With today’s psychiatric knowledge is it possible to give Hamlet a firm diagnosis of mental illness? What sort of mental health problem might Sherlock Holmes have had? And could looking to literature help doctors and nurses understand mental illness better? These were some of the questions raised at the 1st International Health Humanities Conference held this weekend in Nottingham, UK. Claudia Hammond speaks to Charley Baker, who co-founded the Madness and Literature Network, and Dr Alison Convey, co-author of research into ICD10 diagnoses of Shakespearean characters.
Haiti had high rates of tuberculosis before the earthquake there six months ago, but it is not yet clear whether TB incidence has increased since. Dr Kevin Schwartzman from the Montreal Chest Institute, takes a historical look into TB following other natural disasters and complex emergencies, and discusses whether it is inevitable that TB rates rise after such events.
It was 90 years ago that people with diabetes began injecting themselves with regular doses of insulin. Doctors have been trying to perfect the control of glucose levels ever since, and a device known as an insulin pump may help many patients. John Pickup, Professor of Diabetes and Metabolism at Guy’s Hospital in London explains the idea behind it, and we meet Andy Skinnard, a diabetes patient who recently switched to the pump and describes how it’s affected his life.
Rheumatic heart disease is a preventable disease largely eliminated from the developed world, but in poorer countries it is still a serious concern, and a study from Mozambique found it to be even more common than previously thought. Dr Ana Olga Mocumbi from Maputo Heart Hospital, who ran this study, discusses their findings. We speak to World Heart Federation expert Professor Bongani Mayosi, who advocates more liberal use of penicillin to help eliminate the disease from Africa.