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  • October 07, 2009
    Drugs widely prescribed to treat facial paralysis in Bell’s palsy are ineffective and are based on false notions of the cause of the condition, according to Cochrane Researchers. They say research must now focus on discovering other potential causes and treatments.Between 11 and 40 people in every 100,000 are affected by the condition, which causes paralysis on one side of the face. Paralysis is usually temporary, but a third of people suffer ongoing problems including facial disfigurement,...
  • October 07, 2009
    Abatacept, a member of a new class of drug that targets immune cells to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is effective against RA, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. The review examines recent trials to assess safety and efficacy of the drug.RA is an autoimmune disease affecting up to 1 in 100 people in Western countries. RA patients experience chronic pain and inflammation as a result of the body’s own immune system attacking the lining of the joints. Abatacept is a new “biologic”...
  • October 07, 2009
    More studies that directly compare the effectiveness of different biologic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are needed, say Cochrane Researchers. The researchers reviewed all previous Cochrane Systematic Reviews assessing the effectiveness of biologic disease-modifying drugs for treatment of RA and found that although all were very effective, there was little data on direct comparisons between the drugs that could help doctors decide which to prescribe.RA is an autoimmune disease that...
  • October 07, 2009
    B-vitamin supplements should not be recommended for prevention of heart disease, say scientists. A Cochrane Systematic Review has shown these supplements do not reduce the risk of developing or dying from the disease.“There is no evidence to support the use of B-vitamins as supplements for reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke or death associated with cardiovascular disease,” says lead researcher, Arturo Martí-Carvajal of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network in Valencia, Venezuela. “And it...
  • October 07, 2009
    More research is required to establish whether Chinese herbal medicines can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes, according to Cochrane Researchers. Although herbal medicines are widely used in Asian countries to treat pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or IGT), the precursor of the disease, researchers say there is still not enough hard scientific evidence to confidently recommend their use.“People with impaired glucose tolerance are more likely to develop full blown diabetes...
  • October 07, 2009
    New, less invasive surgical treatments for stress urinary incontinence in women are just as effective as traditional open surgical approaches, according to Cochrane Researchers. The researchers carried out a systematic review of trials comparing different surgical approaches to treating the condition.A third of women suffer from stress urinary incontinence. As well as the social distress involved, the condition places a significant financial burden on health systems and individuals. Surgery is...
  • October 07, 2009
    Rapid viral diagnosis tests for respiratory diseases in children who arrive in emergency departments have the potential to reduce pressures on health systems by enabling doctors to reach a quicker diagnosis, according to Cochrane Researchers. However, they say larger trials are needed to confirm this finding.“The existing evidence is not strong enough to prove that these tests help to reduce pressure on health systems, but it certainly does look promising,” said lead researcher, Quynh Doan of...
  • October 07, 2009
    Area-wide traffic calming schemes that discourage through-traffic from using residential roads are effective at reducing traffic-related injuries in high-income countries and may even reduce deaths. However, more research needs to be carried out to see whether these interventions will work in low- and middle-income countries, according to a Cochrane Systematic Review of the available evidence. Each year, 1.23 million people die in road traffic accidents. Over the next decade, road deaths...
  • July 08, 2009
    Aiming for lower than standard blood pressure targets offers no known clinical benefit, according to a Cochrane Review. In a systematic review of the evidence, researchers found that using antihypertensive drugs to reduce blood pressure below the 140/90 mm Hg standard was not associated with any reduction in death rates or serious morbidity.“At present there is no evidence from randomized trials to support aiming for a blood pressure target lower than 140/90, in the general population of...
  • July 08, 2009
    There is not enough evidence to support using gels and creams containing rubefacients for chronic and acute pain, according to a systematic review by Cochrane Researchers. Rubefacients cause irritation and reddening of the skin, due to increased blood flow. The review focused on formulations containing salicylates, which are widely prescribed or sold over the counter as topical treatments for sports injuries and muscle pain.“At present, due to a lack of high quality evidence, we can’t say...