It is exotic. It is invasive. It is slightly painful. It involves time with a therapist. It involves touch. If anyone had the task to develop a treatment that maximises placebo-effects, he could not come up with a better intervention!
Autism Inc.: The Discredited Science, Shady Treatments and Rising Profits Behind Alternative Autism Treatments - The Texas Observer
In reality, Laidler says, your primary care doctor does a good job of describing available treatments for autism—but it’s not a very happy story. “And parents, like myself, don’t like the truth. Most people are much happier with a pleasant lie than an unpleasant truth. These quacks are selling false hope, and this should be listed up there with heroin as an addictive substance. I’ve had a lot of people chastise me for taking people’s hope away.”
Curing chemophobia: Don’t buy the alternative medicine in “The Boy With a Thorn in His Joints.” - Slate Magazine
Meadows isn’t alone in her molecular paranoia. We are a chemophobic culture. Chemical has become a synonym for something artificial, adulterated, hazardous, or toxic. Chemicals are bad—for you, for your children, for the environment. But whatever chemophobics would like to think, there is no avoiding chemicals, no way to create chemical-free zones. Absolutely everything is made of atoms and molecules; it’s all chemistry.
Studies underwritten by drug or medical device companies aren’t the only research that risks being biased by financial incentives. Competition for funding from any source can influence researchers to focus on designing a study that is more likely to produce a positive outcome. What does “more likely” mean? Allowing too much leeway in determining which side effects are reported or finding reasons to toss out data that does not support a hypothesis can create skewed, unreliable results. There are also competitive professional pressures to get high-impact results published in top-tier journals, which means important confirmation studies for new findings can have a harder time getting published.
Snake Venom Trend Piece. So cliche.
Taken as a whole, these findings suggest high vagal tone makes it easier to generate positive emotions and that this, in turn, drives vagal tone still higher. That is both literally and metaphorically a positive feedback loop. Which is good news for the emotionally positive, but bad for the emotionally negative, for it implies that those who most need a psychosomatic boost are incapable of generating one. A further (as yet unpublished) experiment by Dr Kok suggests, however, that the grumpy need not give up all hope. A simpler procedure than meditation, namely reflecting at night on the day’s social connections, did seem to cause some improvement to their vagal tone. This might allow even those with a negative outlook on life to “bootstrap” their way to a mental state from which they could then advance to the more powerful technique of meditation.
I actually do believe in this. It will be interesting to see, if they are able to find new ways to manipulate the vagal tone.
An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in March put these questions to a panel of more than 400 doctors with relevant clinical experience. Eighty-two per cent thought they’d been shown evidence that test “A” saved lives – they hadn’t – and of those, 83 per cent thought the benefit was large or very large. Only 60 per cent thought that test “B” saved lives, and fewer than one-third thought the benefit was large or very large – which is intriguing, because of the few people on course to die from cancer, the test saves 20 per cent of them. In short, the doctors simply did not understand the statistics on cancer screening.
The practical implications of this are obvious and worrying. It seems that doctors may need a good deal of help interpreting the evidence they are likely to be exposed to on clinical effectiveness, while epidemiologists and statisticians need to think hard about how they present their discoveries.
Why am I not surprised?
The lack of laboratory diagnostic tests for mental disorders, along with the shady marketing practices of the pharmaceutical industry, are often viewed as the most fatal flaws in the medical practice of psychiatry. This is especially true among critics of psychiatry, but doctors in other medical specialties tend to have a dismal opinion of psychiatry1 as well (Fazel & Ebmeier, 2009). Widespread perceptions that the field is relatively low in scientific precision, and that the patients have a poor prognosis, are among the possible reasons for this…Instead, the goal should be to create a “stratified psychiatry” of phenotypic or genotypic subtypes - although they caution that the promise of “personalized medicine” has not been obtained in other specialties either. But they point to discovery of the gene mutation resulting in overexpression of HER2 in breast cancer, and the development of monoclonal antibody treatments, as one success story. This type of stratification doesn’t require a complete understanding of the etiology of breast cancer.
65 percent of the doctors (or former medical students) had created an advance directive, i.e. a set of legal documents spelling out in advance what sort of end-of-life care they would like. Only about 20 percent of the public does this. When asked whether they would want cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, if they were in a chronic coma, about 90 percent of the Johns Hopkins doctors said no. Only about 25 percent of the public gives the same answer….only 8 percent of patients survived for more than one month. Of these, only about 3 percent could lead a mostly normal life. A little more than 3 percent were in a vegetative state, and about 2 percent were alive but had a “poor” outcome.
Two things: Doctors understand how important quality of life is and isn’t accounted for in survival rates. Second, the general public overestimates their own personal chances of having a miracle recovery, because those are the stories that they hear, while doctors at the front lines are more aware of the negative outcomes.
No. Though I think that his line of thinking was that Vitamin C is one of the few necessary nutrients that we absolutely cannot produce in our own bodies. So that has some kind of meaning.
Technology - David A. Shaywitz - Is One Company About to Lock Up the Electronic Medical Records Market? - The Atlantic
“The idea that the FDA somehow inhibits innovation is just based on false premises,” says Michael Halpern, manager for the Scientific Integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “The agency is able to effectively balance speed without compromising health and safety in a way that suggests Congress should not view the FDA as an obstacle that needs to be reined in, but they need to give the agency the resources and independence so that it effectively protects people.”
Doctors have a weird God complex, that is fed by the patient’s deification of them. Sometimes there are no cures, there is no pill, there is only hope, and it isn’t God that cured you; it was your own goddamn body. The human immune system, the product of billions of years of evolution, is what truly deserves praise. Of course, maybe you succumb to the illness, and that’s all there is to it.