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BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 08 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e851

In a pilot clinical trial, non-smokers with mild cognitive impairment were randomly allocated to receive transdermal nicotine or placebo for six months, to ascertain whether stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors improved their symptoms (Neurology 2012;78:91-101, doi:10.1212/wnl.0b013e31823efcbb). The study found that the treatment was safe. However, although transdermal nicotine improved performances in some cognitive tests, and both patients and carers reported improvements, it did not change objective scores for clinical global impression of change, which was the study’s primary clinical outcome.

Skin preparation solutions have varying effects on the visibility of surgical site markings. In a prospective randomised trial, surgeons used a black permanent marker to mark the skin of 20 patients undergoing hip surgery with three random letters (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2012;94:97-102, doi:10.2106/jbjs.j.00838). The patients were randomly assigned to receive either a skin preparation based on chlorhexidine or another preparation based …

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