"Inadequate control despite regular treatment with inhaled corticosteroids." It’s a scenario repeated all over the world in surgeries and outpatients departments, anywhere where people with asthma are routinely treated. Health professional and patients are faced with a familiar problem: increase the dose of corticosteroids or add a new agent, such as an inhaled long-acting beta-agonist (LABA). Which is best?...
In a newly updated Cochrane Review, Cahill and Perera summarise the effectiveness of incentives for smoking cessation. Their disappointing conclusion is that while there is some evidence that incentives work in the short term, the effects generally dissipate, and there is still insufficient evidence to recommend their adoption into routine practice. Much therefore remains to be discovered, but what are the particular questions that this review highlights?
The pharmaceutical industry is currently investing vast resources to develop drugs that provide benefits to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors are among the drugs that raise hopes that two important goals of the COPD management, symptom relief and risk reduction of exacerbations, can be targeted more effectively than it is currently possible ...
Innovative approaches aimed at reducing reliance on acute hospitals are being explored by providers of health systems around the world. These approaches reflect concern about the suitability of the hospital environment for people with complex healthcare problems who are often in need of some form of rehabilitation. The high cost of hospital-based care is also a major driver...
We normally think of calcitonin as a hormone produced by the C-cells of the thyroid, with the role of balancing parathyroid hormone in the conservation of calcium in the body. It's less widely known that calcitonin’s precursor, procalcitonin, can be made by many cells, albeit at undetectable levels in healthy people. The discovery that procalcitonin is released into the blood in detectable amounts in response to severe bacterial infection was unexpected.