BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6928.606 (Published 26 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:606

Early in his term President Clinton ended the five year moratorium in the United States on federal funding for research on transplantation of fetal tissue. The National Institutes of Health has now agreed to fund a double blind study of the value of fetal grafts in Parkinson's disease (Science 1994;263:600-1). The control patients will undergo sham surgery, including burr holes in their skulls. Critics of the study point out that there is not yet a consensus on the optimum treatment protocol and that a negative result might unfairly kill off the treatment.

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors have established their value in the treatment of hypertension, heart failure, and diabetic nephropathy, and they seem also to be useful for patients recovering from a myocardial infarction. A review in “Cardiovascular Research” (1994;28:146-58) mentions another possible therapeutic territory: cognition. Research on animals has suggested this possibility, and there is some scanty evidence from clinical studies for an action on memory.

Rochalimaea species are responsible for cat scratch fever, trench fever, and bacillary angiomatosis (a rare condition seen virtually exclusively in people who are immunocompromised). Research in California (JAMA 1994;271:531-5) has shown that around 40% of domestic cats are carriers of …

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