Bmj Usa: Minerva


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E194

From BMJ USA 2003;Feb:116

It's apparently not that easy to diagnose Parkinson's disease in the community. As part of a London based prevalence study, an analysis reveals that at least 15% of people who have been diagnosed as having Parkinson's probably don't fulfill strict criteria for the disease. A further 20% who have sought medical attention probably do have the disease, but haven't been given a diagnosis (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2002;73:529–534).

When people tackle their smoking habit, they obviously hope that stopping will have an impact on their health. The findings of a Danish population study that looked at the risk of hospital admission for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease show that stopping smoking altogether can bring about a 40% reduction in morbidity. Cutting down, even by more than 50%, however, is of questionable benefit (Thorax 2002;57:967–972).

Infection with Giardia lamblia predominantly causes diarrhea. An Italian study—prompted by a local outbreak—found that 82% of people who were clinically affected also had pre-existing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In these patients the antibiotic given to eliminate the bug didn't modify the symptoms, but in those without irritable bowel syndrome the treatment was clearly …

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