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Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 15 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1436

The cause(s) of irritable bowel syndrome is difficult to explain to patients. Visceral hyperalgesia may have an important role, and gastroenterologists in Denmark have now shown that altered central nervous system responses do occur. Evoked potentials elicited by electrical stimulation of the colon and abdominal skin around the area of referred pain were significantly different in six healthy subjects than in nine patients with irritable bowel syndrome (Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 2001;36:1259-66).

Doctors routinely discuss with patients the risks of dying on the table during elective cardiac surgery, but it seems that the patients don't always want to hear about this. Of 50 patients asked what sort of information they wanted, 42% said they wanted no risk information at all and 50% said they did not want to be advised of the risk of death (Heart 2001;86:626-31). If selected risk information is offered, Minerva wonders how this might stand in court in the event of a legal challenge.

The man who set metabolic biochemistry to traditional melodies has now set “aero-robic” exercises to music ( His physiotherapist wife coined the term and devised the exercises as long ago as 1987, when …

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