that when patients with a higher degree of disability are discharged from the hospital and six months later, even when cerebrovascular disease is controlled, the volume of gray matter in the upper, medial and middle frontal gyrus is also lower. Compared with patients who did not receive oxygen therapy, patients who received oxygen therapy also had a significant reduction in the volume of gray matter in this area. Compared with non-fever patients, the gray matter volume of the middle inferior temporal gyrus and fusiform gyrus of fever patients was significantly reduced. The results indicate that Covid-19 may affect the frontotemporal network through fever or hypoxia.

The gray matter in the upper, medial, and middle frontal gyrus of agitated patients is also reduced compared with non-restless patients. This means that the gray matter changes in the frontal lobe region of the brain may be the cause of the mood disorders that Covid-19 patients usually show.

The study’s senior author and director of TReNDS Vince Calhoun (Vince Calhoun) said: “For Covid-19 patients, there are more and more records of neurological complications.” Calhoun is a distinguished professor of psychology at Georgia State University. , And worked in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at Emory University. “Gray matter reduction is also shown in other mood disorders such as schizophrenia, which may be related to the way gray matter affects neuronal function.”

The results of this study indicate that changes in the frontotemporal network can be used as biomarkers to determine the possible prognosis of Covid-19 or to evaluate treatment options for the disease. Next, the researchers hope to repeat the study with a larger sample size, which includes many types of brain scans and Covid-19 patients in different populations.

Reference: “The changes in frontotemporal gray mass are related to clinical measurements in the elderly Coronavirus disease“Quin Quinn Duan, Enrico Premi, Andrea Pilotto, Viviana Cristillo, Alberto Benusi, Ileña Ribri, Marcelo Junta, H. Jeremy Bokholt, Liu Jingyu, Ricardo Campola, Alessandro Pezzoni, Roberto Gaspalotti, Morro Ma Goni, Alessandro Padovani, April 13, 2021 Stress Neurobiology.
DOI: 10.1016 / j.ynstr.2021.100326

TReNDS is a partnership between Georgia State University, Georgia Tech University and Emory University, dedicated to using advanced analytical methods to improve our understanding of the human brain. The center uses large-scale data sharing and multi-modal data fusion technologies, including deep learning, genomics, brain mapping and artificial intelligence.




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