Help DeskResearch about SCI/DLearn about Participation in SCI ResearchHow do I learn if a therapy is valid and safe

7.2. How do I learn if a therapy is valid and safe

For any therapy or treatment you are considering, check to see if it is safe:

  • Look for any peer reviewed published papers on the treatment.  Peer review is important. This means that the scientist's/physician's work has been reviewed by peers (one with equal or some knowledge) in the field and has been approved for publishing.  These include 'reviewed papers' from around the world.
  • There should be background studies, pilot studies or pre-clinical studies published.  The best compilation of medical studies is maintained at The National Institutes of Health, Library of Medicine.  The link to the free library access is:
  • 'Reviewed' papers will be available even if the treatment may be 'brand new' or 'novel'

'Scam' or non-validated therapies should raise a Red Flag of caution

  • If you are considering such a therapy or treatment, you should request copies of published previous work AND references of the publishing (ie. Journal, date, publication) which is typically called 'pre-clinical' or pilot studies.

Many of the 'scam' treatments have not been published or reviewed

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