Push for open access to studies
INTERNATIONAL researchers have called for the full clinical study reports of randomised controlled trials conducted by pharmaceutical companies to be made publicly available to independent researchers. In an article published in PLoS Medicine, the authors pointed to their recent experiences updating a Cochrane review of Tamiflu, in which they discovered that not all the available trial evidence had been provided for an influential published meta-analysis, as the foundation of their argument. It was reported by ABC Science.

Dementia cases to double
AN estimated 35.6 million people worldwide are living with dementia, a number that is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050, according to a new WHO report. The current cost of managing dementia is estimated at US$604 billion per year, which the WHO expects to increase even more quickly than the prevalence of dementia. It was reported by news.com.au.

Toxic Chinese medicine ingredients
AUSTRALIAN researchers who used DNA sequencing to analyse traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have identified plants that contain potentially toxic chemicals and DNA from endangered animals among their ingredients, in a study published in PloS Genetics. They studied 28 TCM samples seized by customs at airports and seaports across Australia. The research was reported by the Herald Sun.

Omega-3 benefits inflated
A META-analysis published in Archives of Internal Medicine has found insufficient evidence of a secondary preventive effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements against cardiovascular events among patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. The analysis found supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce the risk of overall cardiovascular events, all-cause mortality, sudden cardiac death, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, transient ischemic attack or stroke. The research was reported by Time.

Medical implants vulnerable to attack
MEDICAL implants such as pacemakers, defibrillators and insulin pumps could be vulnerable to attack, according to a BBC News report. An investigation found that the wireless links used to interrogate and update the devices could leave them open to attack. Investigators identified a radio signal that, if re-broadcast, would have switched off a heart defibrillator.

Some dental x-rays linked to meningioma
A HISTORY of exposure to some previously used dental x-ray techniques has been linked to an increased risk of intracranial meningioma in research published in Cancer. The researchers said exposure to certain dental x-rays performed in the past, when radiation exposure was greater, appeared to be associated with higher risk. As with all sources of artificial ionising radiation, considered use of this modifiable risk factor may be of benefit to patients, they said. The research was reported by the The Economist.

Posted 16 April 2012

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