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

Are you suffering from macroglossia (abnormal enlargement of the tongue) or claudication (cramp in the legs)? The British Medical Association's Complete Family Health Encyclopaedia in its updated edition will tell you all you want to know.

The second edition of this excellent reference book edited by Dr Tony Smith, like the first, uses accessible language, provides clear pictures and diagrams of more than 5,000 medical terms, symptoms, diseases, drugs and treatments. The new addition takes in five years of advances giving clear explanations of genes and genetics. It covers new drugs, advances in keyhole surgery, and changes in the attitudes of patients and doctors. It is a hypochondriac's delight - and the most comprehensive book on health and medicine available to the general public.

'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.

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