BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7106.496 (Published 23 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:496

Heavy use of cannabis can affect motivation, but there is no need to evoke an amotivational syndrome to explain the narrowed interests, loss of motivation, and reduced achievement seen in some heavy cannabis users, says an editorial in the British Journal of Psychiatry (1997;171:107-8). These are simply the symptoms of chronic cannabis intoxication. Heavy use is unlikely to cause structural damage to the brain, because the drug acts on a specific receptor.

Old people who survive an attempt at suicide are likely to try again. A study of 100 patients over 65 referred to a liaison psychiatric service (British Journal of Psychiatry 1997;171:42-6) and followed up an average of 3.5 years later found that 42 had died, 12 from repeat suicides and five from delayed effects of their first attempt. Thirty seven of the 58 survivors were still receiving active psychiatric treatment.

The Chingford study has been investigating the health of 1003 middle aged London women since the late 1980s. Its data show that those women currently using hormone replacement treatment are less likely than the others to have osteoarthritis affecting their hands or knees (Annals of …

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