Surgical procedures to prevent strokes, no better than medicine therapies

Surgical procedures to prevent strokes, no better than medicine therapies

11.10.11 | By

I seem to spend a lot of time writing about how medicine is constantly changing as we understand more and more about health, biology and as we develop better evidence about what works best in the treatment or prevention of disease or other adverse health conditions.
I saw this interesting story in the LA Times today. The piece details new research showing that an often used surgical procedure designed to prevent strokes is really no better than current drug therapies.
The Times reports that according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):
"A surgery that seemed like an obvious way to prevent additional strokes in people who already had a first stroke is actually no better than therapy based on drugs alone..."
The JAMA study suggests, among other things, how important clinical research and trials are to determining what works best in a clinical situation. But it strikes me that a study like this - in a subtler way - underscores some points we make a lot here at the Catalyst.
Medicines are increasingly the first and best line of therapies. Good medical practice - whether prevention or proper treatment - can reduce the need for other medical services such as hospitalizations, surgeries and long-term care -- often the most costly healthcare services. Studies like this one help to keep that conclusion in proper perspective.

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