Synergy in Action


ISCTM Historical Perspectives: Milestones, Measures and Methods Series

Episode #1: History of clinical trials

Randomized clinical trials are an evolving technology that aims to provide an evidence base with which to distinguish justified belief from opinion. 
Our discussion focuses on the roots of clinical trials which date from Lind’s 17th century comparison of dietary supplements for scurvy. Over time, innovations such as random assignment, placebo control and blinding added progressive methodological rigor and became essential features of modern clinical trial design and set the stage for the first modern controlled clinical trial in 1948, streptomycin for pulmonary tuberculosis.

Episode #2: Emil Kraepelin: Foundation of modern CNS diagnosis

We discuss the impact and enduring value of Emil Kraepelin’s insights, which owe much to the methods he used to assess and classify patients. His great insights resulted from moving beyond current signs and symptoms to age of onset and course of illness. This enabled him to distinguish the three major division of psychiatric illness: dementia (Alzheimer’s disease), Mood disorder (manic-depressive insanity, and Thought disorders (dementia praecox/Schizophrenia).

Episode #3: Pseudo-Specificity in CNS Research

FDA raised concerns about pseudo-specificity in the mid-1900s. Sian Ratcliffe talks about how she coped with regulatory concerns about specificity for treatments for PTSD independent of antidepressant effects. Working with in-house statisticians and external collaborators enabled her to bring the clarity required to support a distinct indication.


*The content of each podcast represents individual opinions and not that of the institution, agency, company affiliation of participants or ISCTM.