MAY
25

Points of Interest 05/24/2017

Doctor leaps on stage at anti-vaccination movie and blasts those gathered Anti-vaccination moms judged harshly, UBC study finds Pain Physician. 2017 May;20(4):229-243. The Effectiveness of Manual Therapy for Relieving Pain, Stiffness, and Dysfunction in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. . "The preliminary evidence from our...
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29 Hits
APR
05

Homeopathic Ethics

I mentioned over at Science-Based Medicine a pair of trials that looked at the efficacy of homeopathy for preventing and treating  influenza. Homeopathy is water. You know that, I know that. That studies are done on the efficacy of water, and that IRB's/ethics committees will approve such studies, demonstrates that reality based medicine doesn...
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334 Hits
MAR
09

Points of Interest 03/08/2017

Australia's anti-vaxxer movement using tried and true methods to instill fear and doubt 'Scientific quackery': UBC study says it's debunked controversial MS procedure Some health fads may not be all that healthy Is it really "FDA approved?" Review raises questions about herbal meds for heart problems
208 Hits
NOV
11

Points of Interest 11/10/2016

Positioning chiropractic as a family healthcare lifestyle . "I have always said that chiropractors are trained to care for the whole body, therefore they are the most qualified to take care of children." How to fool the public with a clinical trial that can't fail 3 reasons researchers are terrified about Donald Trump's presidency
466 Hits
OCT
07

Does it work? Depends on whether the endpoint is subjective or objective.

Do pseudo-medicines work? It all depends on what 'work' means. Do they affect underlying physiologic processes lead to symptoms? Virtually never. Most of the pseudo-medicines discussed on this website are at best implausible verging on the impossible. There is no reason to suspect that acupuncture or chiropractic or reiki or homeopathy would have a...
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3752 Hits
SEP
28

A Proposal for a Now Completed Worthless Chiropractic Study.

Chiropractic, like much of pseudo-medicine, is fundamentally based on a delusion. There is no subluxation complex that can be fixed with spinal manipulation improve spinal function, nerve conduction or improve spinal health, whatever that might be. So it is of no surprise that chiropractic manipulation as shown no benefit for any condition in caref...
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2187 Hits
SEP
14

Acupuncture and Constipation: Ignoring Feynman's Adage

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. Well, you, journal editors and medical journalists.  Richard P. Feynman . Kind of. What can I say about acupuncture that I (and others) haven't said before? Because I am going to say again. Remember, our logo is Sisyphus. Acupuncture theory of qi and...
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3311 Hits
JUL
06

The Onion Becomes Reality for UTI Prevention

There was a classic Onion article from 1999 entitled  Revolutionary New Insoles Combine Five Forms Of Pseudoscience . The magic of alternative medicine is what starts as parody on a humor website becomes reality in the medical literature. I give you Effectiveness of a Combination of Cranberries, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Vitamin C for the M...
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5077 Hits
MAY
11

A Chiropractic First: It Doesn't Work. Further Trials Not Indicated.

Back in 2007 a paper was published, Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study  suggesting that NUCCA manipulations of the neck can lower blood pressure. NUCCA was discussed at length at SBM and this particular study was evaluated in my 17th Quackcast and found to be wanting. &n...
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5157 Hits
APR
29

Points of Interest 04/28/2016

When Getting Arrested for Practicing Medicine without a License is a Good Thing . How Has The Anti-Vaccine Movement Responded To Zika? They're Skeptical This Map Of Vaccination Laws Proves Exactly Why We Need To Address The Problem Head-On Opinion: Anti-vaxxers need to do their research . "It's the same rationale that says if you're building a brid...
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530 Hits
APR
08

Suffering from low p?

Statistics makes my head hurt. I took, and dropped, statistics once a year for 4 years in college. It wasn't the math. My undergraduate degree was physics. It was the concepts. Once they got past flipping a coin and a bell shaped curve, my brain froze. While statistics are important in medicine, they can be misleading. One of the clear concept...
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1419 Hits
JAN
31

Practitioners who ignore research want more taxpayer-funded research

‚Äč Government largesse has funded CAM research for the last twenty-plus years. This expensive effort has resulted in two important discoveries: (1) not a single CAM treatment (as opposed to one that has been purloined from medicine and rebranded "CAM") is proven safe and effective for anything, and (2) CAM practitioners, as a whole, haven't cha...
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1564 Hits
JAN
08
0

Points of Interest 01/07/2016

American expat engineer 'lived with the decomposing body of his son for a MONTH in his house in Spain after trying to cure him with alternative medicine when he fell ill' Confessions of a former naturopathic patient: I am not getting better and it is not my fault Five ways to mislead people with seemingly rigorous trials Why being against genetical...
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1006 Hits
DEC
29
1

The Difference Between Reporting and Realty.

At one time I thought that the B students when into journalism. Now? I sometimes think they didn't even graduate college. For example, take the reporting on The Use of Acupuncture for Pain Management in Pediatric Patients: A Single-Arm Feasibility Study . A preliminary study on 55 children who received 8 acupuncture sessions for chronic pain. No sh...
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Recent comment in this post
Guest — ScienceMonkey
From the abstract (emphasis added) - "Acupuncture on broad indications in infants appears to be a WESTERN PRACTICE with little bas... Read More
Tuesday, 29 December 2015 15:47
1938 Hits
DEC
23
0

Better?

One of the consistent findings in the evaluations of pseudo-medicines is that it is only  the subjective components of an illness that are improved, not the objective components. It is a bit odd to say that patients only think they are better, when in fact they are not. That apparent contradiction is still best demonstrated in Active Albuterol...
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1681 Hits
NOV
10
0

No Acupuncture on Infants and Children for China

If you have been a parent you probably remember just how vulnerable newborns and young children are. I remain amazed we survived as a species before the advent of civilization; crying babies at night must have been the signal for all you can eat for predators on the veldt. Acupuncture has long been popular in China but there are differences be...
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2511 Hits
NOV
08
2

Non-Falsifiable

It has often been noted that pseudo-medicines are immune to data. Practices are never abandoned or changed because of information that suggests lack of safety or efficacy. Pseudo-medicines, as a recent US News article suggests, does not really require data to support it, which is good for its proponents, since such data does not exist. They can be ...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Edward
Thank you, Mark, for consistently referring to pseudo-medicine as pseudo-medicine. I wish everyone in the world of science based m... Read More
Monday, 09 November 2015 02:50
Guest — Ed Murray
Not to justify pseudomed, but how many trials have there been in Alzheimer's where the conclusion is that although we didn't reach... Read More
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 21:53
2313 Hits
NOV
05
0

When IRBs Fail, Babies Suffer

I have been practicing medicine for 30 years. I spent most of my time in acute care hospitals, so I am well acquainted with the many ways people can suffer. Being 58 I have also had my share of medical problems that have caused a reasonable amount of pain and suffering. As a result I have a list of processes that I do not want to experience. At the...
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3214 Hits
SEP
25
0

Points of Interest 09/24/2015

Thundering herd California's anti-vaccine brigade and the dark side of individualism James McEnaney: Why NHS Scotland should stop wasting money on homeopathy Swiss government approves national diploma in yoga . " In April this year, ayurveda was also included for a separate national diploma in naturopathy medicine along with Chinese and European tr...
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1570 Hits
SEP
19
0

Anesthesia Blocks Acupuncture

I still like the description of acupuncture as a theatrical placebo . It describes the process and the results of acupuncture quite nicely. There are any number of ways patients can be fooled into thinking they are getting acupuncture and have an effect. My favorite being that you can induce an acupuncture effect in a rubber hand . It demonstrates ...
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2164 Hits