What is the cause of Marchiafava-Bignami syndrome?
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Marchiafava-Bignami is associated with primary degeneration of the corpus callosum (although other white matter tracts may also be involved)
- First described in 1903 by two Italian pathologists – Amico Bignami and Ettore Marchiafava. They found necrosis of the corpus callosum on autopsy in 3 alcoholic men that had recently died from seizures. Initially thought to be caused by excess red wine consumption, now known to be related to vitamin B deficiency, generally seen in alcoholics.
What is the difference between kuru, kuro, koru and koro?
- Kuro (黒) (or Kuroi) is a Japanese word for the color “black”
- Kuru is a irreversible neurological degenerative disorder spread by cannibalism
- Koru is a spiral shape (Maori) based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace.
- Koro is oriental fear of death caused by the penis disappearing into the body!
What is the principle poison associated with itai-itai disease?
- Itai-itai is Japanese for ‘ouch-ouch’. The original victims were exposed to environmental cadmium from the local mining industry [Reference].
- The disease was first described in Japan in the 1940s as a painful and debilitating skeletal disorder characterised by a waddling gait resulting from multiple fractures, anaemia and renal failure.
- It predominantly affected post-menopausal women, and is thought result from chronic cadmium poisoning in the context of oestrogen deficiency and poor nutritional status.
Is it rude to pandiculate in front of your consultant??
- Pandiculation is the act of stretching and yawning simultaneously
What was Sir Winston Churchill’s “Black Dog“?
- Churchill made frequent references to his depression, which he called his “black dog” [Reference]
“I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.” – Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
…and remember kids
…cynicism beats criticism every day of the week…