Anecdotes are great – if they convey data accurately

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  • Format Texts
  • Language/s English
  • Target Audience Self-directed learning
  • EBM Stage 0 - Why EBM?
  • Duration <5 mins
  • Difficulty Intermediate

Key Concepts addressed


Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Friday 29 July 2011

On Channel 4 News, scientists have found a new treatment for Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. “A study in the Lancet today shows a drug injected weekly for three months appears to have reduced the symptoms they say. “While it’s not a cure, it does appear to reduce the symptoms.”

Unfortunately, the study shows no such thing. The gene for making a muscle protein called dystrophin is damaged in patients with DMD. The Lancet paper shows a new treatment led to some restoration of dystrophin production in some children in a small unblinded study.


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