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Monday, 29 February 2016

A tribute to Andrew Herxheimer (1925 – 2016) | Edzard Ernst

On Sunday 21 February, Andrew Herxheimer died at the age of 90. He was a clinical pharmacologist, founding editor of the Drugs & Therapeutics Bulletin from 1963 to 1992, Emeritus Fellow of the UK Cochrane Centre, convenor of the Cochrane Collaboration on Adverse Effects Methods Group and a co-founder of the DIPEx charity, which owns and runs www.healthtalk.org . […]

Read on: A tribute to Andrew Herxheimer (1925 – 2016)

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Ernst is slagging off homeopathy, yet pharmaceuticals kill 100k a year | Edzard Ernst

I get comments of this nature all the time, sometimes by the dozen per day. As the argument is so very common, let me ONCE AGAIN explain what is wrong with it. Here are 10 very simple points for those who find it hard to understand the issue.

My expertise is in alternative medicine and not […]

Read on: Ernst is slagging off homeopathy, yet pharmaceuticals kill 100k a year

Friday, 26 February 2016

Another serious complication after neck manipulation + a reminder of the importance of informed consent | Edzard Ernst

Cervical spine manipulation (CSM) is a popular manipulative therapy employed by chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals. It remains controversial because its benefits are in doubt and its safety is questionable. CSM carries the risk of serious neurovascular complications, primarily due to vertebral artery dissection (VAD) and subsequent vertebrobasilar stroke.

Chinese physicians recently reported a rare case of […]

Read on: Another serious complication after neck manipulation + a reminder of the importance of informed consent

Thursday, 25 February 2016

CAM for cancer? Hurry and submit an article for publication | Edzard Ernst

I just came across this announcement and thought I let the readers of this blog know about it:
Journal of Cancer Therapy: Special Issue on Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer
A complementary therapy is treatment that is used along with standard medical treatment. An alternative therapy is generally used instead of conventional medical treatment. […]
Read on: CAM for cancer? Hurry and submit an article for publication

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

…and here is the original (of my homeopathy article in the INDEPENDENT) | Edzard Ernst

The Independent asked me yesterday to write a 500 piece on homeopathy. I accepted with pleasure. About two hours after I had sent it, my article appeared on their website. As I had not even seen their edited version, I was surprised how much they changed without my permission.

No, I am not cross about this […]

Read on: …and here is the original (of my homeopathy article in the INDEPENDENT)

Saturday, 20 February 2016

A new and important declaration about homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

Germany is, as we all know, the home of homeopathy. Here it has an unbroken popularity, plenty of high level support and embarrassingly little opposition. The argument that homeopathy has repeatedly been shown to merely rely on placebo effects seems to count for nothing in Germany.

Perhaps this is going to change now. On January 30, […]

Read on: A new and important declaration about homeopathy

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Some chiropractors seem to believe that progress is a malignant disease | Edzard Ernst

On his website, Christopher Kent describes himself as a chiropractor and an attorney. He is the owner of On Purpose, LLC, and the president of the ‘Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation’. This organisation states on their website the following:
The chiropractic profession is in the midst of deep and serious changes. These changes are taking place in the […]
 Read on: Some chiropractors seem to believe that progress is a malignant disease

Monday, 15 February 2016

PRINCE CHARLES: the ‘immense value’ of alternative diagnostic methods | Edzard Ernst

Non-validated diagnostic methods, like those in abundant use in alternative medicine, run an unacceptably high risk of producing false positive or false negative diagnoses. The former would be a diagnosis that the patient is, in fact, not suffering from; this enables the charlatan to get rich on treating something that is not even there. The […]

Read on: PRINCE CHARLES: the ‘immense value’ of alternative diagnostic methods

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Let me tell you a story…

Spoiler alert: This story does not have a happy ending.

Back in 1932, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) decided that it would be a good idea to understand the natural history of syphilis infections. They wanted to know what happened to a human body when the infection took place, from beginning to tragic […]



Read more at: Let me tell you a story… by Reuben

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Veterinary homeopathy? No thanks…(sorry Charles)! | Edzard Ernst

Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, gave a lecture on the subject of veterinary homeopathy in the mid-1810s. Ever since, homeopathy has been used for treating animals. Von Boennighausen, a Dutch lawyer and early convert to homeopathy, was one of the first influential proponents of veterinary homeopathy.

However, veterinary medical schools tended to take a very dim view of homoeopathy, and […]

Read on: Veterinary homeopathy? No thanks…(sorry Charles)!

Friday, 12 February 2016

An unusual case report of a stroke caused by chiropractic neck manipulation | Edzard Ernst

Case reports of adverse effects after chiropractic spinal manipulation usually come as publications in peer-reviewed medical journals. As such they tend to documents that are factual, detached and clinical. This is an intended effect and is meant to increase objectivity; at the same time it omits all of the directness and emotions that are associated with […]

Read on: An unusual case report of a stroke caused by chiropractic neck manipulation

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Scotland College of Chiropractic: out of kilter with science? | Zeno's Blog

Guest post by Blue Wode 

Introduction What have the Scots ever done for us? The answer is a candid ‘quite a lot‘. Over the last few centuries we have been indebted to many remarkable, but often unsung, Scottish scientists and innovators for improving the quality of our lives.

By comparison, what have chiropractors ever done […]

Read on: The Scotland College of Chiropractic: out of kilter with science?

This will make you laugh, I promise…it’s from a homeopath | Edzard Ernst

Over the years, I have received so many insults, attacks and legal challenges that I could start writing blog posts only about them and the issues involved. Recently someone asked me during the discussion part of a public lecture: “How did you manage to deal with all this aggression emotionally?” My answer was meant as […]

Read on: This will make you laugh, I promise…it’s from a homeopath

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

This must be the worst ‘peer-reviewed’ article on homeopathy for a long time | Edzard Ernst

Over the years, I had to get used to some abominably poor research in alternative medicine, particularly homeopathy. This new paper takes the biscuit, in my fairly well-informed opinion.

The article in question reports a survey investigating the management of paediatric tonsillopharyngitis, with a focus on natural remedies. For that purpose, 138 paediatricians, general practitioners and ear-nose-throat […]

Read on: This must be the worst ‘peer-reviewed’ article on homeopathy for a long time

Monday, 8 February 2016

Hypnotherapy against chronic pain: does it matter whether it’s ‘just a placebo’? | Edzard Ernst

Chronic pain is a common and serious problem for many patients. Treatment often includes non-pharmacological approaches despite the mostly flimsy evidence to support them. The objective of this study was to measure the feasibility and efficacy of hypnosis (including self-hypnosis) in the management of chronic pain in older hospitalized patients.

A single center randomized controlled trial using […]

Read on: Hypnotherapy against chronic pain: does it matter whether it’s ‘just a placebo’?

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Daniel Dereser, CEO of Boiron Canada, lying for Big Sugar

The post Daniel Dereser, CEO of Boiron Canada, lying for Big Sugar by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.

I am deeply saddened to have to report to you that not only has Dana Ullman’s circumcised-penis-in-a-shirt look apparently become popular among homeopathy shills, so has his practice of taking the name of scientific studies and meta-analyses in vain. I don’t know why they do it: all this stuff is online and easily verified. Are they really that balls-out brazen that they imagine potential marks are too fucking stupid to look anything up? Probably. Are they themselves so fucking stupid that they think blocking anybody who spots and denounces their shenanigans on social media will silence criticism, and make everything nice and cosy again? Certainly.
Here’s an example: Daniel Dereser, of Boiron Canada. That’s him in the appallingly inept photo on the left. Dereser blocked me for pointing out, quite politely and with evidence, that his claim in the tweet below is incorrect.

2005 Lancet meta-analysis showing strong evidences on … Continue reading

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Catastrophic outcome of chiropractic spinal manipulation | Edzard Ernst

We all hope that serious complications after chiropractic care are rare. However, this does not mean they are unimportant. Multi-vessel cervical dissection with cortical sparing is an exceptional event in clinical practice. Such a case has just been described as a result of chiropractic upper spinal manipulation.

Neurologists from Qatar published a case report of a 55-year-old […]

Read on: Catastrophic outcome of chiropractic spinal manipulation

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A risk of herbal medicine that has so far been neglected | Edzard Ernst

On this blog, I have repeatedly tried to alert consumers and patients to the risks of herbal medicine. The risks include:
  • toxicity of one or more ingredients of the plant, 
  • interactions with other medicines, 
  • contamination with toxic non-herbal substances such as heavy metals, 
  • adulteration with synthetic drugs such as steroids, 
  • ineffectiveness in treating the target disease 
  • reduction of adherence […]
Read on: A risk of herbal medicine that has so far been neglected

Monday, 1 February 2016

The UK regulator has just given licences to 5 homeopathic placebos | Edzard Ernst

Natural Pharmacy Business reported that the UK homeopathic pharmacy, Helios, has launched 5 new combination remedies. Nothing exciting about that, you might say. But wait, these products have licences from the UK regulator and are thus allowed to make therapeutic claims. A spokesperson for Helios was quoted as stating about the new products that ‘…we can actually […]

Read on: The UK regulator has just given licences to 5 homeopathic placebos