BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a702 (Published 07 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a702

The relationship between severe depression and the hippocampus is allegedly one of toxicity—the more intense the history of depression, the smaller the hippocampus. A large general practice study found a complex relation of duration of depression and memory function, which is specific to the hippocampus. Over 8000 patients in the study contributed to the conclusion that the duration of past depression does impair memory performance, and that there is a definite toxic link between the burden of depression and cognition (American Journal of Psychiatry 2008;165:731-9, doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07040574).

In Africa and Asia, vaccine coverage is not linked to parents’ knowledge about vaccination, but resistance to vaccination almost always comes from parents’ fear that they may be doing their children harm by getting them vaccinated. Should more resources be poured into improving knowledge? The answer is yes, but such education should be tailored locally because the findings from one population can’t be extrapolated to the next (Bulletin of the World Health …

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