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1 Feb 2000 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), an organization of more than 115,000 physicians trained in internal medicine. The following highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an embargoed fax of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656 or 215-351-2656. Full content of the Feb. 1, 2000, Annals issue will be available on the Internet at on February 1, 2000.

ACP-ASIM: Depression in Dying Patients Should Be Assessed and Treated

Dying patients are often depressed, yet depression - even 'normal' grieving - often goes undiagnosed or unrecognized by the patient, family and the physician. A new paper from the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) shows physicians how to identify and manage depression in the terminally ill patient (Position, p. 209.)

Physical Therapy and Exercise Help Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who received a combination of manual physical therapy and supervised knee exercise were able to walk better and felt less pain at four-week, eight-week and one-year check points than a control group (Article, p. 173). Researchers say the relatively simple program may delay or prevent the need for knee surgery for osteoarthritis, a common condition affecting about 33 percent of adults over age 65.

Infection Transmitted From Pet Parrot to Immunocompromised Patient

Isolates from the stool of a pet cockatoo and from a woman diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis were so similar, when analyzed by four genetic tests, that researchers concluded the disease was transmitted from the bird to the woman (Brief Communication, p. 205). The patient's immune system had been compromised by drugs taken after a kidney transplant. The patient apparently inhaled Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus, as she passed the parrot cage several times a week. The patient died 39 days after diagnosis. The researchers advise immunocompromised patients to avoid pet birds and bird excrement.

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