MinervaBMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7190.1086 (Published 17 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1086
People with Parkinson's disease are more distressed by insomnia and depression than by their motor disability, according to a study in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (1999;66:431-5). Over 200 patients who completed the Nottingham health profile reported a worse quality of life across the board than healthy controls. Sleeplessness, depressive symptoms, and dependence had the biggest impact on quality of life. Lethargy and pain were also big problems for these patients. Doctors should look for and treat more than just parkinsonism, say the authors.
Smoking has been linked to a variety of reproductive problems including infertility, spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, and preterm delivery. A meta-analysis of cohort and case-control studies adds placental abruption to the list (Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1999;93:622-8). Investigators pooled data from over a million pregnancies and found that smoking almost doubled the risk of placental abruption. They estimate that smoking causes between 15% and 25% of abruptions.
As an enthusiastic tea drinker, Minerva was particularly interested in the results of some experiments on the anticancer effects of green tea (Nature 1999;398:381). Scientists showed that green tea and one of its components, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, can prevent angiogenesis in mice. They suggest that this …