BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7443.844 (Published 01 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:844

Our big brains may have originated in a genetic mutation that evolved 2.4 million years ago. A paper in Nature (2004;428: 415-8)explains that the mutation, which weakened our jaw muscles, may have changed the shape of our skulls, giving the brain more room to grow.

Nasal squirts of sumatriptan seem to be a good treatment for migraine in children older than 8 years. In a double blind placebo controlled crossover trial of sumatriptan, those who received the drug were nearly twice as likely to experience relief of headache, compared with those who received placebo. The difference occurred within one hour (and was greater at two hours), and was greater in heavier children (> 40 kg), who had a bigger dose. Sumatriptan was well tolerated, and the most commonly reported side effect was a nasty taste (Neurology 2004;62: 883-7).

Lots of food groups boost our intake of antioxidants. One team tried to establish how much various foods actually contribute by taking dietary records, and plasma samples, from 61 Norwegian adults. The total intake of antioxidants was about 17 mmol/day, with βcarotene, α tocopherol, and vitamin C contributing less than 10%. Coffee contributed about 11 mmol, fruit 1.8 mmol, tea 1.4 mmol, wine 0.8 …

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