Doing your own Medical Research

Those searching for technical medical information on acoustic neuromas might want to take a look at MEDLINE (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/), a database which lists all the journals relevant to medical research. MEDLINE offers abstracts of articles appearing in medical journals and provides a summary of the study. It's meant for medical professionals but is easy enough to read (at least the abstracts); you can order full copies of articles, too (that's what keeps this database in business).

You can search by treatment type, side effects, or doctors (to see what they have published, if anything). I would suggest that you go to the advanced search column (shown on the left side of the page) and combine terms such as acoustic neuroma and gamma knife with other AN terms. Then you can see abstracts of articles that deal specifically with those issues.

Note that it only lists journal publications. These tend to appear years after the results are first announced at medical conferences. Also, the results take years to collect before they are announced, from the time the first patients undergoes a treatment. So if you want to find out something on the cutting edge of medical advancement, this is not the best way to go.

However, this will give you an edge over waiting for some national medical body to endorse a new advancement as "standard", which can take decades. Also, just because they have not, does not mean that it has not proven itself. After all, Gamma Knife is standard treatment in Sweden, and they have better life expectancy than we do!

Last Edited: Friday, November 01, 2002