BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7097.1842 (Published 21 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1842

The most common cause of priapism in the United States is intracavernosal injection of drugs as treatment for erectile dysfunction (Mayo Clinic Proceedings 1997;72:350-5). Fortunately, because the condition is common its treatment has become routine: around 60 ml of blood is aspirated from the penis, phenylephrine is injected, and all should be well.

Examination of 10 872 death certificates bearing the diagnosis motor neurone disease led to the identification of 26 monozygotic twin pairs and 51 dyzygotic pairs. Further analysis showed that a genetic factor seemed to account for 38-85% of the risk of sporadic motor neurone disease (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 1997;62:562-9). The study looked for environmental factors and found possible links with vehicle maintenance and occupations requiring the use of paint.

A survey of 590 ex-servicemen who had had amputations found that 55% of those who replied had phantom limb pain and 56% had pain in the stump (British Journal of Anaesthesia 1997;78:652-9). Of the 149 men with phantom pain who had discussed it with their doctors, one third had been told that no treatment was available. In fact, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, analgesics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs had all proved effective in at least some of the men.

Minerva is always interested to hear that an expert has changed his or her mind. Michael Oliver used …

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