BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7458.180 (Published 15 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:180

Lemierre's syndrome is a rare and potentially fatal type of sore throat that may spread via a septic thrombophlebitis of the neck veins to reach distant sites in the lungs, bones, and joints (Postgraduate Medical Journal 2004;80: 328-34). The bacterium responsible is Fusobacterium necrophorum, a Gram negative rod, and not until it is identified is the right diagnosis likely. The infection seems to pick out healthy teenagers and is becoming more common. One theory is that the syndrome may be emerging because doctors are reluctant to prescribe antibiotics for sore throats.

A comparison of 131 Italian women with Parkinson's disease and 131 controls found that the disease was associated with female sex hormones (Neurology 2004;62: 2010-4). The longer a woman's fertile life (the interval between the menarche and the menopause), the more likely she will develop Parkinson's disease. If oestrogens are protective, what about hormone replacement therapy? The report is clear on this question: at least double the number of patients would have been needed to answer it.

Aspiration of a foreign body into a child's lungs is a potentially fatal event, says a report from the University of North Carolina, which has been collecting inhaled objects since 1954 (Southern Medical Journal 2004;97: 434-6). A comparison of 26 objects recovered from the lungs …

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