BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6938.1248 (Published 07 May 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1248

Research on the hereditary spastic mouse has suggested that botulinum toxin might be useful in preventing contractures in children with cerebral palsy, and a pilot study in Belfast (Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 1994;36:386-96) found that those given injections of the toxin had reduced tone in the treated muscles. Some of the children also walked better. Whether long term treatment will prove possible remains to be seen: antibodies have been formed against the toxin in patients treated for torticollis.

Patients who have had an attack of extensive ulcerative colitis are at increased risk of colonic cancer and in some clinics are screened by repeated colonoscopy. A review in “Gut” (1994;35:587-9) of 12 studies found that eight cancers had been detected by 3807 colonoscopies - such a disappointing return that the review recommends taking multiple biopsy specimens at a single colonoscopy eight to 10 years after the first attack. After that, follow up should be guided by symptoms.

Concern about the steady increase of strains of bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is being increased by the apparent lack of interest in …

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