The Pope's visit and my ongoing brush with religion has perhaps led me to neglect my secular duty to give you the 'Doctor's View' of a recent interesting medical advance.
It seems that a small dose of the anti-depressant drug Prozac has been shown to prevent pre-menstrual tension (PMT). I wonder why that should remind me of yesterday's Post, entitled the Big Fight? The sex hormone progesterone increases just before menstruation and this decreases the level of another steroid hormone called allopregnanolone (known as Allo)which has a soothing effect and makes people feel calm. Prozac (fluoxetine) raises the level of Allo in the blood stream and thus decreases the symptoms of PMT. This might be another of those drugs, such as Ritaline for hyperactive kids, or Rohypnol-alcohol cocktails for young women, which benefit other people rather than the person taking the drug.
On a lighter note, a study by UCLA Dept. of Psychiatry has shown that the type of man which a woman finds attractive can depend on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example, in mid-cycle, when she is ovulating, she is likely to be attracted by large, powerful men with rugged and masculine features. However just before menstruation or during the menopause, she prefers a small man with duct tape over his mouth, a kitchen-knife lodged in his chest and a hot poker up his arse.
It should not be necessary to point out that this new use of the word Allo to refer to a calming hormone should not be confused with other uses of the word, as in the phrase "'Allo sailor" and "Aloe Vera" which can occasionally lead to embarrassment in either sex.
This confusion might account for the sad tale of the policeman who came home early one day and found his wife in bed with three sailors. "'Allo, 'allo, 'allo!" he said flexing his knees and twirling his truncheon in accordance with the guidelines given in the Pantomime Police Handbook. His wife merely gave him a little wave and a coy smile and said "Aren't you going to say Hullo to me, darling?"