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rampant

Sunday, 30 November 2014

GcMAF: The superhero for your health problem?

WDDTY present GcMAF as a medical miracle, curing cancer, AIDS and autism, and claim that ti is being aggressively suppressed and its proponents attacked by "pharma-funded" groups. They rely entirely on information provided by a company illegally selling treatment based on GcMAF, and in particular Marco Ruggiero, an officer of that company who is also an AIDS denialist.

To boost the claimed credibility of Ruggiero they invoke the support of AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg and homeopathy believer Luc Montagnier - in reality, associations which substantially weaken any claim to legitimacy.

WDDTY loves to tell readers to "follow the money". This article shows that they do not even pay lip service to this when the content fits with their anti-science agenda.

The post GcMAF: The superhero for your health problem? by wwddtydty appeared first on WWDDTYDTY.

Ginkgo biloba for ADHD? | Edzard Ernst

GUEST POST by Jan Oude-Aost: After pediatric nurse training and medschool, Jan Oude-Aost now works as a physician in child psychiatry in Dresden. Since medschool he is interested in Complementary and Alternative Medicine and made it his favorite hobby. He is also on Twitter (@diaphanoskopie) and blogs under diaphanoskopie.wordpress.com, but mostly in German.
Introduction
ADHD is a common disorder among children. There are evidence based pharmacological treatments, the best known being methylphenidate (MPH). MPH has kind of a bad reputation, but is effective and reasonably safe. The market is also full of alternative treatments, pharmacological and others, some of them under investigation, some unproven and many disproven. So I was not surprised to find a study about Ginkgo biloba as a treatment for ADHD. I was surprised, however, to find this study in the German Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, officially published by the “German Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy“ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie). The journal’s guidelines state that studies should provide new scientific results.

Read on: Ginkgo biloba for ADHD?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Homeopathy for Ebola: an update directly from the ‘horse’s mouth’ | Edzard Ernst

A German homeopathic journal, Zeitschrift Homoeopathie, has just published the following interesting article entitled HOMEOPATHIC DOCTORS HELP IN LIBERIA. It provides details about the international team of homeopaths that travelled to Liberia to cure Ebola. Here I take the liberty of translating it from German into English. As most of it is fairly self-explanatory, I abstain from any comments of my own – however, I am sure that my readers will want to add their views.
In mid-October, an international team of 4 doctors travelled to the West African country for three weeks. The mission in a hospital in Ganta, a town with about 40 000 inhabitants on the border to Guinea, ended as planned on 7 November. The exercise was organised by the World Association of Homeopathic Doctors, the Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI), with support of by the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors. The aim was to support the local doctors in the care of the population and, if possible, also to help in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. The costs for the three weeks’ stay were financed mostly through donations from homeopathic doctors...

Read more: Homeopathy for Ebola: an update directly from the ‘horse’s mouth’

Quack reports Cancer Research UK over “false” information. Hilarity ensues.

We’re grateful to WDDTY for bringing us this gem:
The UK’s major cancer charity, Cancer Research UK, has been reported to the Metropolitan Police for being in breach of a recent law for “knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information”.
Note to quacks: information does not become false just because you don’t like it…

Read on:
The post Quack reports Cancer Research UK over “false” information. Hilarity ensues. by wwddtydty appeared first on WWDDTYDTY.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Seven things to remember before consulting an acupuncturist | Edzard Ernst

Acupuncture seems to be as popular as never before – many conventional pain clinics now employ acupuncturists, for instance. It is probably true to say that acupuncture is one of the best-known types of all alternative therapies. Yet, experts are still divided in their views about this treatment – some proclaim that acupuncture is the best thing since sliced bread, while others insist that it is no more than a theatrical placebo. Consumers, I imagine, are often left helpless in the middle of these debates. Here are 7 important bits of factual information that might help you make up your mind, in case you are tempted to try acupuncture...

Read more: Seven things to remember before consulting an acupuncturist

"What Doctors Don't Tell You" - Dangerous advice - WWDDTYDTY

Reblogged from Swift at the James Randi Educational Foundation

If you want an alternative to reputable health magazines, look no further than What Doctors Don’t Tell You (WDDTY) - the winner, once again, thanks to assiduous astroturfing, of a “people’s choice” award for most popular website in the Health category.

This paean to quackery is published in the UK by US expatriate Lynne McTaggart and her husband Bryan Hubbard. Its editorial panel is a rogues’ gallery of “alternative” practitioners, several of whom are no longer licensed to practice medicine. It’s now being published in the US. Originally by subscription only, WDDTY’s editors promised to offer a well-researched independent critique of medical practice and never to take advertising, in order to stay pure...

Read on: "What Doctors Don't Tell You" - Dangerous advice - WWDDTYDTY

Wheat intolerance? Processed breads are the real culprit, says researcher

There is no bullshit in the world so self-evidently fatuous that someone won’t assert it. Non-existent “wheat intolerance” caused by bread that has gone through some nebulously-defined “processing”? Sure, why not? Most people who think they have a wheat intolerance actually have an aversion only to highly-processed wheat products, a controversial new study suggests. Actually…

Read on:
The post Wheat intolerance? Processed breads are the real culprit, says researcher by wwddtydty appeared first on WWDDTYDTY.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Vaccines won’t protect our children, say 74 per cent of parents

The stupid. It burns. WDDTY’s story “vaccines won’t protect our children, say 74 per cent of parents” covers a publication which shows that 74 per cent of parents understand that antivaxers are a public health risk. Yes, that’s right: McTaggart says that anybody who understands the dangers of unvaccinated children, believes that vaccines won’t protect…

The post Vaccines won’t protect our children, say 74 per cent of parents by wwddtydty appeared first on WWDDTYDTY.

Intriguing statistics on the volume of alternative medicine research | Edzard Ernst

The volume of medical research, as listed on Medline, is huge and increases steadily each year. This phenomenon can easily be observed with simple Medline searches. If we use search terms related to conventional medicine, we find near linear increases in the number of articles (here I do not make a distinction between types of articles) published in each area over time, invariably with a peak in 2013, the last year for which Medline listing is currently complete. Three examples will suffice:
  • PHARMACOTHERAPY: 117 414 articles in 2013

  • PHARMACOLOGY: 210 228 articles in 2013

  • ADVERSE EFFECTS: 86 067 articles in 2013
Read more Intriguing statistics on the volume of alternative medicine research

Monday, 24 November 2014

Who wants to join in the fun and play BULLSHIT BINGO with me? | Edzard Ernst

One thing that has often irritated me – alright, I admit it: sometimes it even infuriated me – is the pseudoscientific language of authors writing about alternative medicine. Reading publications in this area often seems to me like being in the middle of a game of ‘bullshit bingo’ (I am afraid that some of the commentators on this blog have importantly contributed to this phenomenon). In an article of 2004, I once discussed this issue in some detail and concluded that “… pseudo-scientific language … can be seen as an attempt to present nonsense as science…this misleads patients and can thus endanger their health…” For this paper, I had focussed on examples from the ‘bioresonance’- literature – more by coincidence than by design, I should add. I could have selected any other alternative treatment or diagnostic method; the use of pseudoscientific language is truly endemic in alternative medicine.

Read on: Who wants to join in the fun and play BULLSHIT BINGO with me?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Seven things to remember before you take a herbal remedy | Edzard Ernst

While the previous post was about seeing a traditional herbalist (who prescribe their own herbal mixtures, tailor-made for each individual patient), this post provides essential information for those consumers who are tempted to take a commercially available herbal remedy available in pharmacies, health food shops, over the Internet etc. These remedies are usually bought by consumers and then be self-administered, or (less frequently) they might be prescribed/recommended/sold by a clinician such as a doctor, naturopath, chiropractor etc. Typically, they contain just one (or relatively few) herbal extracts and are used under similar assumptions as conventional medicines: one (hopefully well-tested) remedy is employed for treating a defined condition, diagnosed according to validated and generally accepted criteria (for instance, St John’s Wort for depression or Devil’s claw for back pain). This approach is sometimes referred to as ‘rational phytotherapy’ – it is certainly more rational than the traditional herbalism referred to in my previous post. The manufacture, promotion and sale of commercial herbal remedies (in many countries marketed as ‘dietary supplements’) has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry...

Read on: Seven things to remember before you take a herbal remedy

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Seven things to remember before you consult a herbalist | Edzard Ernst

Here I am not writing about herbal medicine in general – parts of which are supported by some encouraging evidence (I will therefore post more than one ‘seven things to remember…’ article on this subject) – here I am writing about the risks and benefits of consulting a traditional herbal practitioner. Herbalists come in numerous guises depending what tradition they belong to: Chinese herbalist, traditional European herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner, Kampo practitioner etc. If you consult such a therapist, you should be aware of the following issues...

Read on: Seven things to remember before you consult a herbalist

Friday, 21 November 2014

The jelly bean problem - WWDDTYDTY

If you’ve wondered why we are so skeptical about the studies that WDDTY cites (at least those where WDDTY does not misrepresent the findings, which is alarmingly common) then you may not understand the “jelly bean problem”...

Read on: The jelly bean problem - WWDDTYDTY

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Reiki: the gullible belief in the super-natural | Edzard Ernst

Reiki is a form of energy healing that evidently has been getting so popular that, according to the ‘Shropshire Star’, even stressed hedgehogs are now being treated with this therapy. In case you argue that this publication is not cutting edge when it comes to reporting of scientific advances, you may have a point. So, let us see what evidence we find on this amazing intervention.

A recent systematic review of the therapeutic effects of Reiki concludes that the serious methodological and reporting limitations of limited existing Reiki studies preclude a definitive conclusion on its effectiveness. High-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to address the effectiveness of Reiki over placebo. Considering that this article was published in the JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE, this is a fairly damming verdict. The notion that Reiki is but a theatrical placebo recently received more support from a new clinical trial...

Read on: Reiki: the gullible belief in the super-natural

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Acupuncture for US military veterans: a victory of ‘political correctness’ over science? | Edzard Ernst

A special issue of Medical Care has just been published; it was sponsored by the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. A press release made the following statement about it:
Complementary and alternative medicine therapies are increasingly available, used, and appreciated by military patients, according to Drs Taylor and Elwy. They cite statistics showing that CAM programs are now offered at nearly 90 percent of VA medical facilities. Use of CAM modalities by veterans and active military personnel is as at least as high as in the general population.
 If you smell a bit of the old ad populum fallacy here, you may be right. But let’s look at the actual contents of the special issue. The most interesting article is about a study testing acupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)...


Read on: Acupuncture for US military veterans: a victory of ‘political correctness’ over science?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Let me remind you what this blog is about | Edzard Ernst

Some of the recent comments on this blog have been rather emotional, a few even irrational, and several were, I am afraid, outright insulting (I usually omit to post the worst excesses). Moreover, I could not avoid the impression that some commentators have little understanding of what the aim of this blog really is. I tried to point this out in the very first paragraph of my very first post:
Why another blog offering critical analyses of the weird and wonderful stuff that is going on in the world of alternative medicine? The answer is simple: compared to the plethora of uncritical misinformation on this topic, the few blogs that do try to convey more reflected, sceptical views are much needed; and the more we have of them, the better...
Read on: Let me remind you what this blog is about

New supplement best for preventing bone loss, says study

Churnalism. Don’t you just love it? The repetition of self-serving claims from press releases into press as if they were facts. Wikipedia calls this “fact-washing”.

WDDTY said they would not do this. It’s as true as their principled statement that they would never take paid advertising.

So it’s no surprise to see a tweet from WDDTY:

Read on:
The post New supplement best for preventing bone loss, says study by wwddtydty appeared first on WWDDTYDTY.

Miss me? | The Poxes Blog

You’ve got to give me some credit. I write more often on this blog than “the kid” does on his, and I check/cite my sources. There is more journalism in my pinky finger than in all anti-vax bloggers combined. Yes, combined. I apologize for not posting more often lately. I’m between jobs and running in […]

Read more at: Miss me? by Reuben

Sunday, 16 November 2014

What a paean from Ben Goldacre can do

After an interchange on Twitter about how blogs get noticed, I commented that the best thing for me was being thrown off the UCL web site by Malcolm Grant, and the subsequent support that I got from Ben Goldacre. I am a big fan of just about everything that Goldacre has done. So are a lot of other people and his support was crucial.

When I looked up his 2007 post, I found a lot of links were now broken, and some characters didn’t render properly. So, as a matter of historical record, I’m reproducing the whole post with updated links where possible...

Read the rest here: What a paean from Ben Goldacre can do by David Colquhoun

Homeopathy: this is how it could kill millions | Edzard Ernst

I recently tweeted the following short text: “THIS IS HOW HOMEOPATHY CAN KILL MILLIONS” and provided a link to a website where a homeopaths advocated using homeopathy to control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. The exact text I objected to is reproduced below:
“Management of Blood sugar

The commonly used remedies are Uranium Nitricum, Phosphoric Acid, Syzygium Jambolanum, Cephalandra Indica etc. These are classical Homeopathic remedies. These are used in physiologically active doses such as Mother tincture, 3x etc. depending up on the level of the blood sugar and the requirement of the patient. Several pharmaceutical companies have also brought in propriety medicines with a combination of the few Homeopathic medicines. Biochemic remedies which is a part of Homeopathy advocates Biocombination No 7 as a specific for Diabetes. Another Biochemic medicine Natrum Phos 3x is widely used with a reasonable success in controlling the blood sugar. Scientific studies on the impact of homeopathic medicines in bringing down blood sugar are limited, but many of the above remedies have some positive effects either as a stand-alone remedy or as an adjunct along with other medications.”
Read on: Homeopathy: this is how it could kill millions

Friday, 14 November 2014

Seven things to remember when you are tempted to try homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO HRH, THE PRINCE OF WALES WHO CELEBRATES HIS 66TH BIRTHDAY TODAY AND HAS SUPPORTED HOMEOPATHY ALL HIS LIFE

Like Charles, many people are fond of homeopathy; it is particularly popular in India, Germany, France and parts of South America. With all types of health care, it is important to make therapeutic decisions in the knowledge of the crucial facts. In order to aid evidence-based decision-making, I will summarise a few things you might want to consider before you try homeopathy – either by buying homeopathic remedies over the counter, or by consulting a homeopath.

Read on: Seven things to remember when you are tempted to try homeopathy

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The tolerance of quackery renders chiropractic a profession of quacks | Edzard Ernst

The chiropractic profession have been reminded time and times again that their claim to be able to effectively treat paediatric conditions is bogus. Many experts have asked them to produce some compelling evidence or stop this dangerous nonsense. Yet most of them seem to remain in denial, famously documented by the British Chiropractic Association suing Simon Singh for libel after he disclosed that they happily promote bogus treatments.

Some chiropractors now say that things have changed and that chiropractors are finally getting their act together. If that is true, progress must be painfully slow – so slow, in fact, that it is hard to see it at all. There are still far too many chiropractors who carry on just as before. There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles promoting chiropractic for childhood conditions; a very basic Google search for ‘chiropractic for children’ returns more than 7 million hits many of which advertise this sort of approach. Take this website, for instance; it makes its bogus claims entirely unabashed:

Read the rest here: The tolerance of quackery renders chiropractic a profession of quacks

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

"If vaccines work, why are my unvaccinated kids a threat to your vaccinated kids?"


(to which we have to add: there are also all the people who cannot be vaccinated because of poor immune systems, such as HIV sufferers, or because they have to take immunosuppressive drugs, such as cancer sufferers or transplant patients)
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Alexander technique: some evidence and plenty of wishful thinking | Edzard Ernst

The Alexander Technique is a method aimed at re-educating people to do everyday tasks with less muscular and mental tension. According to the ‘Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique’, this method can help you if:
  • You suffer from repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • You have a backache or stiff neck and shoulders.
  • You become uncomfortable when sitting at your computer for long periods of time.
  • You are a singer, musician, actor, dancer or athlete and feel you are not performing at your full potential.
Sounds good!? But which of these claims are actually supported by sound evidence?

Read on: Alexander technique: some evidence and plenty of wishful thinking

Monday, 10 November 2014

Popehat Signal: Help Fight the Censorious Villainy Of Roca Labs | Popehat

It's time to light the Popehat Signal to find pro bono assistance for citizens threatened with a bogus and censorious lawsuit.

The cartoonish villain of this story is Roca Labs, whose belligerent attempts to silence critics inspired my post last month. Roca Labs, you may recall, produces a pink slime that one is supposed to eat to suppress the appetite. Roca Labs is pathologically adverse to criticism, and therefore has hit upon an increasingly familiar tactic — they require at least some of their customers to sign contracts promising not to criticize them at all. Based on those contracts, they filed a lawsuit against Pissed Consumer.com, a gripe site that printed complaints by their customers. Their quasi-legal flailing became more desperate when First Amendment heavyweight Marc Randazza took up PissedConsumer.com's defense...

Read on Popehat Signal: Help Fight the Censorious Villainy Of Roca Labs | Popehat.

Seven things to remember when you next consult a chiropractor | Edzard Ernst

In many countries, consumers seem to be fond of consulting chiropractors – mostly for back pain, but also for other conditions. I therefore think it might be a good and productive idea to give anyone who is tempted to see a chiropractor some simple, easy to follow advice. Here we go:
  1. Ask your chiropractor what he/she thinks about the chiropractic concept of subluxation. This is the chiropractors’ term (real doctors use the word too but understand something entirely different by it) for an imagined problem with your spine. Once they have diagnosed you to suffer from subluxation, they will persuade you that it needs correcting which is done by spinal manipulation which they tend to call ‘adjustments’. There are several important issues here...
Read the rest here: Seven things to remember when you next consult a chiropractor

How does naturopathy work? A bit like a flying vacuum-cleaner to Mars � Spectator Blogs

Every so often you read a piece about alternative medicine that asks: how does it work? How does homeopathy work, how does acupuncture work, etc. There was a piece in the Telegraph recently that asked: how does naturopathy work?

There was a complicated answer about ‘healthy electromagnetic frequencies’ and so on; ‘bioresonance’, ‘modalities’, and a marvellous quote about how
‘Every cell in the body puts out a certain electromagnetic frequency, that can be measured – a healthy stomach cell sounds different to a healthy brain cell…’

Read the rest of this excellent post by Tom Chivers (who is a journalist at The Telegraph) here: How does naturopathy work? A bit like a flying vacuum-cleaner to Mars | Spectator Blogs

No, it's not often we link to the Spectator.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Biopuncture = quackery at its purest | Edzard Ernst

After yesterday’s post mentioning ‘biopuncture’, I am sure you are all dying to know what this mysterious treatment might be. A website promoting biopuncture tells us (almost) all we need to know:

Biopuncture is a therapy whereby specific locations are injected with biological products. The majority of the products are derived from plants. Most of these injections are given into the skin or into muscles. Products commonly used in Biopuncture are, for example, arnica, echinacea, nux vomica and chamomile. Arnica is used for muscle pain, nux vomica is injected for digestive problems, echinacea is used to increase the natural defense system of the body. Biopuncturists always inject cocktails of natural products. Lymphomyosot is used for lymphatic drainage, Traumeel for inflammations and sports injuries, Spascupreel for muscular cramps. Injections with antiflogistics, hyaluronic acid, blood platelets, blood, procaine, ozon, cortisone or vitamin B are not considered as Biopuncture…

Read more: Biopuncture = quackery at its purest

Dr. Bob Sears is not anti-vaccine, except when he is, which is pretty much all the time

The last time I wrote about Dr. Bob Sears, pediatrician to the uninitiated, I told you about his anti-vaccine views and his anti-vaccine activism on Facebook. Let me make it clear to you that he is an administrator of an anti-vaccine Facebook page:

The page is titled “Parents and Others Against Vaccines.” If that is not anti-vaccine, I don’t know what is. We rational people have a mole in that group, and that’s how we learned of Dr. Bob Sears’ involvement. Yet it doesn’t take covert action to see his anti-vaccine ways. Dr. Bob Sears does the anti-vaccine thing quite well out in the open...

Read more at: Dr. Bob Sears is not anti-vaccine, except when he is, which is pretty much all the time by Reuben

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Irresponsible promotion of quackery even by the ‘respectable’ press | Edzard Ernst

The question that I hear with unfailing regularity when talking about alternative medicine is WHY IS IT SO POPULAR? I always struggle to find a simple answer – mainly because there is no simple answer. The reasons for patients and consumers to use alternative medicine are complex and multiple. They range from dissatisfaction with conventional medicine to clinging to the last straw. However, one factor is very clearly always involved: the often bafflingly uncritical promotion of quackery by the daily papers – and that even includes those with a reputation for being respectable.

Yesterday’s article in THE TELEGRAPH is as good an example as any. In the following section, I quote excerpts from it and add my own comments in bold. 
It is perhaps easier to list what the naturopath Katrin Hempel doesn’t offer her clients than what she does. “Bioresonance and live blood analysis, acupuncture, biopuncture, infusion therapy, oxyvenation…”

Read more: Irresponsible promotion of quackery even by the ‘respectable’ press

Friday, 7 November 2014

Alternative medicines to die for | Edzard Ernst

If you have diabetes, chances are that you need life-long treatment. Before effective anti-diabetic medications became available, diabetes amounted to a death sentence. Fortunately, these times are long gone.

…unless, of course, you decide to listen to the promises of alternative practitioners many of whom offer a cure for diabetes. Here is just one website of hundreds that does just that. The following is an abbreviated quote where I have changed nothing, not even the numerous spelling mistakes:

Modern medicine has no  permanent cure for diabetes but alternative medicines like yoga ,mudra,ayurveda is very useful to control and even cure diabetes.Ayurveda is an alternative medicine to cure diabetes...
Read the rest here: Alternative medicines to die for

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A new trial seems to show that homeopathy is effective for acute tonsillitis | Edzard Ernst

Acute tonsillitis (AT) is an upper respiratory tract infection which is prevalent, particularly in children. The cause is usually a viral or, less commonly, a bacterial infection. Treatment is symptomatic and usually consists of ample fluid intake and pain-killers; antibiotics are rarely indicated, even if the infection is bacterial by nature. The condition is self-limiting and symptoms subside normally after one week.

 Homeopaths believe that their remedies are effective for AT – but is there any evidence? A recent trial seems to suggest there is...

Read on: A new trial seems to show that homeopathy is effective for acute tonsillitis

Amber Anklets

Some people are born tosspots, some become tosspots, but nobody ever has tosspothood thrust upon them. There’s no excuse for it. Today’s exercise in extreme arsewartery comes to us discourtesy of a woomeister calling herself Tamara (yes, really) and trading as Amber Anklets in the Affluent White Idiot Belt of England. That’s Surrey to you.

I came across this Friend of Sandra‘s as she pelted, with the verbal equivalent of muck and faeces, people who were politely asking for evidence for the claims made for her products on her webshite. Responding to simple questions with frothing hate is of course a hallmark of the terminally cult-ridden, fuckwitted and/or brazenly dishonest. Of course I was intrigued. It didn’t take much effort to find out that she was seriously butthurt at being added to the ASA’s naughty list, for refusing to stop making unsubstantiated claims for her wares. Another paid-up member of … Continue reading

The post Amber Anklets by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice .


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Another dead autistic child killed by his mother

I’m writing this with tears in my eyes. My tears are from frustration and from a form of anger and, dare I say, hate that I feel toward certain people at this moment. I just read about yet another autistic child killed by his mother. This time, the mother (allegedly) threw the child off a bridge.

OFF A GODDAMNED BRIDGE...

Read more at: Another dead autistic child killed by his mother by Reuben

Monday, 3 November 2014

How to mislead people with seemingly sound research | Edzard Ernst

Rigorous research into the effectiveness of a therapy should tell us the truth about the ability of this therapy to treat patients suffering from a given condition – perhaps not one single study, but the totality of the evidence (as evaluated in systematic reviews) should achieve this aim. Yet, in the realm of alternative medicine (and probably not just in this field), such reviews are often highly contradictory.

A concrete example might explain what I mean...

Read more: How to mislead people with seemingly sound research

Two more cases of hype in glamour journals: magnets, cocoa and memory

In the course of thinking about metrics, I keep coming across cases of over-promoted research. An early case was “Why honey isn’t a wonder cough cure: more academic spin“. More recently, I noticed these examples.

“Effect of Vitamin E and Memantine on Functional Decline in Alzheimer Disease".(Spoiler -very little), published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. ”

and ” Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet” , in the New England Journal of Medicine (which had second highest altmetric score in 2013)

and "Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain", published in Science
In all these cases, misleading press releases were issued by the journals themselves and by the universities...

Read the rest on DC's Improbable Science: Two more cases of hype in glamour journals: magnets, cocoa and memory

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The relentless demolition of chiropractic’s reputation by chiropractors | Edzard Ernst

Some people are their worst enemies, and it seems as though chiropractors are no strangers to this strange phenomenon.

On this blog, I frequently criticise chiropractic; my main concerns are that
  1. chiropractors make far too many bogus claims far too often,
  2. there is precious little evidence that their hallmark treatment, spinal manipulation, generates more good than harm.
I repeatedly voice those concerns because I feel strongly that consumers have the right to unbiased information for making evidence-based therapeutic decisions. When I do this, I get invariably attacked by some chiropractors who disagree with me. Frequently, these chiropractors are not interested to discuss the issues I raised with me; instead they insult me in the most primitive way imaginable...

Read on: The relentless demolition of chiropractic’s reputation by chiropractors