Study: Bias toward positive results distorts animal studies

07/16/2013 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

An analysis of data from thousands of animal studies for such conditions as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and stroke concluded that the reported positive results were often unsubstantiated and the treatments should not have moved to the human-trial phase. "[T]here are just too many studies being done that are being selectively reported, either having negative results suppressed or having the analysis presented in a way that the results would look positive," said lead author John Ioannidis. A 2008 study on antidepressants found similar distortions: 94% of studies showed positive results, yet the U.S. FDA found only half demonstrated actual benefits.

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