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Neurological truant
  1. L F HAAS

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    The eminent surgeon Lord Moynihan picturesquely described those qualified in medicine but who abandoned the profession to take up pure science, literature, politics, etc, or who studied medicine only for a time as “truants from medicine”. Professor Ivan Donaldson, a New Zealand neurologist, has combined truancy with neurological practice. With his family Ivan Donaldson has established a nationally famous vineyard. The very high quality wine has led to the vineyard being portrayed on a stamp and in so doing Ivan Donaldson is probably the only neurological vigneron who has been philatelically honoured.

    Two or three glasses of wine daily have been found to reduce deaths from coronary and cardiovascular disease by 35%, and two glasses of wine a day diminish deaths from cancer by 22%. Although mortality from all causes is reduced by 30% by moderate amounts of wine, it increases again when drinking more than seven glasses daily with a glass judged to contain 120 ml.1 Wine may also reduce the incidence of dementia.2 Assuming moderation by imbibers, Professor Ivan Donaldson may be responsible more than any other neurologist for protecting the brain from at least two ominous threats of advancing age.

    This stamp shows part of Dr Donaldson's 80 acre vineyard situated in Waipara some 35 miles north of the city of Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand. In the foreground left is a bunch of grapes and on the right is one of Professor Donaldson's sons (Stanley Gibbons 2060, Scott 1432).

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