Psychotic skunk

A new variety of cannabis known as "skunk" can cause psychotic episodes even when consumed in small quantities, say researchers from Glasgow. They report in the British Medical Journal that drug misusers accustomed to the effects of ordinary cannabis experienced paranoid delusions, visual and auditory hallucinations and pronounced "depersonalisation" after smoking ajoint of skunk.

Hypochondriac's delight

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'The British Medical Association Complete Family Health Encyclopaedia', Dorling Kindersley, pounds 29.95.

Fruitful findings

Microwaving apples for one minute reduces allergic symptoms in people sensitive to fruit, say Dutch researchers. In a study at Drechsteden Hospital, reported in Doctor, they gave treated or untreated apples to 20 patients with a history of allergy to fruit. Eight out of 10 who ate the microwaved apples had no allergic reactions and two experienced only mild symptoms. The untreated apples provoked symptoms in all 10 remaining patients.