Sound cure

Antibiotics can reduce infection in glue ear and reduce future episodes by 31 per cent, according to a study in the Lancet. Persistent glue ear can cause deafness and delay speech development, and is commonly treated by the surgical insertion of grommets to drain off the fluid. But the study's authors says antibiotics should be tried before surgery is considered.

Garlic myth

Garlic is thought to protect against heart disease by lowering concentrations of lipids, or fats, in the blood, but the latest study seems to disprove this. A trial of the use of powdered garlic to treat high laevels of lipids,reported in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London, found that after six months no difference was seen in patients taking garlic and a control group taking a placebo.

Medieval attitude

The Disney portrayal of Victor Hugo's hunchback will revive "medieval attitudes" to spinal deformity, according to the Scoliosis Association, a charity for young people with spinal deformities. In a letter of complaint to Disney USA it says one in 250 young people suffer curving or twisting of the spine, and that as a result of the film they will face more taunting and bullying from their peers.