Doctor, doctor: Dr Tom Smith answers your questions

My mother had a caesarean because I was a breech delivery. Now my baby is presenting that way, too. Are some families prone to this?

Yes - the birth records of more than 2 million Norwegians since 1967 (in fact, every Norwegian baby in that time) suggest that if you were a breech delivery, the chances of your first-born also being breech are double the norm. The same applies to fathers - their first-born has a higher chance of being a breech if they were, too. We don't know why, or why these rules don't seem to apply to the next siblings. We are not yet warning parents who were breech deliveries about the higher risk - maybe the figures from other countries won't be the same. But 2 million babies is a very high database to dispute.

I've read that an injection of an anti-arthritic drug can 'wake up' the brain in Alzheimer's. Is this true and, if so, why aren't we using the treatment?

We need to know much more about this news. Scientists at the Institute for Neurological Research in California propose that Alzheimer's is a chronic inflammation of the brain, just as rheumatoid arthritis is a joint inflammation. They claim that such inflammation interrupts communications between brain cells, and that if you could damp it down, communications would resume. Currently there are plenty of trials of anti-inflammatories in Alzheimer's, but we must wait for solid results before we start treatment with them. Too often we hear of 'breakthroughs' in Alzheimer's that come to nothing.

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