“There are no standard rules that guide a decision to move from animal studies into human clinical trials,”

caveat emptorThey determined that only eight (8) of the 160 studies of potential treatments yielded the statistically significant, unbiased data necessary to support advancing the treatment to clinical trials. In contrast, 108 of the treatments were deemed at least somewhat effective at the time they were published.

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Clinical trials of drug treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s often fail because the animal studies that preceded them were poorly designed or biased in their interpretation, according to a new study from an international team of researchers. More stringent requirements are needed to assess the significance of animal studies before testing the treatments in human patients, the researchers say.

The team — led by John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, a professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and an expert in clinical trial design — assessed the results of more than 4,000 animal studies in 160 meta-analyses of potential treatments for neurological disorders from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal-cord injury and a form of multiple sclerosis. (A meta-analysis is a study that compiles and assesses information and conclusions from many independent experiments of a treatment, or intervention, for a particular condition).

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July 16th 2013, BY KRISTA CONGER http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/july/ioannidis.html