BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7493.738 (Published 24 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:738

The failure to find a sole pathological event that triggers Alzheimer's disease hasn't deterred some from believing there's still an undiscovered single event that starts the whole process off. The recent demonstration of immunoglobulin and complement in brain tissue from people with Alzheimer's disease raises the possibility that the presence of anti-neuronal auto-antibodies found in serum (previously thought to be of no significance) points to it being an autoimmune disease. One possibility is that a critical dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier allows these auto-antibodies to access and kill their desired target cells (Medical Hypotheses 2005;64: 458-63).

People with bronchiectasis tend to develop progressive airways damage due to recurrent infections, inflammation, and enzyme activities, and often end up harbouring Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A 12 month randomised placebo controlled trial of inhaled steroid therapy (fluticasone) in 86 patients with bronchiectasis found that the treatment significantly reduced the volume of sputum produced but had little effect on purulence or frequency of sputum, or on results of lung function tests. Fluticasone was particularly beneficial in people infected with P aeruginosa (Thorax 2005;60: 239-43).

“Respectful Disposal” of the dead includes the thought that should go into where a postmortem incision is placed. The standard incision may pass from the base of the neck to the pelvis, but if it starts too …

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