Articles on Clinical trials

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There are currently no effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, which causes may elders to live their last years without recognizing their loved ones, and unable to care for themselves. (Shutterstock)

Can the healthy brain offer clues to curing Alzheimer’s?

Study of the "memory centres" of the brain in adults offers hope for detecting Alzheimer's disease earlier -- before the onset of memory loss.
Health Canada is proposing a new system to fast-track urgent drugs for children, the elderly and those with serious or life-threatening conditions. This would rely on decisions made by regulators in other jurisdictions. (Shutterstock)

Should Health Canada rely on foreign assessment of new drugs?

Health Canada is proposing to allow some prescription drugs into the country with only 'cursory clinical review.' Here's why we should be worried.
The experimental technique of ‘deep brain stimulation’ has improved the lives of patients with treatment-resistant depression, despite the ‘failure’ of a large clinical trial. (Shutterstock)

Could an experimental brain surgery make you happier?

For some patients, drilling a hole in the skull and inserting an electrode into the 'sadness centre' of the brain offers relief from debilitating and otherwise treatment-resistant depression.
Even if they are not treated, only about three per cent of men will die of prostate cancer over their lifetime, most in their 70s or 80s. (Shutterstock)

Movember shavedown: Why you should not get your prostate checked

A family physician and public health researcher explains why he isn't getting a prostate cancer test in Movember or at any time in the near future.
A drug needs to pass quite a few hurdles before it gets to the market. The Conversation/Wes Mountain

Explainer: how do drugs get from the point of discovery to the pharmacy shelf?

Only around 10% of new drugs in development make it onto the market. A drug needs to go through animal trials, and then four phases of human trials to be deemed suitable for use in patients.
Randomisation is the only commonly accepted method of ensuring an unbiased estimate of the treatment effect. The Conversation/Wes Mountain

Randomised control trials: what makes them the gold standard in medical research?

A randomised controlled trial is the best way to compare a new treatment with the standard treatment. And randomising trial participants is a core feature of the experiment.
Scientists hope that stem cells may be able to repair nerves and other cells that support transmission of electrical impulses in the spinal cord. binomialphoto/flickr

Yes there’s hope, but treating spinal injuries with stem cells is not a reality yet

Claims that stem cell treatments can repair spinal injuries right now are overblown. But it's not for lack of trying, and the science is certainly progressing.
Better technologies should be adopted in sub-Saharan Africa to deal with childhood cancer. Shutterstock

How Africa can win the fight against childhood cancer

Better technology to diagnose, treat and manage the disease early enough is needed to improve the survival rates of childhood cancer in sub Saharan Africa.

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