Lancet 3 Feb 2007

The amazing technical feat described in this paper may herald a new era of prosthetic limb function with sensory feedback – gory detail a-plenty in the illustrations, and optimistic speculation a-plenty in the accompanying editorial. The young lady lost her arm in a motorcycle accident. Shouldn’t we ban these machines? And can we come up with better ways to stop wars? Or clear a billion land mines? Until we have sorted out these issues, I suspect the technological marvels described here will hardly keep pace with the rate at which people lose limbs.

Even in these days of electronic evidence-based medicine, therapeutic news seems to travel at widely differing speeds: very rapidly, it seems, in the case of erythropoietin for chronic renal failure, where I first learnt that too much haemoglobin (over 12) is a bad thing from a study in the NEJM three months ago: and here it’s all done and dusted in a meta-analysis. In fact there were hints of this long before in the specialist literature.

Wilson’s disease, darling of MRCP examiners, is pretty rare. We happen to have a patient with it in our practice who, conveniently, is a doctor, so he can keep a copy of this seminar and tell us what we need to know.

A very useful run through the sexual sequelae of general medical disorders, a rarely broached but important topic. Worth reading.