Ann Intern Med 17 Oct 2006

A new treatment for irritable bowel syndromewhich improves symptoms for 10 weeks after a 10-day course—let’s all start prescribing rifamixin, a non-absorbed antibiotic! But hang on. Read the editorial first. With meticulous politeness it points out all the defects of this drug-company sponsored trial, not least the fact that only one symptom—bloating—showed any significant improvement. Thus the drug’s manufacturer gets the headline it wants from a reputable journal, and the study gets the panning it deserves in the same journal. I hope everybody is happy.

A follow-up study of sexually-transmitted diseases shows that in the year after diagnosis, 25% of women and 15% of men acquire a new STD infection. They need follow-up, at least at three months. Catch another dose, give another dose.

This study from primary care in Birmingham (yes, ours, not Alabama’s) sets out to answer the question “Is subclinical thyroid dysfunction in the elderly associated with depression or cognitive dysfunction?