Brian Tiplady Science Blog

Alcohol and energy drinks

Image: Wikimedia Commons

There has been concern about mixing alcohol and caffeine-containing “energy drinks” (ED) such as Red Bull. This recent study (Benson et al., 2019) looked at a four-way comparison of placebo; alcohol (blood alcohol ~50 mg/100 ml); ED (80g caffeine), and ED plus alcohol. Alcohol showed clear impairment on a range of tests as expected, in particular increasing error rates. ED showed improvements on a few measures, again as expected. There was no consistent pattern of interaction between alcohol and ED nor of antagonism between them.

Full text of the paper is here

Screen size has little or no effect on cognitive test performance

Arrow flankers, one of the tests compared on the two platforms.

PenScreenSix is designed to run on a 7″ tablet. Many of the tests can also be run on a mobile phone with a much smaller screen, typically 2.5″ diagonal. Does this make a difference? Jimmy Jansen, Joris Verster at Utrecht University and their colleagues have completed a study comparing the two platforms in a crossover design. Performance was very similar, and results correlated well between the different size devices. Click here to see the presentation of the study. (c) The authors.

ePRO book published, 2010

Bill Byrom and Brian Tiplady are the editors of a book on electronic patient reported outcomes (ePRO) published by Gower. In fact this is the first book to be published on this topic.

Both editors have extensive experience in this area of clinical trials methodology, and the book brings together other authors with expertise in the area, including some of the pioneers who first used portable devices and phone systems as patient diaries in the early and mid-90s.

You can read a sample chapter from the book for free. This is Brian Tiplady’s chapter: Diary design considerations: interface issues and patient acceptability