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BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 30 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1412

A biochemical marker for early Alzheimer's disease would help diagnosis and possible management. Researchers in Canada (Nature Medicine 1996;2:1230-5) believe that they may have struck gold with the soluble form of the iron binding protein p97. The mean concentration of p97 in 17 patients with the disease was 43.8 ng/ml whereas in 15 controls it was 7.04, with no overlap. Furthermore, the data suggest that the rise in p97 concentration may begin two years before any clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

A surveillance scheme for legionella infections in travellers in Europe has reported its findings in “Eurosurveillance” (1996;1:37-9). Between 1987 and 1995 a total of 919 cases were notified, with most coming from the United Kingdom. Most of the infections were acquired in Spain (visited by 8.5 million Britons in 1995), with Turkey second. Recently, more cases have been associated with multicentre holidays.

More than 1000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis occur each year in Pakistan (Tropical Doctor 1996;26:179-80). In many patients an intramuscular injection of an antibiotic had been given at the time of the early symptoms, and this may be enough to turn non-paralytic polio into paralytic polio. Typically, the paralysis occurs only in …

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