Improving the process of translational research

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7837 (Published 23 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7837
  1. H Bart van der Worp, neurologist1,
  2. Peter A G Sandercock, professor of medical neurology and director, Edinburgh Neuroscience2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX Utrecht, Netherlands
  2. 2Division of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  1. h.b.vanderworp{at}umcutrecht.nl

The application of reporting standards may lead to more useful animal studies

Empirical evidence that deficiencies in the reporting of clinical studies are associated with overstatement of the efficacy of the treatment under study led to the development of the CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement for the reporting of randomized controlled clinical trials.1 Accumulating evidence suggests that deficiencies in the reporting of animal studies may have a similar effect.2

In response to concerns that lack of transparency in the reporting of animal studies may have made the process of translation from bench to bedside inefficient and wasteful, the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) convened a meeting of major stakeholders in translational research in June this year.3 Their aim was to develop recommendations for improving the reporting of the results of animal research, and recently they published a core set of reporting standards for animal studies.3 The group comprised academic researchers and educators, reviewers, journal editors, and representatives from funding agencies, disease advocacy communities, and the drug industry. The core standards deserve close attention.

Animal studies have been important in the development of many available medical treatment strategies. …

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