JAN
18
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Do we need Science-Based Ethics?

Steve Novella started the science-based medicine movement, if movement it is, in part because evidence-based medicine was inadequate to analyze the claims of pseudo-medicines.

The positive results of most pseudo-medicines are a result of bias and poor methodology, not a real effect. But evidence-based medicine was not equipped to counter the false results of pseudo-medical studies with zero prior plausibility.

This is most evident in the Cochrane reviews, which apply their meta-analytical methodologies to the fantastical interventions of acupuncture, homeopathy as if they had meaning.

Science-based medicine is a needed antidote to the subversion of evidence-based medicine. Given the growth of integrative medicine programs in the US, I suspect the antidote is not popular.

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JAN
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Points of Interest 01/17/2015

J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Jun;20(6):452–60. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0212. Epub 2014 Mar 10. Toward topological descriptions of the therapeutic process: part 3. Two new metaphors based on quantum superposition, wave function “collapse,” and conic sections.

5 Steps in Talking With Patients About Alternative Medicine.

Improving Research on the Efficacy, Effectiveness, and Harms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Um, no. “When compared with other forms of medicine, TCM is analogous to some surgical techniques in which individual doctors use different methods, some of which are considered new or novel and can be implemented without formal evaluation.”

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JAN
14
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Points of Interest 01/13/2015

Soc Sci Med. 2014 Dec 19;128C:18–24. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.12.020. Boundary objects in complementary and alternative medicine: Acupuncture vs. Christian Science.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:872320. doi: 10.1155/2014/872320. Epub 2014 Dec 10. Trend and pattern of herb and supplement use in the United States: results from the 2002, 2007, and 2012 national health interview surveys. “An estimated 40.6 million US adults reported herb and supplement use in 2012. However, the rate of herb and supplement use dropped from 18.9% in 2002 to 17.9% in 2007 and 2012 (P < 0.05).”

Homeopathy. 2015 Jan;104(1):3–8. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2014.11.001. Epub 2014 Dec 17. Veterinary homeopathy: meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials. “Meta-analysis provides some very limited evidence that clinical intervention in animals using homeopathic medicines is distinguishable from corresponding intervention using placebos. The low number and quality of the trials hinders a more decisive conclusion.”

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JAN
10
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Points of Interest 01/09/2014

 

Making nonsense high tech: Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014 Aug;2014:518–521. Development of Automatic Manipulation Device for Acupuncture (AMDA). “Needle lifting and thrusting manipulation is one of common skills in acupuncture. However, there exists artificial error in frequency and amplitude due to individual difference when performing lifting and thrusting during acupuncture. For providing stable and quantified effects and higher frequency when doing lifting and thrusting manipulation, a well controlled device is needed. The aim of this article is to report the preliminary results of the development of Auto Manipulation Device for Acupuncture (AMDA) and characterization of its functional parameters.”Scott Med J. 2015 Jan 7. pii: 0036933014565587. Acupuncture-induced pneumothorax: the hidden complication. “We present a case of acupuncture-induced pneumothorax and describe some changes to acupuncture practice that we would like to see implemented.” Preferably giving it up?Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Nov;3(6):12–8. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2014.038. Regular consumption of sauerkraut and its effect on human health: a bibliometric analysis. “Sauerkraut, one of the oldest traditional foods, has a variety of beneficial effects on human health. However, unwanted effects such as intolerance reactions must be considered when dealing with sauerkraut as a functional food.”Natural therapies: what the scientists sayAnti-vaccination campaigner – Dr Sherri Tenpenny forced to cancel Sydney and Melbourne shows. “Dr Tenpenny tweeted on Jan 4,“Australian press has labeled me a “public health menace.” Their country of 23M isn’t allowed to know the truth.” The Australian press has it right.The legal argument against mandatory vaccination
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JAN
03
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Points of Interest 01/02/2015

J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2014 Dec;58(4):456–66. Effects of spinal manipulation versus therapeutic exercise on adults with chronic low back pain: a literature review. “Based on the findings of this systematic review there is no conclusive evidence that clearly favours spinal manipulation or exercise as more effective in treatment of CLBP.”

Acupunct Med. 2014 Dec 30. pii: acupmed–2014–010679. doi: 10.1136/acupmed–2014–010679. Association of pre- and post-treatment expectations with improvements after acupuncture in patients with migraine.. “However, patients with 100% post-treatment expectations reported fewer NDMA than those with 0% expectations (primary outcome: 1.3 vs 5.0 days, p<0.001) and were more likely to have a favourable response (100% vs 0%: OR 68.87, 95% CI 6.26 to 1449.73, p=0.002). Similar results were found when analysing the impact of expectation on the secondary outcomes.”

One mans ethics is anothers horror: BMJ Open. 2014 Dec 30;4(12):e006423. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen–2014–006423. Moxibustion for the treatment of pressure ulcers: study protocol for a pilot, multicentre, randomised controlled trial. “This trial has undergone ethical scrutiny and been approved by the ethics review boards of First Affiliated Hospital of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine and Second Affiliated Hospital of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine (Permission number: HZYEYLP2014). The results of this study will provide clinical evidence for the feasibility, efficacy and safety of moxibustion for pressure ulcers.”

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JAN
01
0

It's A Bad Flu Season. Use Acupuncture ?!?

It is looking to be a bad flu season that has, as I write this on the last day of 2014, killed 15 children and more adults. We have had one death in my hospital system from influenza this year. So what is to be done for the prevention and treatment of influenza? University Hospitals in Cleveland suggests a worthless pseudo-medicine: Acupuncture for Cold and Flu Season.

As an Infectious Disease doctor when I think of treating or preventing potentially fatal illnesses, somehow magic doesn’t jump to the top of the list.

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JAN
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Points of Interest 12/31/2014

J Neurol Sci. 2014 Jun 15;341(1–2):1–7. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2014.04.016. Epub 2014 Apr 24. Is acupuncture efficacious therapy in Parkinson’s disease? Yes: “To date, the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating Parkinson’s disease is not convincing.”And no: “There are needs for further studies with improved methodological quality.”

Why New North Carolina Measles Cases Worries Health Officials. “The infected person was unvaccinated.”

Acupuncture for Cold and Flu Season. Absolute nonsense from a University.

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3431 Hits
DEC
25
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Points of Interest 12/24/2014

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:313549. doi: 10.1155/2014/313549. Epub 2014 Nov 4. Efficacy of acupuncture for psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. “This review and meta-analysis could not confirm that acupuncture was an effective treatment for psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction.”As always, poor quality studies show effects: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Dec 23;12:CD004504. Herbal medicine for low-back pain. “C. frutescens (Cayenne) reduces pain more than placebo. Although H. procumbens, S. alba, S. officinale L., S. chilensis, and lavender essential oil also seem to reduce pain more than placebo, evidence for these substances was of moderate quality at best”Maturitas. 2014 Nov 20. pii: S0378–5122(14)00354–5. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.11.006. Chinese medicine treatment for menopausal symptoms in the UK health service: Is a clinical trial warranted?. Nope.2014, a Bad Year for HomoeopathyFinally, the anti-vaccine movement is losing steam
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Guidry
My favorite quote concerning the anti vaccine movement came from an Australian with a child in the ICU. He said he had overestimat... Read More
Thursday, 25 December 2014 11:20
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DEC
23
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Points of Interest 11/22/2014

Physiol Behav. 2014 Dec 17. pii: S0031–9384(14)00653–2. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.030. When pain is not only pain: Inserting needles into the body evokes distinct reward-related brain responses in the context of a treatment.Could a hug a day keep infection at bay?Vaccinating our children is a gift, not a threatHomeopathy Plus unequivocally NOT a safer alternative to vaccination says courtThe Coming of the Light: Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Medicine and Health in 2014
3635 Hits
DEC
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Points of Interest 12/16/2014

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014 Apr;7(2):65–70. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 Apr 11. Acupuncture in the management of acute dental pain. No placebo = worthless study‘Kids’ Diseases’ Now Hitting Adults Kids’ Flu Shots Help Others Fight Flu, Too “…that immunizing school-aged children from influenza can protect other segments of the population as well.”
3867 Hits
DEC
13
4

Learned Helplessness

Psychology was, I admit, not my strong suite back in my pre-med days, the one class that ruined an otherwise exemplary report card.

The only thing I took away from my psychology class was the concept of learned helplessness, perhaps because that describes a lot of medical education. To quote the ever helpful wikipedia,

Learned helplessness is a behaviour in which an organism forced to endure aversive, painful or otherwise unpleasant stimuli, becomes unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters with those stimuli, even if they are escapable. Presumably, the organism has learned that it cannot control the situation and therefore does not take action to avoid the negative stimulus.

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Guest — Barbara Ann Wilson, MD
So scary! Meant to be wild creatures - cage itself (if not designed by those with owl-human bond similar to people who have hawks)... Read More
Saturday, 13 December 2014 14:51
Guest — Barbara Ann Wilson, MD
So scary! Meant to be wild creatures - cage itself (if not designed by those with owl-human bond similar to people who have hawks)... Read More
Saturday, 13 December 2014 14:51
Guest — Tim McDowell
I finally got around to joining the sfsbm and browsed some of the posts. This one seems familiar....I seem to recall reference to... Read More
Sunday, 14 December 2014 22:22
5667 Hits
DEC
13
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Points of Interest 12/12/2014

Lyme-Illiterate New York is about to change its medical misconduct law to protect quacks.

“Natural” does not mean safe: Child dead in Australia after consuming raw milk

Staff of controversial Florida alt med spa sues claiming illegal and unethical practice

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5965 Hits
DEC
07
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Points of Interest 12/06/2014

You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy? There’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’. In medical terms, it’s a nonsense. Diet and exercise is the only way to get healthy. But which of the latest fad regimes can really make a difference? We look at the factsSpine J. 2014 Nov 14. pii: S1529-9430(14)01714-8. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2014.11.007. Three Cases of Hemiplegia after Cervical Paraspinal Muscle Needling.J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2014 Nov 20. pii: S0161-4754(14)00218-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.10.015. An Exploratory, Descriptive Study of Consumer Opinions and Behaviors Regarding Health Products Sales at 4 Chiropractic Practices in a Large, Western Canadian Urban Center.Leg Med (Tokyo). 2014 Nov 11. pii: S1344-6223(14)00165-5. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2014.11.001. An autopsy case of vagus nerve stimulation following acupuncture.. "A male in his late forties died right after acupuncture treatment. A medico-legal autopsy disclosed severe haemorrhaging around the right vagus nerve in the neck. Other organs and laboratory data showed no significant findings. Thus, it was determined that the man could have died from severe vagal bradycardia and/or arrhythmia resulting from vagus nerve stimulation following acupuncture."Wrongly feeding U.S. anxieties over Ebola: Michael M. Lederman (opinion) -A lasting legacy of science (Part 2/2)The Measles Outbreak Coming Near You Parents who won’t vaccinate their children are reviving once-dead diseases. Will a vaccine mandate be needed?Why astrologers, homeopaths and economic forecasts can’t be trusted Charles Assissi on why the so-called science practised by astrologers, homeopaths and economic forecasts is fuzzy at best

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/nyUQSztYUie8v2oKuwkfXP/Why-astrologers-homeopaths-and-economic-forecasts-cant-be.html?utm_source=copy

4446 Hits
DEC
03
6

Pseudo-medical lipstick on a pig

I was wandering the Oxford English Dictionary and found a new definition for worthless: "Noun. A clinical efficacy trial with no blinding, no placebo, and only subjective endpoints derived from patient self-reporting."

The OED is a stickler for examples of usage, so they pointed to Effect of Perineal Self-Acupressure on Constipation: A Randomized Controlled Trial in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The study is out of UCLA, Yale and Southwestern Law School !?!

Usual care or perineal acupressure for constipation. Perineal acupressure. Where did perineal acupuncture come from? I don't know.

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Guest — Michael Finfer, MD
Cold penis, eh? I can see how that might suppress sexual function, and it has nothing to do with an acupoint in the perineum.
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 13:15
Guest — Michael Finfer, MD
Cold penis, eh? I can see how that might suppress sexual function, and it has nothing to do with an acupoint in the perineum.
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 13:15
Riley Williams II
Dang, I can imagine more yang in the wang with a pang in the mantang, forgive my slang.
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 21:46
9420 Hits
DEC
03
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Points of Interest 12/02/2014

J Chiropr Med. 2014 Dec;13(4):282-286. Chiropractic Management of a 24-Year-Old Woman With Idiopathic, Intermittent Right-Sided Hemiparesthesia. "This patient's symptoms of idiopathic, intermittent right-sided hemi-paresthesia seemed to improve with a short course of chiropractic care using manipulation, vibration therapy and cold laser therapy."J Chiropr Med. 2014 Dec;13(4):221-229. The Ergogenic Effect of Elastic Therapeutic Tape on Stride and Step Length in Fatigued Runners.. Neither blinded nor placebo controlled. Why bother to do and publish garbage?PLoS One. 2014 Dec 1;9(12):e114057. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114057. eCollection 2014. An updated meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment for cerebral infarction. As always, data from lousy studies suggests efficacy. Garbage in, garbage out.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:506758. Epub 2014 Nov 10. Adverse Events of Auricular Therapy: A Systematic Review. -How to do a pre-party detox. They should tell how to detox from naturopathy.Don't Use My Autistic Son as a Reason Not to VaccinateA Lasting Legacy of ScienceExpert Shares the Shocking Truth Regarding Injections for Macular Degeneration. The video is a cornucopia of pseudo-medicine.
6096 Hits
NOV
29
0

How Can Magic Be Cost Effective?

It is amazing how quickly a single study can lead to an analysis as to whether an intervention should be used because it is cost effective.

There is no reason that acupuncture, a complicated magical ritual, should have any specific effect on any pathologic process. However, when I watch videos of acupuncture the process looks quite nice, except, of course, for the whole needles being stuck in the skin with zero attention to infection control. Relaxing in a caring and supportive environment cannot help but make people feel better, as long as they do not get hepatitis B or MRSA.

Like all interventions that do nothing, acupuncture is indicated for virtually everything (except as a form of contraception), at least by their proponents. Depression is on the list of processes that are not effectively treated by acupuncture.

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4142 Hits
NOV
26
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Points of Interest 11/25/2014

J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2014 Nov 21. Effects of Massage on Blood Pressure in Patients With Hypertension and Prehypertension: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.. Primates relax when groomed: "This systematic review found a medium effect of massage on SBP and a small effect on DBP in patients with hypertension or prehypertension."Homeopaths flush remedies down toilet to heal oceansAHF’s ‘AirheadCelebs.com’ Campaign & Billboards Target Anti-vaccine CelebritiesMississippi Last In Vaccine Choice.. And that is a good thing.5 Creative Ways to Spend Your Remaining FSA Funds. They suggesting wasting money on acupuncture and chiropractic.
4588 Hits
NOV
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Points of Interest 11/24/2014

The Menace Of Quack DoctorsPolitical Hack, Medical Quack  J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Nov;62(11):2221-2. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13090.Acupuncture Causing Methicillin-Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus Spondylodiscitis Resulting in Bacteremia and Bacteriuria.. And they are so good at sterile technique.Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 Oct 28. pii: 1534735414555808. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use by Breast Cancer Patients at Time of Surgery Which Increases the Potential for Excessive Bleeding. -HOW NIGERIA'S ANTI-POLIO STRATEGY HELPED IT WIPE OUT EBOLACholestatic hepatitis from prolonged kratom use: A case reportAn audiometric study of the effects of paraspinal stimulation on hearing acuity in human subjects – understanding the Harvey Lillard phenomenon.Papuan Anthill for Cancer Treatment "Cancer and Tumor which can be cured with the ants nest is breast cancer, brain cancer, liver cancer, nasal cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, uterine cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia, except for cancers of oral cavity and the throat."
4821 Hits
NOV
22
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Points of Interest 11/21/2014

SAVE THE DATE FOR NECSS 2015 "We’re thrilled to announce that NECSS 2015 will be co-sponsored by the Society for Science-Based Medicine and will expand to include a third full-day of programming! Friday’s schedule will be curated by the team at SfSBM and feature content available exclusively at NECSS 2015. Saturday and Sunday schedules will once again feature the best of science and skepticism."Photomed Laser Surg. 2014 Nov 20. Laser Acupuncture: Keep It Scientific.. Humor?Miracle showdown!Alternative advice leads to death in NorwayThese Homeopathy Doctors Are Angry They Weren’t Allowed To Treat People With Ebola
4122 Hits
NOV
21
6

Acupuncture Clinic Closes Due to Poor Infection Control. Water is Wet. Fire is Hot.

In a prior entry I have mentioned my visual Googlewhack: I could find only one picture of gloves being used during acupuncture, and it was not being performed by an acupuncturist.

I have also discussed the recalcitrance to basic infection control that informs the practice of acupuncture. It gives me the willies to watch acupuncture videos.  It often looks as if they are trying to spread contagion with their technique. 

Up north in British Columbia an acupuncture clinic was closed because of poor

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Steve Henzel
Didn't you know that the Meridians are inherently aseptic? It's impossible to catch any disease when acupuncture is properly don... Read More
Saturday, 22 November 2014 02:23
Steve Henzel
Didn't you know that the Meridians are inherently aseptic? It's impossible to catch any disease when acupuncture is properly don... Read More
Saturday, 22 November 2014 02:23
Steve Henzel
Gee, Mark. Didn't you know that acupuncture meridians are inherently aseptic, and can't possibly transmit a disease? This is true... Read More
Saturday, 22 November 2014 02:34
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