BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7017.1446 (Published 25 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1446

The Vantaa study in Finland is based on all the citizens of that city who were born before 1906. Data from neuropathological necropsies (New England Journal of Medicine 1995;333:1242-7) showed that the extent of deposition of β-amyloid protein in the cerebral cortex correlated closely with the apolipoprotein E genotype. Twenty eight of the 33 people carrying 4 allele had dementia, which was of Alzheimer type in 27; but five carriers of the allele did not have dementia, and 19 of the 59 non-carriers of the allele had Alzheimer's disease. Still more research is needed to disentangle this story.

Smoking a cannabis cigarette results in an increase in the carboxy-haemoglobin concentration in the blood that is five times higher than the rise after a tobacco cigarette, says a review in “Thorax” (1995;50:1125-7) of the effects on the lungs of various addictive drugs. Minerva finds it frustrating that so few long term studies of the effects of regular cannabis smoking have been attempted--studies that are needed urgently if informed decisions are to be made about the possible use of cannabis in medicine and the possibility of decriminalisation.

The term “age associated memory impairment” has been proposed for the gradual loss of memory that …

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