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How many randomised trials can we find in 48 hours?

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 11:11

The first ever citation screening challenge is almost under way!

Starting at 10:00 GMT on Friday 31st October and running for 48 hours, around 75 EMBASE project screeners are working their way through as many citations as they can in an effort to identify reports of randomised trials.

As far as we know this is the first challenge of this kind and what makes it all the more special is that for every citation screened, 5p will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for the Ebola relief effort.

External link for more information:  http://www.metaxis.com/EmbaseChallenge Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Anna Noel-Storr Email address:  anna.noel-storr@rdm.ox.ac.uk

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Expectant mothers with epilepsy face tough choices over their medication - new Cochrane Evidence

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 03:34

Strictly Embargoed Until 00.01 Hours (GMT), Thursday, October 30, 2014
[20.01 Hours US Eastern Time (EDT), October 29 /11.01 Hours Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), October 30]

Media contacts:
Evelyn Martinez (US): +1 201 748 6358
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
Cochrane Press Office: Jo Anthony (UK): +44 (0) 1865 310138 or (0) 7990 031904
pressoffice@cochrane.org

External link for more information:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD0... Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  pressoffice@cochrane.org

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Cannabis for schizophrenia: the need for people's views.

The Service User Perspective - Tue, 28/10/2014 - 13:27
The cannabis summary raised many questions for me as it has, I believe, been indicated that the drug can bring on psychosis rather than treat it. Surely there is some good, well-based research around that can do good to the people who have psychosis, and can suggest steps to improve treatments and care.

It seems to me that what is missing is the views of parents and partners of patients who can give their take on what the patients are reporting. Only then will the true picture of the situation of people with psychosis be available, as patient views would be ratified - or contradicted - by those involved in their care long-term.

Cannabis and psychosis: A carer's view.

The Service User Perspective - Tue, 28/10/2014 - 13:20
There does not seem to be much rigorous research on this subject. I feel the effect of cannabis on the developing brain of teenagers cannot be overstated, articles always allude to "an increased risk of psychosis" but what this means in reality, the devastation of mental health problems and schizophrenia particularly is never explained or demonstrated.

Our son started experimenting with cannabis when he was fourteen and we feel strongly that this contributed to his developing schizophrenia from about the age of seventeen. It became apparent during his prolonged stay in a psychiatric unit under a section that he was also treatment resistant. Only when he was treated with clozapine which had to be augmented did he begin to stabilise.

The doctor treating him felt that he, in his practice, was seeing more young men like this and he felt that the brain being bathed in these illicit drugs during adolescence was a contributory factor.

Our son managed to procure cannabis whilst in hospital under section and was cautioned and fined for this despite at the time not being deemed fit to make decisions. Fortunately he now no longer smokes cannabis but has to take medication and lives in supported accommodation. He is now 23 years old and is just beginning to have a life again.

Cannabis for schizophrenia: Unpredictable and disastrous.

The Service User Perspective - Tue, 28/10/2014 - 13:16
Cannabis - No! That is something I gave up because one day I started feeling alarmingly weird, dizzy and disorientated. This is complete madness, not just because of the drug and its effects, but because of the disorganised, chaotic lifestyle of drug users. I know a few people who continued using cannabis well into old age. In every case, they are less than they could have been.

I believe that all mind altering drugs are harmful. The ideal psychiatric system would be Open Dialogue, a non-invasive method with a very minimal use of drugs. ANY mind altering drug is just a short cut, panic measure, which might work for a short time, but with unpredictable and often very disastrous long-term effects.

Acupuncture: Placebo and 'snake oil'?

The Service User Perspective - Tue, 28/10/2014 - 13:11
Concerning acupuncture, I really don't know, I had it once for back pain and it didn't do anything. It may be harmless and could have a placebo effect. A bit of a worry that desperate people might pour money into something akin to 'snake oil'.

Acupuncture, culture and fear of needles: A carer's perspective.

The Service User Perspective - Tue, 28/10/2014 - 13:06
I have to say that for the Acupuncture summary, whereas in China putting needles into people's skin may be normal, in the UK it is not a cultural norm. My daughter would not tolerate acupuncture, I believe, as she hates injections and blood tests - and most other medical interventions. She would benefit more from the social side of any treatment - the care shown and the attention paid her. The confusion of these factors would have to be dealt with if any really valid research was undertaken into the effectiveness of the treatment.

Acupuncture for schizophrenia: A service user's view

The Service User Perspective - Tue, 28/10/2014 - 13:02
I have experienced the effectiveness of acupuncture for physical pain (lower neck has had some pretty strong peer-reviewed evidence of effectiveness, I believe). I don’t know about mental state other than the many reports I’ve had about acupuncture being successful with stopping tobacco smoking. This has always been auricular acupuncture, though, which is quite specialised.

Comment on the latest two summaries.

The Service User Perspective - Tue, 28/10/2014 - 12:59
I have no experience of these two summaries (Cannabis for schizophrenia and Acupuncture for schizophrenia), but from the short summaries you sent, I get the impression that they do not work?

Acupuncture for schizophrenia.

The Service User Perspective - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 11:49
Although acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine has been practised for over 2000 years in China and the Far East, especially in Korea and Japan, it is a relatively new form of treament for physical and psychological conditions in the West. Acupuncture inserts needles into the skin to stimulate specific points of the body (acupoints). The aim is to achieve balance and harmony of the body.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness and is usually treated using antipsychotic medication. However, although effective, antipsychotic medication can cause side-effects (such as sleepiness, weight gain and even dribbling). Acupuncture has been shown to have very few negative effects on the individual and could be more socially acceptable and tolerable for people with mental health problems. Acupuncture may also be less expensive than drugs made by pharmaceutical companies, so reducing costs to individuals and health services.

This reviews looks at the effectiveness of various types of acupuncture as treatment for people with schizophrenia. An update search for studies was carried out in 2012 and found 30 studies that randomised participants who were receiving antipsychotic medication to receive additional acupuncture or standard care.

Although some of the studies did favour acupuncture when combined with antipsychotics, the information available was small scale and rated to be very low or low quality by the review authors, so not completely provable and valid. Depression was reduced when combining acupuncture with antipsychotic medication, but again this finding came from small-scale research, so cannot be clearly shown to be true. The review concludes that people with mental health problems, policy makers and health professionals need much better evidence in order to establish if there are any potential benefits to acupuncture.

This means that the question of whether acupuncture is of benefit to people, and whether it is of greater benefit than antipsychotic medication, remains unanswered. There is not enough information to establish that acupuncture is of benefit or harm to people with mental health problems.

See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD005475/SCHIZ_acupuncture-for-schizophrenia
and
https://twitter.com/BenGray40

Cannabis for schizophrenia.

The Service User Perspective - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 11:44
Many people with the serious mental illness and schizophrenia smoke cannabis but it is not known why people do so or the effects of smoking cannabis. It is unclear what the best methods are that help people to reduce or stop smoking cannabis. Cannabis is the most consumed illicit drug in the world – amounting to 120 to 224 million users. Cannabis, which is usually smoked or eaten, gives a feeling of well-being, but in high doses it may also cause mental illness or psychosis. Clinical evidence suggests people who have schizophrenia have a worse overall outcome from using cannabis, however, there are some people with schizophrenia who claim that using cannabis helps their symptoms and reduces the side effects of antipsychotic medication. This review aims to look at the effects of cannabis, both its use and withdrawal, in people who have schizophrenia. A search for trials was conducted in 2013, eight randomised trials, involving 530 participants were included. Five trials investigated the effects of using a specific psychotherapy aimed at reducing cannabis intake, two investigated the effects of antipsychotic medication for cannabis reduction and one investigated the use of cannbidiol (a compound found in cannabis) as a treatment for the symptoms of schizophrenia.

The results of the review are limited as trial sizes were small and data were poorly reported.

Overall, there is currently no evidence for any intervention, whether it is psychological therapy or medication, being better than standard treatment or each other in reducing or stopping the use of cannabis. More research is needed to explore the benefits of medication or psychological therapy for those with schizophrenia who use cannabis. It is unclear if cannabidiol has an antipsychotic effect.

See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004837/SCHIZ_cannabis-for-schizophrenia
and
https://twitter.com/BenGray40

In memoriam: Monica Kjeldstrøm

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 10:48

Monica Kjeldstrøm
(1968-2014)

It is with great sadness that The Cochrane Collaboration announces the death of our colleague and friend, Monica Kjeldstrøm, on Sunday, 19 October 2014. Our thoughts and condolences are with Monica’s family, friends, and colleagues in Denmark and around the world.

Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  pressoffice@cochrane.org

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Final results from 2014 elections to the Cochrane Steering Group

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 11:04

Nine positions on the Cochrane Steering Group (CSG), including one Co-Chair, were eligible for election in 2014.

Representing Authors: Mona Nasser (UK) – re-elected for a second term from September 2014 – September 2017 (this result was also announced on 24 June 2014).

Representing Centre Directors: Alvaro Atallah (Brazil) – elected for his first term from September 2014 – September 2017.

Representing Centre Staff: Joerg Meerpohl (Germany) - elected for his first term from September 2014 - September 2017.

External link for more information:  http://www.cochrane.org/community/organisation-administ... Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Claire Allen Email address:  callen@cochrane.org

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India's Citizen News Service attends Hyderabad Colloquium, reports on Cochrane's work

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 06:01

Bobby Ramakant and Shobha Shukla of India's Citizen News Service were among the journalists invited to attend the 2014 Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad in September. Both entered fully into the Colloquium experience, participating in symposia and workshops, as well as attending a variety of sessions, conducting interviews with more than a dozen Colloquium delegates, and writing an extensive series of articles on topics relevant to the main theme of the 22nd Colloquium, 'Evidence-informed Public Health'.

External link for more information:  http://www.citizen-news.org/ Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  pressoffice@cochrane.org

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2014 Cochrane prize recipients

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Mon, 20/10/2014 - 13:27

Several prizes are awarded annually to Cochrane contributors. The 2014 recipients, awarded at the Hyderabad Colloquium, are as follows:

External link for more information:  http://www.cochrane.org/about-us/awards-scholarships-fu... Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  pressoffice@cochrane.org

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Cochrane Author Support Tool: Update on development and implementation

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Mon, 20/10/2014 - 11:53

In March 2014, Cochrane circulated a Request for Proposals inviting submissions for the development, installation, and support of a multifaceted technology platform to support Cochrane authors in producing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews.

Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane IKMD Email address:  tech@cochrane.org

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Evidence-informed health care for Hungary: the Hungarian Cochrane Branch opens

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Mon, 20/10/2014 - 07:20

Cochrane is delighted to announce the official opening of a new Cochrane branch in Hungary.

The establishment of the Hungarian branch, part of the Cochrane German Centre, will have its base at the University of Pécs.

The branch will promote evidence-informed decision making in health care by producing accurate, up-to-date Cochrane Reviews, as well as providing support and training to new Cochrane Review authors.

The Director of the Hungarian Branch is Professor Tamás Decsi who is a professor of paediatrics and Director of the Clinical Centre of the University of Pécs.

External link for more information:  http://www.cochrane.de Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  pressoffice@cochrane.org

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Join us for the October #cochraneauthor chat

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Mon, 20/10/2014 - 03:40

Are you a Cochrane author? Are you active on Twitter? Please join us for the October edition of the #cochraneauthor Twitter chat, to be guest hosted by Cochrane's Senior Training Co-ordinator, Miranda Cumpston.

External link for more information:  http://www.cochrane.org/training Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  pressoffice@cochrane.org

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Cindy Farquhar - Cochrane's new Co-Chair

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Wed, 15/10/2014 - 13:35

During the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad, Postgraduate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Cindy Farquhar was appointed as Co-Chair of the Cochrane Steering Group.

External link for more information:  http://www.cochrane.org/contact/steering-group Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  pressoffice@cochrane.org

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Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group supports launch of priority-setting initiative for bipolar research in the UK

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Wed, 15/10/2014 - 07:58

A new UK-wide survey about bipolar has been launched by a partnership of mental health groups, supported by the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety, and Neurosis Group.

The survey gives individuals, families, clinicians and other professionals the opportunity to influence research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and care of bipolar.

The survey has been developed by the James Lind Alliance Bipolar Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) with partners including charities, research funders, clinicians and service users. 

External link for more information:  http://www.ouh.nhs.uk/bipolar Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Jessica Sharp Email address:  contact@ccdan.org

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