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Short takes

MagazineSeptember 1994 (Vol. 5 Issue 6)Short takes

* Further reports have come in to suggest that the eye drug pilocarpine may lead to Alzheimer's disease or mental confusion

* Further reports have come in to suggest that the eye drug pilocarpine may lead to Alzheimer's disease or mental confusion. Reports of a link were first made in 1987, but have been backed up by F T Fraunfelder and Ron Morgan of the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. Writing in JAMA (8 June, 1994), they observed instances among their patients of mental confusion or bizarre behaviour within one day of receiving the drug.

* A course of multivitamins can lead to multiple births, researchers at the National Institute of Hygiene in Budapest, Hungary have concluded. In a controlled study, 2,421 women were given multivitamins, while another group of 2,346 had a course of trace elements. The multivitamin group gave birth to 2,468 children, with 93 mothers having multiple births, while those given trace elements had 2,378 children, and included 64 mothers with multiple births (NEJM, 9 June, 1994).

* Organic farmers in Denmark who eat vegetables without pesticides and chemical fertilizers had higher sperm counts than three groups of engineers and electricians. Their sperm count was almost twice as good as any of the three from the controlled groups, researchers at the University of Aarthus in Denmark discovered (The Lancet, 11 June, 1994).


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