Talk for Article "Barcelona lab finds treatment that slows down Alzheimer’s"

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    This has been done in the United States also.

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crinm/2016/6121878/

    Orehek, A. J. (2016). Dementia improvement after plasma exchange for familial hypercholesterolemia. Case reports in neurological medicine, 2016. (cited by 1)

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    I think some caution is needed here. I’m not an expert on this, but it seems this was just a conference presentation and that the trial results haven’t been published yet, never mind in a peer-reviewed journal.

    The trial has its own website: https://www.ambartrial.com/ but this seems to imply it is still recruiting. If that’s the case, then talking about its outcomes is premature.

    The entry in https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01561053 says it should have finished in December 2017. This also says that no results have been published. I also find it odd that although there are three verum arms and are described differently, they all seem to be identical treatments. Also, there is no placebo control, just unspecified standard treatments.

    Anyone know more about this?

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      I agree about the caution. A number of other news outlets have picked up the story and run it in a similar manner. A note to the effect that there has been no peer-reviewed publication, only a conference presentation, would be a good addition to the article.

      The three treatment groups differ in presence and dosage of Immune Globulin, and the control includes a “sham procedure”, so that seems in order to me. Updating the trial record is often the last thing that researchers do, if they do it at all. The statutory requirement is for updating within one year of completion in the US. But see https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/category/unreported-trial-of-the-week/

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        Thanks, William.

        Yes, Ben and his team have been doing some great work in exposing the faults in the system!

        About the treatments: the CT record shows all three arms the same. I suspect this is just an error, but it’s pretty sloppy! The problem with the sham arms is that until the paper is published, we won’t know on what basis the researchers deemed they would be sham. I certainly could not judge, but I’d hope peer review (for all its faults) would look at that and decide whether it was fair.

        It also needs to be noted that the trial is sponsored by the manufacturer.

        Does WT have some guidance on how trials are reported? Perhaps a checklist of things like sponsor, peer review, publication, whether randomised, etc would be useful. Also, it would be good to link to any paper and even the CT record: many readers might not be interested or know how to properly read it, but many will.

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          I really really should read people’s profiles before I instruct them in how to suck eggs!

          I fear that at the moment there are no special guidelines for medical matters. I imagine something similar to Wikipedia’s guideines ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources_(medicine) ) will have to be created. It will have to be very different though, since WikiTribune won’t be ignoring anything newsworthy.

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            Ha, not at all. I know something about challenging quackery and therefore something about clinical trials but my knowledge of ‘proper’ medicine is severely lacking! Always willing to listed and learn.

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          WikiProject Science has some great guidelines but could always use more context – https://www.wikitribune.com/project/wikiproject-science/

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            That look good, Elena. Thanks for that.

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          Careful presentation as the (removal of amyloid) was not the reason for dementia improvement in the (2016:orehek,AJ) case presentation – but it was due to changes in the Factor V deficiency mixed with the significant elevation in LDL (and perhaps other factors as the author as spoken on).

          The method of use for the plasma exchange could be successful, but in the cases that need to be appropriate (due to underlying etiology ) – and will not seem to be related to changes in “amyloid”

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