By including a discussion of costs, harms, and alternatives, readers are left with a pretty good idea of what this new intervention is about.
This story is problematic on several levels–it appears to be little more than a rehash of a news release, making a passing mention to successful “pre-clinical results” but offering no specifics.
Given the nature of the research–unpublished and coming directly from a pharmaceutical company–an outside source would have made this story stronger.
The study was meant to establish the safety of the chemical for future research–and not its potential to cure depression. The story didn’t make that clear.
The story would have benefited from a jolt of skepticism as it examines the challenge of applying a treatment that works for some diseases to an altogether different medical condition.
The story includes important cautions from a skeptical surgeon, but the prominence of the surgeon and institution that are actively marketing this procedure results in a story that implies greater benefits and fewer risks than there is evidence to support.
The story would have been much stronger if it had included that this finding is not new, and has been written about extensively.
This story on fruit consumption and lower breast cancer risk didn’t mention a very recent study, using the same data source, looking at fiber intake as a significant factor.
Tips for Understanding Studies