Articles on Clinical trials

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Ear infections are no fun. The OSTRICH clinical trial looked at whether oral steroid medications might help. from www.shutterstock.com

How researchers assess whether medications work

Clinical trials can assess impact of a medication on a disease. The ideal design is 'blind' – when the researchers and participants do not know who is assigned to the different treatments.
Antidepressants bring in almost $17 billion a year for the pharmaceutical industry, and yet science shows their benefit to be small. Natural therapies such as diet, exercise, light therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are just as effective. (Shutterstock)

Why natural depression therapies are better than pills

These four “natural” therapies for depression have rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific studies to support their use.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease presents unique challenges, when a patient is still working or parenting children.The personality changes involved can result in job loss or divorce before a diagnosis is made. (Shutterstock)

Is that ‘midlife crisis’ really Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer's disease affects many people under the age of 65. The 'young-onset' version of the disease is often misdiagnosed as depression or dismissed as a midlife crisis.
This African woman suffers from an autoimmune disease called vitiligo which causes the loss of skin pigment. By andreonegin/shutterstock.com

New treatment in the works for disfiguring skin disease, vitiligo

An autoimmune disease called vitiligo causes white spots to appear on the body, in some cases completely erasing an individual's pigmentation. But a new therapy is on the horizon.
Eczema, which is common in babies, is itchy and painful. silentalex88/Shutterstock.com

Applying live bacteria to skin improves eczema

In this clinical trial, the first of its kind, physicians explore whether directly applying a 'good' strain of bacteria to the skin can heal eczema
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.

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