Minerva is curious about a pilot study in which 40 patients with disabling Parkinson's disease were randomised to receive either sham surgery or implantation of embryonic dopamine neurones into their brains ( Neurology 2003;60: 1938-43 Free Full Text]). She was somewhat relieved to read that up to a year later neither group had any cognitive impairment. There was no mention of what happened to their motor function.
A 45 year old man spent two days clearing an overgrown area in the garden of a French villa. Heworked in bright sunlight, wearing only shorts, vest, gloves, and boots. Two days later he presented to the emergency department with chemical burns. The plant he was handling was Heracleum mantegazzianum better known as giant hogweed, whose sap contains furanocoumarin, whichrenders the skin photosensitive. In this case exposure resulted in partial thickness burns, which were successfully treated conservatively with topical ointments, leaving minimal residual scarringAlthough increasingly rare in Britain, giant hogweed is common in mainland Europe.
Ben J Challacombe, senior house officer, Garrick Georgeu, registrar, Naguib El-Muttardi, consultant, department of plastic surgery, St Thomas's Hospital, London SE1 7EH.
Stubbornly recurrent urinary tract infections may occur because bacteria …