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Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 12 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:844

Since one major antidepressant helps people stop smoking, perhaps others do too. A double blind, placebo controlled, randomised trial of sertraline in 134 smokers found that the drug produced less irritability, anxiety, craving, and restlessness than placebo. But at the end of the trial the abstinence rates in the two groups were the same. The authors say the trial probably didn't adequately test the drug because both groups received a high level of individual psychological counselling (American Journal of Psychiatry 2002;159:1731-7)

Assiduous readers of British tabloid newspapers may have noticed a rash of articles last week about an alleged World Health Organization study purporting to predict the extinction of the naturally blond hair gene. A missive recently received from the Communications Office of the Director-General stresses that the WHO has no opinion on the future existence of blondes at all and, to the best of its knowledge, the WHO has never conducted research on this subject. With so much interest in the subject, perhaps it's time someone did.

Three quarters of the 3000 British veterans of the Gulf war seeking advice up to June 2001 from a special medical assessment programme were classified as being “well.” Of …

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