Severe COVID-19 may lead to low ‘gray matter’ in brain after oxygen therapy, says study

Lower gray matter volume in frontal-temporal network of brain has been related with a higher-level of disorderamid COVID-19 patients, even six months after hospital discharge, study revealed.

COVID-19 patients who receive “oxygen therapy” or experience fever may view “gray matter volume” reduction in the frontal-temporal network of the brain, says a new study conducted by researchers at Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Gray matter is vital for processing information in the brain and its abnormality may affect how well neurons function and communicate.

India has been badly hit by coronavirus, leading to exponential rise in total cases and following deaths. Many patients who recovered were also determined with black fungus. “People with severe cases of Covid-19 who require oxygen and/or ventilator support with prolonged hospitalisation seem to be at a higher risk of developing neurological symptoms,” Dr Pavan Pai, neurologist, Wockhardt Hospital, told IndiaToday.In.

The study declares lower gray matter volume in the frontal-temporal network of the brain has been related with a higher-level of disability among COVID-19 patients, even six months after hospital discharge, the study disclosed.

“Science has shown that the brain’s structure affects its function, and abnormal brain imaging has emerged as a major feature of COVID-19,” said Kuaikuai Duan, the study’s first author, a graduate research assistant at TReNDS and PhD student in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The survey showed patients with higher levels of disability had lower gray matter volume. Gray matter volume was also crucially reduced in patients receiving oxygen therapy compared to patients not receiving oxygen therapy. Patients with fever had a significant reduction in gray matter volume in the inferior and middle temporal gyri and the fusiform gyrus compared to patients without fever. The results suggest COVID-19 may affect the frontal-temporal network through fever or lack of oxygen.

This implies that gray matter changes in the frontal region of the brain may underlie the mood disturbances commonly displayed by COVID-19 patients. Microsoft’s First Annual Work Trend Index Shows 74 Percent Indian Workers Keen on Flexible Remote Work Options
Microsoft’s data is clear: extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace.

The findings witness that remote work has created new opportunities
Organisations need to rethink the entire employee experience
At the same time, digital overload is real and rising

Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of Indian employees say they want more flexible remote work options while at the same time 73 percent of them are also craving more in-person time with their teams, according to findings of Microsoft’s first annual work trend index released on Thursday.

To prepare, 73 percent of business decision makers are considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments. The data is clear: extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace.

Microsoft said last year’s move to remote work raised feelings of addition for workers because everyone was in the same near room.

The 2021 work trend index outlines findings from a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and analyses trillions of aggregate productivity and labour signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn. It also includes perspectives from experts who have studied collaboration, social capital, and space design at work for decades.

The findings attest that remote work has created new opportunities but there are challenges ahead as well.

“We believe hybrid work is the future and a successful hybrid strategy will require extreme flexibility. As every organisation fundamentally reimagines itself for the hybrid work era, we are collectively learning and innovating on how we will shape the future of work in India. It is time to embrace work as a frame of mind, not a place you go.”

Creating a hybrid work plan for any organisation requires a flexible operating model spanning people, places and processes, show index findings.

To help people succeed, organisations need to rethink the entire employee experience – from creating culture to attracting and retaining talent and building privacy-backed listening systems.

The findings say work has become more human and authentic. Co-workers leaned on each other in new ways to get through the last year.

One among four (24 percent) Indian employees has cried with a colleague and 35 percent people are less likely to feel embarrassed now when their home lives show up at work. As living rooms made way for work meetings, 37 percent people got to meet their co-workers” families.

At the same time, digital overload is real and rising. Self-assessed productivity has remained the same or higher for many employees over the past year, but at a human cost.

About 62 percent of the Indian workforce says their companies are asking too much of them at a time like this and 13 percent say their employer does not care about their work-life balance.

More than half (57 percent) of Indian employees feel overworked and 32 percent feel exhausted.

The findings say India’s first generation of digital natives (Gen Z) appears to be suffering and need to be re-energised. Nearly 71 percent of this generation – those between the ages of 18 and 25 years – say they are only surviving or flat-out struggling.

Very significantly, a vast talent marketplace is one of the brightest outcomes from shift to remote work. Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than five times in the last year, and people are taking notice.

This fundamental shift expands economic opportunity for individuals and enables organisations to build high-performing, diverse teams from a near-limitless talent pool.

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