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BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 02 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4448

Coenzyme Q10 is frequently bought over the counter with the aim of enhancing “bioenergetic capacity” and staving off the ageing process. An exploration of what happens to mice when they are given diets with low or high concentrations of coenzyme Q10 paints a rather different picture than that anticipated. Diets low in the coenzyme did not affect age related deterioration in muscle strength, balance, coordination, learning, or memory. But diets high in the coenzyme led to worse age related losses in auditory acuity and impaired spatial learning and memory in old mice (Journal of Nutrition 2009;139:1926-32, doi:10.3945/jn.109.110437).

The life of the pioneering cardiologist Frank Pantridge, who invented the cardiac defibrillator, is celebrated in a special supplement of the Ulster Medical Journal (2010;79(suppl 1), The first prototype for a defibrillator weighed 70 kg and gained credibility and support in the United States when it was used to treat a collapsed former President LB Johnston in his daughter’s home in 1972. An American television drama called Emergency! popularised Pantridge’s ideas, although the US Food and Drugs Administration took …

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