In 2000, reliable evidence from relevant controlled trials about the
effects of anthelminth drugs for soil-transmitted helminth infection on
child growth and cognition was reviewed and the review was published in
The Cochrane Database (Dickson R, Awasthi S, Williamson P, Demellweek C,
Garner P (2000) Anthelmintic drugs for treating worms in children:
effects on growth and cognitive performance.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2000, Issue 2. Art. No.:
CD000371.). It demonstrated uncertainty around the assumed benefit and
concluded that it may be a potentially important intervention, but
needed better evaluation.
This viewpoint article discusses the review, the criticisms it received
in letters to the BMJ, and the recent update of the original Cochrane
review (Taylor-Robinson D, Jones A, Garner P (2007) Deworming drugs for
treating soil-transmitted intestinal worms in children: effects on
growth and school performance. Cochrane Database
of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD000371.).
Commentaries on the updated review are also available:
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2009) 3(1) e358 [doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000358]