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Daily Recap: Hospitalized COVID patients need MRIs; Americans vote for face masks


Here are the stories our MDedge editors across specialties think you need to know about today:

Three stages to COVID-19 brain damage, new review suggests

A new review outlined a three-stage classification of the impact of COVID-19 on the central nervous system and recommended all hospitalized patients with the virus undergo MRI to flag potential neurologic damage and inform postdischarge monitoring.

In stage 1, viral damage is limited to epithelial cells of the nose and mouth, and in stage 2 blood clots that form in the lungs may travel to the brain, leading to stroke. In stage 3, the virus crosses the blood-brain barrier and invades the brain.

“Our major take-home points are that patients with COVID-19 symptoms, such as shortness of breath, headache, or dizziness, may have neurological symptoms that, at the time of hospitalization, might not be noticed or prioritized, or whose neurological symptoms may become apparent only after they leave the hospital,” said lead author Majid Fotuhi, MD, PhD. The review was published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Read more.

Topline results for novel intranasal med to treat opioid overdose

Topline results show positive results for the experimental intranasal nalmefene product OX125 for opioid overdose reversal, Orexo, the drug’s manufacturer, announced.

A crossover, comparative bioavailability study was conducted in healthy volunteers to assess nalmefene absorption of three development formulations of OX125. Preliminary results showed “extensive and rapid absorption” across all three formulations versus an intramuscular injection of nalmefene, Orexo reported.

“As the U.S. heroin crisis has developed to a fentanyl crisis, the medical need for novel and more powerful opioid rescue medications is vast,” Nikolaj Sørensen, president and CEO of Orexo, said in a press release. Read more.

Republican or Democrat, Americans vote for face masks

Most Americans support the required use of face masks in public, along with universal COVID-19 testing, to provide a safe work environment during the pandemic, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.

Results of a recent survey show that 85% of adults believe that it is very or somewhat important to require everyone to wear a face mask “at work, when shopping, and on public transportation,” said Sara R. Collins, PhD, vice president for health care coverage and access at the fund, and associates.

Regarding regular testing, 66% of Republicans and those leaning Republican said that such testing was very/somewhat important to ensure a safe work environment, as did 91% on the Democratic side. Read more.

Weight loss failures drive bariatric surgery regrets

Not all weight loss surgery patients “live happily ever after,” according to Daniel B. Jones, MD.

A 2014 study of 22 women who underwent weight loss surgery reported lower energy, worse quality of life, and persistent eating disorders.

Of gastric band patients, “almost 20% did not think they made the right decision,” he said. As for RYGP patients, 13% of patients at 1 year and 4 years reported that weight loss surgery caused “some” or “a lot” of negative effects. Read more.

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