Weight of evidence: a review of concept and methods.
- Douglas L Weed
- Risk analysis : an official publication of the…
A spurt of cases of Neurocysticercosis (NCC) at our department reopened the debate on whether to treat or not and spurred us on to review the available literature for a viable solution. Despite the disease having been around for centuries a cogent treatment plan eludes us even as other ancient scources have been successfully engaged. Neurocysticercosis presents a peculiar problem as it is an end-stage infection, accidental in man, with a benign natural course and would have merited considerably less attention, had it not chosen to infest the brain. These unique and characteristic features are the fundamental reasons why so many different treatment strategies are continuously proffered; many or none seem to work, depending on the viewpoint. And the target organs of this otherwise unglamorous tapeworm cyst--the brain, eye and spinal cord-ensure that there is always pressure, and temptation to treat rather than let it be, even if the weight of evidence is to the contrary. An overview of the history of the disease and the most recent happenings is presented here, in which these issues are reviewed with special attention to the debate on treatment. From the facts that emerge, an attempt has been made to present a workable plan that would help practicing pediatricians in treating most encountered cases till such time we hear the last word on the issue.