Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 05 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5424

People who think about their thinking may have a larger than average volume of grey brain matter just behind their eyes. The ability to introspect varies, and scientists have now linked it with the anterior prefrontal cortex of the brain. The structure of the white matter in the same region is also connected to introspection. The discovery could help explain why some head injuries affect the individual’s ability to reflect on their own thoughts and actions and to understand their own conditions. More investigation is needed into how much of these differences is anatomical and how much can be influenced by training (Science 2010;329:1541-3, doi:10.1126/science.1191883).

First it was smoking and drinking, and then it was being too thin. Now there’s a new risk factor for pre-term birth: it’s untreated gum disease (BJOG 2010; doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02713.x). An American study of 322 pregnant women with gum disease reports that only 8% of those treated successfully for gum disease had a pre-term baby compared with the 63% …

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