Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 032

Yay…it’s Friday.
Time to challenge that cerebral cortex and put on those ‘mental’ dancing shoes as we trip the light fantastic of medical trivia, and lift the latch on the cage of the tiger of tease…the Funtabulously, Frivolous Friday Five…

Question 1

  • What did George Washington die from?

  • Asphyxia
  • Asphyxia secondary to  diptheria sore throat

Drs Craik and Dick postulated a fatal inflammation of the glottis, larynx, and upper trachea and called the condition cynanche trachealis. William Cullen, Professor of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, wrote in 1778 the following about cynanche trachealis: “This name has been given to an inflammation of the glottis, larynx or upper part of the trachea…” [Reference]

Question 2

  • What deficiency can cause ‘glove and stocking’ sensory loss, depression, psychosis, memory loss and optic neuritis?

  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
  • B12 deficiency is generally caused by inadequate absorption of cobalamin from the GI tract; therefore, once the diagnosis of B12 deficiency is confirmed, the underlying cause of the deficiency/decreased absorption should be pursued. Pernicious anemia is the cause of ~75% of all cases and is thought to be caused by autoantibodies to intrinsic factor (IF); often accompanied by Type A chronic gastritis, which is associated with antiparietal cell antibodies. [Reference]

Question 3

  • Which disease killed 800 out of 2400 Chinese labourers in Malaya in the early days of tin-mining and plantation work?

  • Beri-Beri
  • Beriberi is a disease in which the body does not have enough vitamin B1 (thiamine) [Reference]
  • The polished rice they ate contained no thiamine
  • There are two major types of beriberi:
    • Wet beriberi: affects the cardiovascular system.
    • Dry beriberi: affects the nervous system.

Question 4

  • Adding red chillis to the diet of the elderly may help prevent what disorder?

  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Red Chilli stimulates the swallowing reflex.

Question 5

  • What causes a purple line on the teeth?

  • Chronic copper poisoning

…he noticed a peculiarity of the gums which had before escaped notice – a purple edge as the peadiar characteristic of poisoning by copper…[Reference]

…and remember kids…



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