Humour appreciation: a role of the right frontal lobe.
Humour occupies a special place in human social interactions. The brain regions and the potential psychological processes underlying humour appreciation were investigated by testing patients who had focal damage in various areas of the brain. A specific brain region, the right frontal lobe, most disrupted the ability to appreciate humour. The individuals with damage in this brain region also reacted less, with diminished physical or emotional responses (laughter, smiling). Performance on the humour appreciation tests used were correlated in a distinct pattern with tests assessing cognitive processes. The ability to hold information in mind (working memory) was related to both verbal (jokes) and non-verbal (cartoon) tests of humour appreciation. In addition, the demands of the specific type of humour test were related in a logical manner to cognitive processes, verbal humour being associated with verbal abstraction ability and mental shifting and cartoon humour being related to the abilities to focus attention to details and to visually search the environment. The ability of the right frontal lobe may be unique in integrating cognitive and affective information, an integration relevant for other complex human abilities, such as episodic memory and self-awareness. (+info)
Alliteration in medicine: a puzzling profusion of p's.
PROBLEM: Puzzling, progressive profusion of alliterative "p's" in published papers. PURPOSE: To depict this particular "p" predominance with pinpoint precision. PLAN: Periodic, painstaking perusal of periodicals by a professor of paediatrics. PROPOSAL: The "p" plethora is positively perplexing and potentially perturbing. (+info)
The race of the millennium: CD-ROM versus the textbook.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether CD-ROMs are as fast as everyone thinks they are. METHODS: A grand contest between 2 textbooks and their electronic versions, held with the help of 10 victims. RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION: We can't be expected to tell you that now. You'll have to read the paper. (+info)
Acronymophilia: an update.
The history, epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment of the epidemic infection, acronymophilia, a sinister scourge of modern medicine are described. (+info)
Streptokinase versus alteplase and other treatments for acute and delayed thrombolysis of blood stains in clothing.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the usefulness of heparin, alteplase, and streptokinase in removing blood stains. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Hospital laundry. INTERVENTIONS: Blood stains were allocated to treatment with alteplase, streptokinase, heparin, a commercial enzymatic stain remover, or no treatment at all after three or seven hours and then washed in hot or cold water two hours later. RESULTS: Both hot water and early treatment were strongly associated with improved stain removal. All four treatments were associated with a worse outcome than no treatment at all, although for streptokinase this trend did not reach significance. The commercial stain remover gave the worst results of all treatments tested. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to popular wisdom, hot water is much more effective than cold in removing blood stains. Methodologically rigorous research and evidence based principles are needed within the laundry industry, and the role of thrombolytic drugs should be assessed further. (+info)
Barking mad? another lunatic hypothesis bites the dust.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether dog bites requiring hospital admission occur more at the full moon. DESIGN: Review of dates of admission for dog bites to accident and emergency departments, June 1997 to June 1998, compared with dates of the full moon. SETTING: All public hospitals in Australia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Admissions for dog bites. RESULTS: 12 peak clusters of admissions were unrelated to the time of the full moon. CONCLUSION: Dog bites are no more frequent on full moons than at any other time of the month. Sceptics rejoice. (+info)
Arabian nights-1001 tales of how pharmaceutical companies cater to the material needs of doctors: case report.
OBJECTIVE: To describe how pharmaceutical companies cater to the material needs of doctors. DESIGN: Case report of memoirs. SETTING: Facilities that have nothing to do with medicine, somewhere in the Arabian peninsula. PATIENT POPULATION: Random sample of doctors. INTERVENTIONS: Promotion by the pharmaceutical industry. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Short term outcomes were travel, pleasure, amusement, and gifts, and long term outcomes were the market share of specific companies. RESULTS: Short term outcomes were heterogeneous, underlying the diversity of the means employed by the pharmaceutical industry to subvert, divert, and influence medical practice. Overall, 200 doctors were dressed in white gowns, a doctor in preventive medicine quoted Hippocrates in favour of smoking, a senior doctor became a poet, a doctor trying to understand the Methods section of a poster paper wondered whether he should have been sunbathing at the beach instead, and two women doctors were kidnapped by Bedouin warriors. Long term outcomes on the sales of the company drugs are pending but are likely to be most favourable. CONCLUSIONS: Eat, drink, be merry, and boost prescriptions. (+info)
The efficacy of stethoscope placement when not in use: traditional versus "cool".
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the "cool" or circumcervical placement of the stethoscope when not in use is as efficacious as the traditional placement in terms of transfer time to the functional position. METHODS: Measurement of time taken by 100 health care professionals in each group to transfer stethoscope to functional position. RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION: The cool group was much slower than the traditional group, despite their younger years. This wasted time could translate into a substantial financial burden on Canada's health care system. (+info)