December 13, 1995

International Electronic Link Solves Medical Puzzle

JAMA. 1995;274(22):1750. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530220014006

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DIPLOMATS FOSTERING the slow thaw in US-China relations might look to the medical community for inspiration.

Via the worldwide computer Internet and other means of communication, physicians and other medical scientists from coast to coast in the United States and at least 17 other countries have helped their mainland China colleagues treat a university student with a challenging array of signs and symptoms.

The patient, Zhu Lingling, 21, a junior studying physical chemistry in Beijing, reportedly experienced abdominal pain and alopecia in December 1994 but returned to college in February after she responded to Chinese traditional therapy and nutritional support.

A month later, she was hospitalized again with a variety of central nervous system complaints and became comatose within 5 days.

After tests ruled out a number of tentative diagnoses and she did not respond significantly to treatment, students at Beijing University who had learned of the complicated case sent

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