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CARPHOLOGY by Rajendra

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A cost assessment study finds that using BCG to prevent tuberculous meningitis and miliary tuberculosis in children is not just effective but also cost effective. The authors find that about 100 million BCG vaccinations given to infants in 2002 should have prevented about 30,000 cases of tuberculous meningitis in children during their first five years of life—or one case for every 3435 vaccinations. At US$2–3 per dose, BCG vaccination costs about US$200 per year of healthy life gained, which is considered to be good value for money.

Five patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy due to cirrhosis were assessed with a neuropsychometric battery and by PK11195 positron emission tomography. Increased cerebral binding of the ligand PK11195 was detected in glial cells in the fronto-limbic-basal ganglia circuits, reflecting increased expression of “peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites”. Patients with the highest binding were cognitively the most impaired. The authors say these findings support the …

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