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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Girl probes 'PlayStation thumb'
The PlayStation family of consoles
Ms Karim said she had only played PlayStation three times in her life
A 13-year-old girl has become the youngest author to be published in South Africa's main medical journal for her research on "PlayStation thumb".

Safura Abdool Karim interviewed 120 of her former schoolmates for a science project about whether they suffered problems after playing computer games.

Symptoms of "PlayStation Thumb" include blisters numbness and tingling, mainly in the thumb, she wrote.

She said the condition is similar to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).

"Although RSI is not new, in the past it occurred mainly among adults," she said.

"Today computers and computer games are creating new medical problems, such as PlayStation thumb, which are becoming common in children."

'Waste of time'

South African Medical Journal's deputy editor, Professor JP van Niekerk, said Ms Karim's work would be listed on the Index Medicus, an international registry of medico-scientific articles, "so the world can see this and cite it".

"I think it's a jolly good article. It was accepted on merit, but we also thought it was great fun," he said.

Her study found that 28 of the 60 boys and 17 of the 60 girls she spoke to played regularly.

Of these, eight boys and seven girls complained of symptoms such as redness, tingling and blisters.

Ms Karim said she had not seen the journal yet, "but I was really happy to hear it had been accepted".

She said she herself did not own a PlayStation because they were a "waste of time".

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