When I became a neurologist 50 years ago the therapeutic choices available to neurologists were limited. Remember tonics? We neurologists could console ourselves with the knowledge that something good was accomplished for the patient by getting the diagnosis right, even when there was no effective treatment. The patient was not made more ill by the label, and the family knew what to expect.
Times have changed in more ways than one. The July/August article on epilepsy in children [BCMJ 2011;53:279-285] states that one-third of mothers of children with newly diagnosed epilepsy exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder or major depression.
Has psychiatry so narrowed the acceptable range of human reaction to stress that new and possibly harmful diagnoses are being made? It may be the case that treatment of the epilepsy will prove more effective than the subsequent management of the labels given the parents.
Remember, first of all, do no harm.
—Paul Bratty, MD
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org