Friday, April 22, 2011 | Independent Expert Reviews of News Stories | Holding Health and Medical Journalism Accountable

Like the NPR story we also reviewed, this story about revised guidance on diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease does a nice job of clearly distinguishing what is relevant to readers and what is of interest only to researchers.

Our Review Summary

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

This report tells readers the stark reality, that lab tests and brain scans for Alzheimer’s are not ready for clinical use and even when the tests are validated, they will have limited value to patients until effective treatments are developed.

This story includes a comment about how early diagnosis could help patients and families plan for the future; but it would have been nice to see an acknowledgment of the potential psychological and social consequences.

Like the NPR story, this report fails to tell readers about the ties between quoted experts and companies that are developing tests and treatments, even though those ties were disclosed. This story quoted several experts, but none who are independent of the panel that issued the revised diagnosis guidance.

Why This Matters:

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

It is more than just validation of the new diagnostic approaches being described that will be needed before these can influence clinical practice. All of the diagnostic test characteristics will need to be examined, including the ability of the test results to accurately predict which patients are likely to develop AD (the false positive, false negative, positive and negative predictive value, etc). Additionally, the reliability of the measures will need to be determined. From a clinical perspective, until there are treatments that can alter progression, other than helping patients understand what to expect in the future, currently there is not a lot of benefit and there are potential harms for knowing early on if a patient has this condition.

Click on the "via" link for the rest of the article.

For Health Information you can use, Follow, Connect, Like us on (Most Invites Accepted):



What's New:


Linked In:

Nursing Entrepreneurs, Nurses In Business



Andrew Lopez, RN
Nursefriendly, Inc. A New Jersey Corporation.
38 Tattersall Drive, Mantua New Jersey 08051 ICQ #6116137
856-415-9617, (fax) 415-9618

150,000 + Nurse-Reviewed & Approved Nursing Links

No comments: