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BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 15 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1320

A prospective study over 10 years of children with one or more parents diagnosed as having major depressive disorder compared their mental state with that of children from families free of depression (Archives of General Psychiatry1997;54:932-40). The offspring of depressed parents had rates of major depressive disorder three times greater than did the controls. The peak age of onset in the second generation was 15–20 years.

Surgeons in Hong Kong have carried out seven liver transplants in adults using right lobes of the liver taken from living donors. The donors were three siblings, two fathers, and two wives (Annals of Surgery 1997;226:261-70). Six of the recipients survived. The authors comment that the procedure “should be attempted only as a last remedy in transplant centres with adequate experience.”

About 7% of men who are infertile and have oligozoospermia may have microscopic deletions of the Y chromosome not detectable on routine karyotyping (Annals of Medicine 1997;29:261-3). These men may be considered to be suitable for assisted reproduction with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICS), but if it was successful the chromosome defect might be transferred to the male offspring. Men being considered for ICS should be screened for defects on the Y chromosome or at least warned that their infertility might be passed on to the next …

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