30,213 research outputs found

    Rethinking clinical trials of transcranial direct current stimulation: Participant and assessor blinding is inadequate at intensities of 2mA

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    Copyright @ 2012 The Authors. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and 85 reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The article was made available through the Brunel University Open Access Publishing Fund.Background: Many double-blind clinical trials of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) use stimulus intensities of 2 mA despite the fact that blinding has not been formally validated under these conditions. The aim of this study was to test the assumption that sham 2 mA tDCS achieves effective blinding. Methods: A randomised double blind crossover trial. 100 tDCS-naïve healthy volunteers were incorrectly advised that they there were taking part in a trial of tDCS on word memory. Participants attended for two separate sessions. In each session, they completed a word memory task, then received active or sham tDCS (order randomised) at 2 mA stimulation intensity for 20 minutes and then repeated the word memory task. They then judged whether they believed they had received active stimulation and rated their confidence in that judgement. The blinded assessor noted when red marks were observed at the electrode sites post-stimulation. Results: tDCS at 2 mA was not effectively blinded. That is, participants correctly judged the stimulation condition greater than would be expected to by chance at both the first session (kappa level of agreement (κ) 0.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09 to 0.47 p = 0.005) and the second session (κ = 0.77, 95%CI 0.64 to 0.90), p = <0.001) indicating inadequate participant blinding. Redness at the reference electrode site was noticeable following active stimulation more than sham stimulation (session one, κ = 0.512, 95%CI 0.363 to 0.66, p<0.001; session two, κ = 0.677, 95%CI 0.534 to 0.82) indicating inadequate assessor blinding. Conclusions: Our results suggest that blinding in studies using tDCS at intensities of 2 mA is inadequate. Positive results from such studies should be interpreted with caution.GLM is supported by the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia ID 571090

    Holding chambers (spacers) versus nebulisers for beta-agonist treatment of acute asthma

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    In acute asthma inhaled beta 2-agonists are often administered to relieve bronchospasm by wet nebulisation, but some have argued that metered-dose inhalers with a holding chamber (spacer) can be equally effective. Nebulisers require a power source and need regular maintenance, and are more expensive in the community setting.ObjectivesTo assess the effects of holding chambers (spacers) compared to nebulisers for the delivery of beta 2-agonists for acute asthma.Search strategyWe last searched the Cochrane Airways Group trials register in January 2006 and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2005).Selection criteriaRandomised trials in adults and children (from two years of age) with asthma, where spacer beta 2-agonist delivery was compared with wet nebulisation.Data collection and analysisTwo reviewers independently applied study inclusion criteria (one reviewer for the first version of the review), extracted the data and assessed trial quality. Missing data were obtained from the authors or estimated. Results are reported with 95% confidence intervals (CI).Main resultsThis review has been updated in January 2006 and four new trials have been added. 2066 children and 614 adults are now included in 25 trials from emergency room and community settings. In addition, six trials on in-patients with acute asthma (213 children and 28 adults) have been reviewed. Method of delivery of beta 2-agonist did not appear to affect hospital admission rates. In adults, the relative risk of admission for spacer versus nebuliser was 0.97 (95% CI 0.63 to 1.49). The relative risk for children was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.4 to 1.06). In children, length of stay in the emergency department was significantly shorter when the spacer was used, with a mean difference of -0.47 hours (95% CI: -0.58 to -0.37). Length of stay in the emergency department for adults was similar for the two delivery methods. Peak flow and forced expiratory volume were also similar for the two delivery methods. Pulse rate was lower for spacer in children, mean difference -7.6% baseline (95% CI: -9.9 to -5.3% baseline).Authors' conclusionsMetered-dose inhalers with spacer produced outcomes that were at least equivalent to nebuliser delivery. Spacers may have some advantages compared to nebulisers for children with acute asthma

    Interventions for treating oral mucositis for patients with cancer receiving treatment

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    Background Treatment of cancer is increasingly effective but is associated with short and long term side effects. Oral and gastrointestinal side effects, including oral candidiasis, remain a major source of illness despite the use of a variety of agents to treat them. Objectives To assess the effectiveness of interventions for the treatment of oral candidiasis for patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy or both. Search strategy Computerised searches of Cochrane Oral Health Group and PaPaS Trials Registers (to 1 June 2010), CENTRAL via the Cochrane Library (Issue 2, 2010, 1 June 2010), MEDLINE via OVID (1 June 2010), EMBASE via OVID (1 June 2010), CINAHL via EBSCO (1 June 2010), CANCERLIT via PubMed (1 June 2010), OpenSIGLE (1 June 2010) and LILACS via Virtual Health Library (1 June 2010) were undertaken. Reference lists fromrelevant articles were searched and the authors of eligible trials were contacted to identify trials and obtain additional information. Selection criteria All randomised controlled trials comparing agents prescribed to treat oral candidiasis in people receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer. The outcomes were eradication of oral candidiasis, dysphagia, systemic infection, amount of analgesia, length of hospitalisation, cost and patient quality of life. Data collection and analysis Data were independently extracted, in duplicate, by two review authors. Trial authors were contacted for details of randomisation and withdrawals and a quality assessment was carried out. Risk ratios (RR) were calculated using fixed-effect models. Main results Ten trials involving 940 patients, satisfied the inclusion criteria and are included in this review. Drugs absorbed from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract were beneficial in eradication of oral candidiasis compared with drugs not absorbed from the GI tract (three trials: RR = 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 1.52), however there was significant heterogeneity. A drug absorbed from the GI tract, ketoconazole, wasmore beneficial than placebo in eradicating oral candidiasis (one trial: RR = 3.61, 95% CI 1.47 to 8.88). Clotrimazole, at a higher dose of 50 mg was more effective than a lower 10 mg dose in eradicating oral candidiasis, when assessed mycologically (one trial: RR = 2.00, 95% CI 1.11 to 3.60). Only one of the ten trials was assessed as at low risk of bias. Authors' conclusions There is insufficient evidence to claimor refute a benefit for any antifungal agent in treating candidiasis. Further well designed, placebo-controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of old and new interventions for treating oral candidiasis are needed. Clinicians need to make a decision on whether to prevent or treat oral candidiasis in patients receiving treatment for cancer. This review is published as a Cochrane Review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 7. Cochrane Reviews are regularly updated as new evidence emerges and in response to comments and criticisms, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews should be consulted for the most recent version of the Review.</p

    Fluphenazine decanoate (depot) and enanthate for schizophrenia

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    A universal setup for active control of a single-photon detector

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    The influence of bright light on a single-photon detector has been described in a number of recent publications. The impact on quantum key distribution (QKD) is important, and several hacking experiments have been tailored to fully control single-photon detectors. Special attention has been given to avoid introducing further errors into a QKD system. We describe the design and technical details of an apparatus which allows to attack a quantum-cryptographic connection. This device is capable of controlling free-space and fiber-based systems and of minimizing unwanted clicks in the system. With different control diagrams, we are able to achieve a different level of control. The control was initially targeted to the systems using BB84 protocol, with polarization encoding and basis switching using beamsplitters, but could be extended to other types of systems. We further outline how to characterize the quality of active control of single-photon detectors.Comment: 10 pages, 10 figure

    Regular treatment with formoterol and an inhaled corticosteroid versus regular treatment with salmeterol and an inhaled corticosteroid for chronic asthma: serious adverse events

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    Background An increase in serious adverse events with both regular formoterol and regular salmeterol in chronic asthma has been demonstrated in comparison with placebo in previous Cochrane reviews. This increase was significant in trials that did not randomise participants to an inhaled corticosteroid, but less certain in the smaller numbers of participants in trials that included an inhaled corticosteroid in the randomised treatment regimen. Objectives We set out to compare the risks of mortality and non-fatal serious adverse events in trials which have randomised patients with chronic asthma to regular formoterol versus regular salmeterol, when each are used with an inhaled corticosteroid as part of the randomised treatment.Search strategyTrials were identified using the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register of trials. Manufacturers' web sites of clinical trial registers were checked for unpublished trial data and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submissions in relation to formoterol and salmeterol were also checked. The date of the most recent search was July 2009. Selection criteria Controlled clinical trials with a parallel design, recruiting patients of any age and severity of asthma were included if they randomised patients to treatment with regular formoterol versus regular salmeterol (each with a randomised inhaled corticosteroid), and were of at least 12 weeks duration. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently selected trials for inclusion in the review and extracted outcome data. Unpublished data on mortality and serious adverse events were sought from the sponsors and authors. Main results Eight studies met the eligibility criteria of the review recruiting 6,163 adults and adolescents. There were seven studies (involving 5,935 adults and adolescents) comparing formoterol and budesonide to salmeterol and fluticasone. All but one study administered the products as a combined inhaler, and most used formoterol 50 mcg and budesonide 400 mcg twice daily versus salmeterol 50 mcg and fluticasone 250 mcg twice daily. There were two deaths overall (one on each combination) and neither were thought to be related to asthma.There was no significant difference between treatment groups for non-fatal serious adverse events, either all-cause (Peto OR 1.14; 95% CI 0.82 to 1.59, I(2) = 26%) or asthma-related (Peto OR 0.69; 95% CI 0.37 to 1.26, I(2) = 33%). Over 23 weeks the rates for all-cause serious adverse events were 2.6% on formoterol and budesonide and 2.3% on salmeterol and fluticasone, and for asthma-related serious adverse events, 0.6% and 0.8% respectively.There was one study (228 adults) comparing formoterol and beclomethasone to salmeterol and fluticasone, but there were no deaths or hospital admissions.No studies were found in children. Authors' conclusions The seven identified studies in adults did not show any significant difference in safety between formoterol and budesonide in comparison with salmeterol and fluticasone. Asthma-related serious adverse events were rare, and there were no reported asthma-related deaths. There was a single small study comparing formoterol and beclomethasone to salmeterol and fluticasone in adults, but no serious adverse events occurred in this study. No studies were found in children.Overall there is insufficient evidence to decide whether regular formoterol and budesonide or beclomethasone have equivalent or different safety profiles from salmeterol and fluticasone
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