J.K. Rowling’s characters turn up in medical literature, too

Los Angeles Times:

For more than a decade, the phenomenally popular Harry Potter series has provided grist for medical studies on topics including genetics, social cognition and autism.

PubMed, an online database of medical studies, lists 30 studies that invoke the young wizard. There’s “Harry Potter and the Recessive Allele,” “Harry Potter and the Structural Biologist’s (Key)stone,” and even “Harry Potter Casts a Spell on Accident-Prone Children.”

That last study found that children’s emergency department visits decreased significantly when new Harry Potter books went on sale.

Conversely, a 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the lengthy books actually caused an ailment dubbed “Hogwarts headache” among young people who spent too much time reading them.

A few research topics are grounded entirely within J.K. Rowling’s fictional world. The New England Center for Headache in Stamford, Conn., published a study in 2007 examining the causes of Harry’s headaches in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. The study diagnosed Harry Potter’s headaches as migraines — though the researchers couldn’t explain why the appearance of Harry’s archnemesis Voldemort would trigger them.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

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