Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39525.406574.80 (Published 27 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:728

An astute request for a temporal artery biopsy when an elderly woman presented with dysarthria and a dark swollen tongue confirmed a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis. The lingual arteries are end arteries and, when affected by this condition, the result can be necrosis of the tongue. High dose steroids and feeding via a percutaneous gastrostomy enabled an almost complete recovery (Age and Ageing 2008;37:119; doi: 10.1093/ageing/afm181).

Hypnosis is an effective treatment for children with irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain according to a recent randomised controlled trial (AAP Grand Rounds 2008;19:25-6; doi: 10.1542/gr.19-3-25). Evidence suggests it may help in adults too. Perhaps it is time to rehabilitate hypnosis from its current position as a technique for inducing embarrassing behaviour in comedy clubs and use it more widely as treatment. On the other hand, the benefits might be derived from therapeutic expectation, therapist attention, and placebo effects.

The traditional explanation that muscle fatigue is caused …

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