Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7379.60 (Published 04 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:60

Counsellors and therapists may be alarmed at the prospect of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has issued new guidelines on using it for treating anxiety and depression, and although current research apparently indicates that it offers some value, NICE says it's premature to recommend it for general use in the NHS. It does, however, suggest that the NHS supports research into this therapy (Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal 2002; 13:43).

Apparently men have a higher threshold for pain than women, although Minerva thinks many women would disagree. A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says proteins called GIRKs may explain the difference. Male mutant mice lacking GIRK2 had lower pain thresholds than controls, but for female mutants there was no difference. And morphine didn't seem to work very well in male mutants (www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0136822100).

How we differentiate between tastes of hot and cold foods, and the discovery of light sensitive cells that help keep the body's daily rhythms on track, rate among the top 10 research advances of 2002, according to Science (2002;298:2296-303). The first is interesting; the second …

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