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Nephrotic syndrome is a condition where the kidneys leak protein from the blood into the urine. Minimal change disease is the third most common primary kidney disease in adults with unexplained nephrotic syndrome (10% to 15%). Steroids have been used widely since the early 1970s for the treatment of adult‐onset minimal change disease, however the optimal agent, dose and duration has not been determined. This review identified three small studies (68 participants) comparing: 1) intravenous plus oral steroid treatment versus oral sterids; 2) oral versus short‐course intravenous steroid treatment; and 3) oral steroid treatment versus placebo. Only oral steroid treatment (compared to short‐course intravenous steroid treatment) showed an increase in the number of patients who achieved complete remission. However, the lack of available studies leaves important treatment questions unanswered; what is the optimal dose and duration of steroid treatment in new‐onset adult minimal change disease; how are relapses following steroid‐induced remission prevented and treated; and what are the appropriate treatments for steroid‐dependent or treatment‐resistant minimal change disease?

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 23, 2008

This review aims to determine the effectiveness of long‐acting beta‐agonists, salmeterol or formoterol, in the treatment of COPD (emphysema/chronic bronchitis). These drugs improve airflow in the lungs, and enable people with COPD to get on with their daily activities. Twenty‐four studies (6061 participants) reported the effects of LABAs in people with COPD. People taking salmeterol 50 mcg daily do have fewer exacerbations than those on placebo, and some improvement in lung function and certain quality of life scores. The findings were not consistent enough to support a general recommendation for the use of these drugs in the group of people with COPD with minimal variation in their lung function, although there is some evidence of improvement in important outcomes and these findings require further exploration in additional trials.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 19, 2006

At least one‐third of people with Parkinson's disease complain about fatigue. It is unclear what treatment is best to reduce fatigue in people with Parkinson's disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 8, 2015

Intensive support and encouragement to reduce salt intake did lead to reduction in salt eaten. It also lowered blood pressure but only by a small amount (about 1 mmHg for systolic blood pressure, less for diastolic) after more than a year. This reduction was not enough to expect an important health benefit. It was also very hard to keep to a low salt diet. However, the reduction in blood pressure appeared larger for people with higher blood pressure.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 26, 2004

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long‐term lung condition characterised by cough, sputum production (fluids from the lungs, i.e. phlegm), and difficulty breathing. It is now possible to give two types of medicine using one inhaler device: the medicines are long‐acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) plus a long‐acting beta‐agonist (LABA) (LAMA+LABA) and a LABA plus an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) (LABA+ICS). The recent guidelines recommend LAMA+LABA are preferable over LABA+ICS.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2018

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In this condition, an abnormal haemoglobin S from one parent is combined with another abnormal haemoglobin from the other parent. Haemoglobin S inherited from both parents (genotype HbSS), described as sickle cell anaemia is the most common form.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 22, 2016

Heart disease is the most common cause of ill health and preventable death. Cardiac rehabilitation is a programme that helps people with heart disease gain better health. It is held in group classes that take place at hospitals or within the community. People attend these classes once or twice a week for around six to eight weeks. The classes usually involve exercising, and receiving advice on ways to improve their health. People needing these programmes are not always able to attend them. An alternative is to provide this programme through the Internet. In this review we looked at whether programmes delivered through the Internet are helpful in improving death rates, the need for surgery, repeated heart attacks, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, health‐related quality of life (HRQOL), diet, physical activity, medication compliance, healthcare usage, and costs.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 22, 2015

Liver fibrosis is a change in the microscopic structure of the liver because of liver inflammation. After many years of excessive alcohol consumption, liver fibrosis progresses to cirrhosis. Abstaining from alcohol may stop the fibrosis from further progression into significant or severe fibrosis and cirrhosis. The latter lead to complications of underlying diseases, including cancer.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 22, 2015

We conducted a review of studies in which the dose of anti‐TNF drugs (adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab and infliximab) was lowered or treatment was stopped in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who use anti‐TNFs and are doing well. Upon systematically searching for all relevant studies up to September 2013, we found seven studies involving 1203 participants. Study duration ranged from 24 weeks to 18 months.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: September 29, 2014

Overweight and obesity are common health problems and increase the risk of developing several serious health conditions. The standard treatment for overweight and obesity is to help patients change their diet and exercise habits. Treatment programs in which patients interact with a computer may help people make these changes, and improve their ability to lose weight and keep it off. We looked for randomized or quasi‐randomized trials in which an interactive computer intervention was compared with no treatment, a limited treatment such as usual care or paper materials, or an in‐person treatment to help people lose weight or keep it off. We included 14 weight loss studies with a total of 2537 participants, and four weight maintenance studies with a total of 1603 participants. The length of treatment ranged from four weeks to 30 months. At six months, computer‐based interventions led to greater weight loss than minimal interventions (mean difference ‐1.5 kg; 95% confidence interval (CI) ‐2.1 to ‐0.9; two trials) but less than in‐person treatment (mean difference 2.1 kg; 95% CI 0.8 to 3.4; one trial). At six months, computer‐based interventions were superior to a minimal control intervention in limiting weight regain (mean difference ‐0.7 kg; 95% CI ‐1.2 to ‐0.2; two trials), but not superior to infrequent in‐person treatment (mean difference 0.5 kg; 95% ‐0.5 to 1.6; two trials).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: August 15, 2012

Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer often means dealing with feelings of fear, anger and grief. Talking with close friends or relatives can help you cope with the flood of feelings. Exercise, relaxation and other activities that can take your mind off the cancer can improve your general wellbeing in everyday life too. Once metastatic tumors have developed outside of the breast tissue, complete recovery can rarely be expected. Then the aim of treatment is to keep your overall health and quality of life as good as possible for as long as possible. It is common to worry about only having very little time left. At the start it might feel like your entire life is now about waiting for the cancer to progress, new symptoms to arise and further treatments. This can make you feel dejected and hopeless, which may sometimes be more draining and troubling than the physical effects of the disease and its treatment. Many women also feel lonely at times, cut off from the outside world and their friends.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 7, 2016

‐The combination of methotrexate + sulfasalazine + hydroxychloroquine and methotrexate + most biologic DMARDs improves disease activity. Other treatment combinations (methotrexate + hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate + leflunomide, methotrexate + gold injections) may improve disease activity in people who do not respond to methotrexate alone.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: August 29, 2016

We reviewed the evidence on the use of cranial electrical stimulation (CES) in people with acute depression. More specifically, we were interested in examining the evidence from high quality clinical trials in which patients with acute depression were randomly assigned to treatment with either active CES or sham (simulated) CES, We found no high quality studies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 8, 2014

Diverticular disease is a condition in which the inner layer of the intestinal wall (mucosa) protrudes through weak points in the muscular layer of the wall, forming small pouches (diverticula) that bulge out of the large bowel. The inflammation of diverticula is defined as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is more common in the sigmoid colon than in the other tracts of the large bowel. In Western countries, diverticular disease is very common, affecting about 60% of the population over 70 years of age. Most individuals with diverticular disease have no symptoms or experience only mild pain in the lower abdomen, accompanied by a slight change in bowel habits. Individuals with acute diverticulitis may experience pain in the lower abdomen and other symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, and shivering. Diverticulitis generally is treated medically with antibiotics and diet. However, for individuals who experience recurrent abdominal pain or complications, surgical resection of the affected bowel segment is required; this can be performed through conventional open or laparoscopic surgery techniques.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 25, 2017

We reviewed the effectiveness and safety of umeclidinium inhalers compared with placebo (dummy) inhalers in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: June 20, 2017

Osteoporosis is characterised by thin, fragile bones and may result in minimal trauma fractures of the spine bones (vertebrae). They can cause severe pain and disability.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2018

Many children experience painful tooth decay which can lead to the tooth/teeth being extracted. Even if teeth are not extracted the tooth decay may be distressing, be expensive to treat and may involve children and their carers having time off school and work.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 20, 2010

Asthma is a common chronic disease that affects about 300 million people worldwide. Yoga, the popularity of which has expanded globally, has the potential to relieve some asthma‐related problems. However, the effects of yoga for asthma need to be confirmed due to the inconsistent findings of existing studies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 27, 2016

Glaucoma is a chronic eye condition associated with vision loss over time. One of the major risk factors for glaucoma is increased pressure in the eye, known as ocular hypertension. In eyes with pigment dispersion syndrome (PDS), particles from the iris (colored part of the eye) break off from the iris and are deposited on other parts within the eye. Sometimes, these particles block the flow of fluid out of the front portion of the eye, leading to ocular hypertension. Pigmentary glaucoma is a specific form of glaucoma that may be found in patients with PDS. Topcial medical therapy is usually the first‐line treatment; however, peripheral laser iridotomy has been proposed as an alternate treatment.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: February 12, 2016

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of joints, such as the hip. When the joint loses cartilage, the bone grows to try to repair the damage. However, instead of making things better, the bone grows abnormally and makes things worse. For example, the bone can become misshapen and make the joint painful and unstable. Doctors used to think that OA simply resulted in thinning of the cartilage. However, it is now known that OA is a disease of the whole joint.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 9, 2015

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