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rampant

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Governments take action to prevent vaccination-rates from falling

In 2006, the World Health Organization and UNICEF created the ‘Global Immunization Vision and Strategy’, a 10-year strategy with 4 main goals:
  1. to immunize more people against more diseases,
  2. to introduce a range of newly available vaccines and technologies,
  3. to integrate other critical health interventions with immunization,
  4. to manage vaccination programmes within the context of global interdependence.
Read the full post: Governments take action to prevent vaccination-rates from falling

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

30 May = World Bedwetting Day

Today is ‘World Bedwetting Day’!

No, don’t laugh; the event is initiated and supported by the World Bedwetting Day Steering Committee, which consists of the International Children’s Continence Society (ICCS) and the European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU) along with professional groups across the globe (see website for details).

A good day to remember that […]

Read the rest here: 30 May = World Bedwetting Day

Monday, 29 May 2017

Gems in homeopathy, part 2: pre-clinical research

In my previous post, I mentioned the current volume of the ‘Allgemeinen Homöopathischen Zeitung’ which contains the abstracts of the ‘Homeopathic World Congress 2017’ (btw: the remarkable opening speech for the WORLD CONFERENCE ON HOMEOPATHY 1937, in Berlin might also be of interest; excerpts from it can be found here). Amongst these abstracts, the collector […]

Sunday, 28 May 2017

HOMEOPATHY: the NHMRC report revisited

The NHMRC report on homeopathy is the most thorough, independent and reliable investigation into the value of homeopathy ever. As its conclusions are devastatingly negative about the value of homeopathy, it is hardly surprising that homeopaths tried everything and anything to undermine it. This new article gives what I believe to be a fair account […]

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Gems in homeopathy, part 1: clinical research

The current volume of the ‘Allgemeinen Homöopathischen Zeitung’ contains all the abstracts of the ‘Homeopathic World Congress 2017’ which will be hosted in Leipzig, 14-17 July this year by the ‘Deutschen Zentralvereins Homöopathischer Ärzte’ under the patronage of the German Health Secretary, Annette Widmann-Mauz. As not many readers of this blog are likely to be regular […]

Friday, 26 May 2017

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: some dietary supplements do work! (Chondroitin for OA)

This study tested chondroitin sulfate 800 mg/day (CS) pharmaceutical-grade in the management of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. It was designed as a prospective, randomised, 6-month, 3-arm, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo and celecoxib (200 mg/day)-controlled trial. The primary endpoints were changes in pain on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and in the Lequesne Index (LI). Minimal-Clinically Important Improvement (MCII), Patient-Acceptable […]
Read the rest here: SURPRISE, SURPRISE: some dietary supplements do work! (Chondroitin for OA)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A “self-perpetuating motor control problem”: more from the subluxation cult of chiropractic

The Rubicon Group (TRG) is a collaboration of chiropractic educational institutions, emerging educational efforts and interested parties. The seven institutional members include Barcelona College of Chiropractic (Barcelona, Spain); the Chiropraktik Akademie (Dresden, Germany); Life Chiropractic College West (San Francisco, California, USA); Life University (Atlanta, Georgia, USA); McTimoney College of Chiropractic (Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK); New […]

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

“Apricot Seeds for Cancer Treatment” … or how to confuse vulnerable cancer patients

In my view, the website of ‘FOODS 4 BETTER HEALTH’ should be more aptly called FOOD FOR QUICKER DEATH. At least this is the conclusion that came to my mind after reading their post on ‘Apricot Seeds: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Their Role in Cancer Treatment’. 

Under the heading ‘Apricot Seeds for Cancer Treatment’, we […]

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

How to kill patients with (‘risk-free’) homeopathic remedies

The website of ‘HOMEOPATHY 360’ has just published a new post offering a handy instruction for killing patients suffering from acute appendicitis. If you do not believe me – I don’t blame you, I too found it hard to believe – read this short excerpt advocating homeopathy for this life-threatening condition (for readers without a medical […]

Monday, 22 May 2017

HAPPILY PROMOTING BOGUS TREATMENTS: the story of animal chiropractic

I am sure you always wanted to know what animal chiropractic is all about! 

This website explains it quite well: 

START OF QUOTES 
…Animal chiropractic (veterinary spinal manipulative therapy) focuses on the preservation and health/wellness of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. Chiropractic is the science that is centered around the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. […]

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Enforcement Policy Statement on Marketing Claims for OTC Homeopathic Drugs

The US ‘FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’ has issued an important statement about homeopathic products. The full text with references can be found here; below are a few quotes which I thought were crucial: 

“…Homeopathy, which dates back to the late-eighteenth century, is based on the view that disease symptoms can be treated by minute doses of substances […]

Saturday, 20 May 2017

‘DETOX’ = a danerous and counter-productive illusion

Alternative medicine is deeply rooted in the notion of ‘detox’. This website is one of thousands and displays some of the issues in an exemplary fashion: 

START OF QUOTES 
…There are more than 80,000 chemicals used in the industrialized world. Accumulate enough of these toxins and you might suffer, at the very least, fatigue, headaches, muscle […]

Friday, 19 May 2017

Use of alternative medicine is associated with low vaccination rates

The fact that some alternative medicine (the authors use the abbreviation ‘CAM’) practitioners recommend against vaccination is well-known and often-documented. Specifically implicated are:
  • Physicians practising integrative medicine 
  • Doctors of anthroposophical medicine 
  • Naturopaths 
  • Homeopaths 
  • Chiropractors 
As a result, children consulting homeopaths, naturopaths or chiropractors are less likely to receive vaccines and more likely to get vaccine-preventable diseases. These effects […]

'First Ever' Study Comparing Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children Shows Harm from Vaccines?

In April 2017, anti-vaccine groups seemed to have finally gotten what amounted to the Holy Grail for their cause: an allegedly large-scale, peer-reviewed study showing the links between vaccines and autism among a large population of children. Vaccine skeptic groups, who reject the wide body of scientific literature refuting that link between vaccines and autism, have long sought such a study, but they’ve been hampered by practical concerns, most notably the ethical implications of withholding vaccines from a large group of children...

Read on: 'First Ever' Study Comparing Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children Shows Harm from Vaccines? - Snopes.com

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Adverse events of (chiropractic) spinal manipulations: the unethical behaviour persists

How often have I pointed out that most studies of chiropractic (and other alternative therapies) are overtly unethical because they fail to report adverse events? And if you think this is merely my opinion, you are mistaken. This new analysis by a team of chiropractors aimed to describe the extent of adverse events reporting in published RCTs of […]

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

More BS from the BMJ

A recent post discussed a ‘STATE OF THE ART REVIEW’ from the BMJ. When I wrote it, I did not know that there was more to come. It seems that the BMJ is planning an entire series on the state of the art of BS! The new paper certainly looks like it:
Headaches, including primary headaches […]

Read the rest here: More BS from the BMJ

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Alan Schmukler's Homeopathy Handbook - Plague of Mice

... Anyway, back to Homeopathy: An A-Z Home Handbook, to give it its full title. There is a webshite misnamed healgently-dot-com that punts it to all and sundry, and yes: it makes all the usual false claims for the sugar pills it promotes. I may use up another post to go further into Schmukko’s site, as it’s small, but rich in WTF. Let’s start with the book. As a precautionary measure, please place a pillow in front of you to reduce the risk of concussion from repeated headdesking. You may also need something eminently punchable, like an inflatable Andrew Wakefield doll...

Full post here: Alan Schmukler's Homeopathy Handbook - Plague of Mice

Insisting on evidence in alternative medicine is hypocritical, isn’t it?

The website of BMJ Clinical Evidence seems to be popular with fans of alternative medicine (FAMs). That sounds like good news: it’s an excellent source, and one can learn a lot about EBM when studying it. But there is a problem: FAMs don’t seem to really study it (alternatively they do not have the power of comprehension to […]
Read the rest here: Insisting on evidence in alternative medicine is hypocritical, isn’t it?

Monday, 15 May 2017

EU Launching New Health Award for NGOs Working on Vaccination

Vytenis Andriukaitis, aka Facepalm Man and Seat 123, has a lot to say about the harm anti-vaccination activists do:


UniMed Cult Cartel – Naming Names | Universal Medicine SCAM Exposed

Universal Medicine Affiliated Medical Professionals, Allied Health Professionals, Complementary Health Practitioners, Unqualified ‘Healers’, Meditation groups & businesses referring to UM practitioners

Practitioners and groups listed are recruiters for the Universal Medicine Cult. Unqualified ‘healers’ listed believe themselves to be accredited ‘Esoteric Healing’ practitioners through Universal Medicine’s bogus accreditation body, the Esoteric Practitioners’ Association...

Read onUniMed Cult Cartel – Naming Names | Universal Medicine SCAM Exposed

Harms of Nonpharmacologic Therapies

The new guidelines by the American College of Physicians entitled ‘Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians’ have already been the subject of the previous post. Today, I want to have a closer look at a small section of these guidelines which, I think, […]

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Acupuncture for back pain: an open letter by a Canadian therapist

Concerned about the new ACP guidelines on ‘Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians’, Andrea MacGregor asked me to publish her ‘open letter’:
I am a student about to graduate and register as a massage therapist in Canada, and I am writing to […]
Read the rest here: Acupuncture for back pain: an open letter by a Canadian therapist

Saturday, 13 May 2017

The harm and hypocrisy of Gwyneth Paltrow and GOOP distilled to 1 image | Dr. Jen Gunter

GOOP is obviously oblivious to the fact that alcohol is carcinogenic. Don’t know or don’t care? Probably don’t care to know as talking about the health risks of alcohol interferes with their brand of wasted worried wellness. GOOP needs you afraid of fake toxins, not real ones. Unlike facts alcohol has a prominent position on GOOP...

 Read the full post: The harm and hypocrisy of Gwyneth Paltrow and GOOP distilled to 1 image | Dr. Jen Gunter

After “knocking the hell out of alternative medicine”, let me offer you some real solutions

I recently got this comment which might seem reasonable to some readers: 

“What is most humorous about the author and this website is how he knocks the hell out of alternative medicine and therapies yet never provides readers with any alternatives, despite claiming to be an expert. For example: it’s like needing new tyres for […]

Friday, 12 May 2017

UK Homeopathy Regulation: Homeopathy and Autism - Part Three

The potential implications of the accreditation of the Society of Homeopaths (SoH) as a voluntary register by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) were discussed in a previous post. As discussed in the last post, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) did rule against Teddington Homeopathy's promotion of CEASE Therapy. Teddington Homeopathy chose not to comply.

This ruling does set a precedent and one that the SoH would do well to take notice of...

Read more: UK Homeopathy Regulation: Homeopathy and Autism - Part Three

Thursday, 11 May 2017

A method of ending discussions with belligerent twits

It has been pointed out that many of the discussions we have on this blog are like pigeon chess. The term comes from a comment made by Scott D. Weitzenhoffer about Evolution vs. Creationism: An introduction: “Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon — it knocks the […]

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

UK Homeopathy Regulation: Homeopathy and Autism - Part Two

The previous post outlined (probably with some errors) the basics of the diagnosis and causation of Austistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It also touched on the prognosis for those diagnosed. It raised questions about the competence of lay homeopaths in terms of their ability to diagnose ASD, whether their ideas about causation bear any relationship to reality and hinted at the ethics of offering treatment.

This post will examine the nature of homeopathic treatment of autism, in particular CEASE therapy...

Read more: UK Homeopathy Regulation: Homeopathy and Autism - Part Two

Is the Royal College of Nursing promoting quackery?

You might think that the question asked in the title of this post is a bit impertinent. Let’s see whether you change your mind after reading on.

“Come along for a ten minute taster sessions and experience the Bowen Technique. It is appropriate for a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, including back pain, sciatica, neck, shoulder and knee […]

Read the rest here: Is the Royal College of Nursing promoting quackery?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Alternative medicine for chronic pain: ‘State of the Art’ review in the BMJ

The BMJ has always been my favourite Medical journal. (Need any proof for this statement? A quick Medline search tells me that I have over 60 publications in the BMJ.) But occasionally, the BMJ also disappoints me a great deal. 

One of the most significant disappointments was recently published under the heading of STATE OF THE […]

Monday, 8 May 2017

Inside the brain of a homeopath

The website of the HOMEOPATHY HUB gives us intriguing access to the brain of a homeopath. It tells us that “protecting patient choice is at the heart of everything we do. Homeopathy, which is the second largest system of medicine in the world, is a form of treatment which plays a vital role in the lives of hundreds […]Read the rest here: Inside the brain of a homeopath

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Brain Dust and other surprises

I know, many of you think that proponents of alternative therapies are a bit daft, intellectually challenges or naïve. This may be true for some of them, but others are very much on the ball and manage things that seemed almost impossible. Who, for instance, would have thought it possible to combine all of the following features, concepts and […]

Read the rest here: Brain Dust and other surprises

Saturday, 6 May 2017

"UK Homeopathy Regulation": Qualified to judge?

After this morning's traditional Edzard Ernst reblog, this happened:
So it seemed like an ideal time to reblog that excellent post as well. It begins thusly:

Qualified to judge?

One of the claims that is frequently made by some homeopaths is that the ASA has used expert witnesses who are not in a position to draw conclusions about homeopathy because they have no qualifications in homeopathy. It is often an accusation made of anyone who criticises homeopathy.

Not Occult
Occult can be defined as "knowledge of the hidden". It seems apt in this context as some have accused homeopathy of being "occult" in the common sense of the word.
The idea put forward that homeopathy can only be judged by those "qualified" in homeopathy is strange. There is a vast amount of "information" (some of which is wildly contradictory) on homeopathy in the public domain...

Read the full, informative and comprehensive post here: UK Homeopathy Regulation: Qualified to judge?

Who is an EXPERT in homeopathy?

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed: when homeopathy-fans run out of arguments, they tend to conduct an ‘ad hominem’ attack. They like to do this in several different ways, but one of the most popular version is to shout with indignation: YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED!!! 

The aim of this claim is to brand the opponent as someone who […]

Read the rest here: Who is an EXPERT in homeopathy?

Friday, 5 May 2017

Is homeopathy effective for allergic rhinitis? Mathie et al think so; I disagree

As the data suggesting that homeopathy is effective for improving health is – to put it mildly – less than convincing, a frantic search is currently on amongst homeopaths and their followers to identify a specific condition for which the evidence is stronger than for all conditions pooled into one big analysis. If they could show that it works for just […]

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Acupressure works … oh no, it doesn’t !!!

This double-blind RCT aimed to test the efficacy of self-administered acupressure for pain and physical function in adults with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). 

150 patients with symptomatic KOA participated and were randomized to 
  • verum acupressure, 
  • sham acupressure, 
  • or usual care. 
Verum and sham, but not usual care, participants were taught to self-apply acupressure once daily, five days/week for […]

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

CAM-use delays cancer diagnosis

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the use of CAM among newly diagnosed breast cancer patients was associated with delays in presentation, diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer. A multi-centre cross-sectional design was used and the time points of the individual breast cancer patients’ journey from first visit, resolution of diagnosis and treatments were evaluated in […]

Read the rest here: CAM-use delays cancer diagnosis

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

UK Homeopathy Regulation: Homeopathy and Autism - Part One

Questions about the competence of lay homeopaths are often raised even by other homeopaths. Although Codes of Ethics and Practice often state that a practitioner must practice within their limits, there seems to little understanding of what these limits might be...

Read full post: UK Homeopathy Regulation: Homeopathy and Autism - Part One

The cracking sound during spinal manipulation: much to do about nothing

Belgian researchers (if I remember correctly, I was the external examiner of the PhD of one of them) conducted a survey aimed at examining the beliefs about the cracking sounds often heard during high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) thrusts in individuals with and without personal experience of this technique. 

The researchers included 100 individuals. Among them, 60 had no history of […]