Life under the bell curve

Wanted to blog a bit about normal distribution, the Gaussian curve, the bell curve (pick your favorite name). I spent most of yesterday reading about normal distribution and clinical studies and variables and skewing. Rekindled memories of my Biostatistics class. Hard to believe I understood all that stuff at one point in my life. Now, it’s just Greek to me. 😀

bell curve, Gaussian curve, normal distributionMy point here is that (in general) with treatments given to a large enough sample of patients, a Gaussian curve is produced. Keeping that curve in mind in terms of therapeutic experience:

  1. Some patients will fall at one end and be helped optimally (positive).
  2. Some will fall at the opposite end and not benefit (negative).
  3. Most will fall under the bell within a range of therapeutic benefit.

This, in fact, is the basis for an upcoming post on my experience with Lupron.

Here are some links with additional information about normal distribution:

Biostatistics and Analysis of Clinical Data (Chiacchierini)
Statistics notes: The normal distribution (Altman and Bland)

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