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A summary of important health news from the past week.

Covid-19 May Cause Brain Changes, Even With Mild Infection

By: Shawn Radcliffe, Healthline

In an article from Healthline, Shawn Radcliffe reports about a new study that finds that brain changes can occur as a result of Covid-19 infection, even in mild cases. The study’s researchers found that there is a loss of gray brain matter associated with Covid-19 infection. Additionally, researchers saw differences in the parts of the brain that control sense of smell as well as cognition in those who previously had Covid-19. This is an important study because it uses longitudinal data from people who had previously gotten brain scans before the pandemic, and compares these brain scans of the same people during the pandemic. While the long term impacts of these brain changes are currently unknown, this study provides insight into potential long term consequences of contracting even mild Covid-19.

‘Game-Changer’ Bill on Mental Health Clears House, Heads for Senate

By: Andy Miller, Georgia Health News

The Georgia State House on Tuesday voted to pass a new bill on mental health care coverage. This bill, if passed by the Georgia State Senate, would require that health care plans cover both mental health and substance use treatment at the same levels as physical health problems are covered. Republicans and Democrats in the Georgia State House saw the value in this bill, and hope that it will help Georgia’s citizens receive the mental health care that they need. In addition to the rules on health care coverage, it would incentivize the training of more mental health professionals, and create collaboration between police officers and mental health professionals to better respond to mental health crises

Novel Malaria Treatment for Children Receives First Approval

By: Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times

GlaxoSmithKline’s malaria medication, Tafenoquine, has just been approved to treat malaria in children ages 12 to 16 by Australian regulators. Tafenoquine can cure malaria caused by the virus Plasmodium vivax, which is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and causes up to 5 million malaria infections each year. Researchers who administered Tafenoquine and a course of chloroquine in children ages 2 to 15 found that after 4 months of the medication, the efficacy of the treatment in preventing recurrence was 95 percent. The drug will be submitted for approval in nine countries, in addition to the World Health Organization.

Items contributed by: Lexi Rosmarin, Annika Urban, Sarah Du