In brief

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 27 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1388

Transplanted cells continue to function in Parkinson's patient: Human embryonic brain cells transplanted into the brain of a 69 year old man with Parkinson's disease 10 years ago have survived and are releasing dopamine. The ability of the patient's brain cells to store dopamine on the transplanted side of the brain was restored to the same levels observed in healthy volunteers. In contrast, the non-transplanted side stored dopamine at only 12% of normal levels (Nature Neuroscience 1999;2:1137-40).

Illegal drug use declines in US teenagers: A nationwide survey of more than 6500 teenagers aged 13 to 18 showed that the proportion saying that they had tried marijuana in the past year fell from 44% in 1997 to 41% in 1999. Six per cent of young people polled said that they had used inhalants, such as glue or solvents, at least once in the past month, down from 8% in 1997 and 1998. The proportion of teenagers who used cocaine or crack cocaine in the month before the survey was 3% and 2% respectively, down from 5% and 3% in 1998.

UK AIDS related deaths decrease: The Public Health Laboratory Service has reported that about 30000 adults are infected with HIV in the United Kingdom; about 10000 of these are undiagnosed. The number of HIV related deaths annually in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland has dropped from 1236 in 1996 to 395 in 1998.

England's health secretary wants to overhaul NHS pay system: The health secretary, Alan Milburn, wants to move towards generic health workers who are paid according to what they do rather than their job title.

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