One of our readers asked the question…
Aren’t you supposed to be a medical news site? Why is there not more medical news on the site?
This Area is a Hot Topic in Medicine
We live in an age of sensationalism, and this need to be a star in the spotlight has captured some research institutions and medical researchers. Practicing physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners know that the big flashy medical news story might not be relevant to the practice of medicine and could even be not true.
The Rush to Publish
Those institutions and individuals who want to burst forth on the morning cable news might have a propensity to rush to publication or to a press release. The first look at a study’s results, often called “top line results”, can be inaccurate when later viewed after more thorough data review, analysis, and thought.
True Today, Maybe Not Tomorrow
Think back over medical news stories you have heard. Coffee is bad for you, then, coffee is good for you. Same back and forth with dark chocolate. And tea. The flashy results of that recent study, when the study is repeated for replication a few times by other researchers, might not hold up.
Where Was the Study Done?
For example, are the results of a study done in Paris relevant to the people in Tokyo? Or Oklahoma? Maybe so, maybe not. Until the study is repeated in the different geographic population it is not known whether the results translate or not. But if a study has sensational results our popular news media glosses over these differences.
Who Were the Study Subjects?
Obviously, a study done with patients with Parkinson’s disease does not tell you about Alzheimer’s. In fact, a study done in severe Alzheimer’s disease probably does not tell you about very early Alzheimer’s, pre-Alzheimer’s, called “Mild Cognitive Impairment.” But, again, if the study has star sparkle, the new media will report it and blur their error.
The Legal System Messes with Medicine
Lawyers wanting to win a case will spin the information and blast the bad result out every media outlet possible. Silicone breast implants were taken off the market because they cause disease. Except that they don’t and never did. It was all to win a legal battle. Now they are available again. The hexavalent chromium in Hinkley’s drinking water did not cause the cancer cases. Erin Brockovich made $2.5 million and world-wide fame as an environmental activist, her law firm made $133 million, but the analysis was bogus.
Good medicine looks at study results over time. Doctors talk with other researchers at medical meeting to come to understand what’s true and what’s not. Your personal physician keeps you well and treats you when you get sick based on solid information from many studies examined over years, not based on last week’s sensational story.
So, the NeuroSci R&D Consultancy Website…
…provides solid medical science in neuroscience areas of medicine. So, we don’t do medical news, and we say that with pride. We may well provide new information, and if we do, we will label it as such with some uncertainty as to whether it will eventually be relied upon or not.
National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, PubMed Central
American College of Physicians – American Society of Internal Medicine
American College of Physicians, Annals of Internal Medicine
American College of Physicians Online – ecp (Effective Clinical Practice)
The Washington Post