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For years now the top spot on bmj.com's traffic logs was a paper published ten years ago on magnetic resonance imaging of male and female gentical during coitus and female sexual arousal. Apparently hundreds of websites link to it (you can guess which kinds), hence its popularity.
Other research papers came and went, some of them hitting the headlines internationally, but nothing could topple this analysis of human coitus.Even other papers related to sex, such as a widely-reported cross sectional survey published last year on secular trends in self reported sexual activity and satisfaction in Swedish 70 year olds, posed little competition.
Now that's all changed. We have a new champion. What is it, I hear you ask? Perhaps last year's RCT of Alexander technique lessons for back pain? Or the study from northern Iran that links hot tea and oesophageal cancer? This study incidentally, led to comic broadcaster Sandi Toksvig vowing never to drink another cuppa in northern Iran again when she hosted the BMJ Group awards in April.
No, it's the cross sectional study about a self administered cognitive screening test (TYM) for detection of Alzheimer’s disease. "Test your memory" is a series of ten tasks. It can be completed quickly and accurately by normal controls and is "a powerful and valid screening test for the detection of the disease.
By Monday this week it had 14,500 visits in five days. compared to 10,400 for the coitus paper. How long will its reign of supremacy last, I wonder? And why has it overtaken this paper now?