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Praying GP faces GMC, epilepsy-schizophrenia link and conjoined twins operation success

Our round-up of the health news headlines on Monday 19 September.

People with schizophrenia are six times more likely to develop epilepsy, according to a study covered by the BBC today. Researchers in Taiwan linked the connection to genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors after studying 16,000 patients between 1999 and 2008.

Dr Manny Bagary, consultant neuropsychiatrist in Birmingham, said: ‘This is the first convincing study to suggest that people with schizophrenia could also be at risk of developing epilepsy, suggesting a bidirectional relationship has been found between depression and epilepsy.' The journal Epilepsia has more details.

Over the weekend, many an indignant hashtag has been spawned over the case of Dr Richard Scott, a GP who faced a complaint from a patient's mother after he prayed with the patient. He will have his case considered by the GMC's Investigation Committee on Thursday and Friday.

Many GPs have written to Pulse in response to the case. In a recent letter  Dr Fiona Underhill, a GP from north-east London, wrote: 'I don't think patients come to a GP they know and trust with this sort of issue if they don't want to know what their GP thinks about it.' If you'd like to get in touch, send your comments by email to

The dangers of high cholesterol are not being taken seriously by a ‘worrying' amount of people in the UK, the Independent wrote on Sunday. A study of 2,000 people run by Flora, the margarine manufacturer, shows 72% of women have never had a cholesterol test, compared with 60% of men, despite more women suffering from unhealthy levels of the steroid of fat.

But it's conjoined twins making the headlines for most papers today. Rital and Ritaj Gaboura, who are now 11 months old, were separated after the last of four complex procedures at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London after being born joined at the head.

Surprisingly, even the Sun has gone for a tasteful title for this story. ‘Brit docs save conjoined twins', the paper reports. Pah - it's no ‘Two heads are better than one'...


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