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BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1496

Research in Germany (New England Journal of Medicine 1996:335:1480-5) has found that in pre-eclampsia the rise in peripheral vascular resistance seems to be due to a substantial increase in sympathetic vasoconstrictor activity as measured by a microneurographic technique. Both the blood pressure and the sympathetic activity drop back to normal after delivery. The cause of the overactivity in the sympathetic system remains, however, unexplained.

Does major depression result in lasting changes to the personality? This question is asked and answered in a paper in the “American Journal of Psychiatry” (1996;153:1404-10). A study of first degree relatives of patients with depression found that over six years 122 developed depression themselves while 1234 did not. No evidence was found of personality changes after the depressive illness.

Teleradiology uses modern telecommunications techniques to transmit radiographs from remote hospitals to a centre where the images can be examined by a radiologist. An investigation in northern Norway (Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 1996;2:136-42) has shown that the system requires a substantial workload to be cost effective: in the Norwegian setting this amounted to around 2000 patients being examined each year at the remote hospital by the teleradiology service.

More than half of 1252 teenagers in Stockholm had used a sunbed four or …

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