Surfing the Internet for Medical Research

Surfing the Internet for Medical Research

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When your pet develops a medical issue, chances are you’ll be inclined to do some internet research. Performed responsibly, surfing the internet can be an invaluable exercise in terms of reinforcing what you’ve already heard from your veterinarian, learning new things, and even finding online support groups. While I say, “More power to you!” it is important to get the most accurate information out of your searches.

Responsible internet searching
How can you go about finding instructive, accurate, worthwhile Internet information while avoiding “online junk food?” Here are some general guidelines:

  • Ask your veterinarian for website recommendations. Your veterinarian might be able to refer you to a specific site that will supplement or reinforce the information she has provided.
  • Veterinary college websites invariably provide reliable information. Search for them by entering “veterinary college” or “veterinary school” after the name of the disease or symptom you are researching.
  • Web addresses ending in “.org,” “.edu” and “.gov,” represent nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and governmental agencies respectively. They will likely be sources of more objective and accurate information.
  • If your dog has a breed-specific disease, pay a visit to the site hosted by that specific breed’s national organization. The significant health issues and associated medical research pertaining to the breed are often discussed on such sites.
  • Be ever so wary of anecdotal information. It’s perfectly okay to indulge yourself with remarkable tales (how Max’s skin disease was miraculously cured by a single session of aromatherapy), but view what you are reading as fiction rather than fact. As fascinating as these National Enquirer type stories may seem, please don’t let them significantly influence the choices you make for your pet.
  • I am a big fan of disease-specific online forums. Check out those sponsored by Yahoo. Not only do they provide a wealth of educational information, forum participants can be a wonderful source of emotional support — always a good thing when dealing with a beloved, sick pet.

If you are considering joining an online forum, I encourage you to look for a group that has lots of members, has been around for several years and focuses on a specific disease (kidney failure, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, etc.). Larger groups typically have multiple moderators who screen participants, approve comments, present more than one point of view (always a good thing), and provide greater round-the-clock availability for advice and support. Look for presentation of cited references (clinical research that supports what is being recommended). Such online forums typically have a homepage that explains the focus of the group and provides the number of members and posts per month (the more the better). They may have public archives of previous posts that can provide a wealth of information.

Surf the internet to your heart’s content, but when it comes to your pet’s health issues, do so responsibly — you and your pet will benefit and your veterinarian may be a whole lot more interested in hearing about the information you’ve gathered!

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Reviewed by:


Reviewed on:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

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Structured floral arrangement programme for improving visuospatial working memory in schizophrenia

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Several cognitive therapies have been developed for patients with schizophrenia. However, little is known about the outcomes of these therapies in terms of non-verbal/visuospatial working memory, even though this may affect patients' social outcomes. In the present pilot study, we investigated the effect of a structured floral arrangement (SFA) programme, where participants were required to create symmetrical floral arrangements. In this programme, the arrangement pattern and the order of placing each of the natural materials was predetermined. Participants have to identify where to place each material, and memorise the position temporarily to complete the floral arrangement. The schizophrenic patients who participated in this programme showed significant improvement in their scores for a block-tapping task backward version whereas, non-treated control patients did not show such an improvement. The present results suggest that the SFA programme may positively stimulate visuospatial working memory in patients.


We would like to thank Mr. H. Mogi, NIFS-NARO for helping us in developing the tools used in the floral arrangement programme. We are also grateful to staff at the two facilities (Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences Hospital, psychiatric day-care room and Mitsukaido Kosei Hospital day-care room) for their cooperation.

This work was supported by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organisation (NARO), Japan. This study was also partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for scientific research to H. Mochizuki-Kawai from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT/KAKENHI) (No. 20688001).

Surfing the Internet for Medical Research - pets

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Surfing the Internet for Medical Research - pets

EMA is publishing clinical data for COVID-19 medicines in line with its exceptional transparency measures for COVID-19.

Clinical data publication for all other centrally authorised products remains suspended until further notice.

11/03/2021: Clinical data for new COVID-19 medicine published

Comirnaty is a vaccine for preventing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in people aged 16 years and older. EMA has published the clinical data supporting the granting of a conditional marketing authorisation. These include interim results from an ongoing clinical trial containing temporary redactions to protect the blinded nature of the study, as explained in the Anonymisation Report. EMA will publish updated documents with fewer redactions following the study unblinding and participant safety narratives by the end of June 2021. Further information on this medicine is available on the EMA corporate website.

02/03/2021: Clinical data for new COVID-19 medicine published

COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna is a vaccine for preventing COVID-19 in people aged 18 years and older. EMA has published the clinical data supporting the granting of a conditional marketing authorisation. Further information on this medicine is available on the EMA corporate website.

25/02/2021: Clinical data for an existing COVID-19 medicine published

The clinical data for Veklury (remdesivir) correspond to a variation to the marketing authorisation updating the indication to specify patients requiring low- or high-flow oxygen or other non-invasive ventilation at start of treatment. Further information on this variation to the marketing authorisation is available on the EMA corporate website.

30/10/2020: Clinical data for new COVID-19 medicine published

Veklury (remdesivir) is an antiviral medicine used to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is used in adults and adolescents with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen. Further information on this medicine is available on the EMA corporate website.

20/12/2018: Temporary suspension of clinical data publication

EMA has temporarily suspended the publication of clinical data until further notice, as a result of the implementation of the third phase of its business continuity plan to help prepare for its relocation to the Netherlands.

4/12/2018: Clinical data for new medicine published

The clinical data for Inovelon correspond to a variation to the marketing authorisation to update sections 4.2, 4.8, 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 of the summary of product characteristics with the key findings of a study in children aged 1 - 4 years with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and of toxicity studies in juvenile animals. Further information on this variation to the marketing authorisation is available on the EMA corporate website.

12/11/2018: Clinical data for new medicine published

The clinical data for Ameluz correspond to a variation to the marketing authorisation to include treatment of superficial and/or nodular basal cell carcinoma unsuitable for surgical treatment due to possible treatment-related morbidity and/or poor cosmetic outcome in adults. Further information on this variation to the marketing authorisation is available on the EMA corporate website.

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