NOV
21
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Points of Interest 11/20/2014

JRSM Open. 2014 Nov 4;5(11):2054270414551659. eCollection 2014. Hypochondriacal attitudes and beliefs, attitudes towards complementary and alternative medicine and modern health worries predict patient satisfaction.J Med Life. 2014 Sep 15;7(3):381-386. Epub 2014 Sep 25. Secret Lanthanides.Self-chiropractic screening "Have you ever thought how do I know if I need a chiropractor? How can you tell if you should even consult one?" Simple answer: you never do.'Homeopathy CAN cure Ebola': Doctors attack 'armchair intellectuals' at World Health Organisation who refuse to let them treat deadly virus with snake venom remedy. Seriously delusional.Vaccine court complete story: Compensation system largely broken, AP findsAn Illustration Advocating Science-Based MedicineAcupuncture clinic closed for improper 'infection prevention' standards
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NOV
18
2

Acupuncture GIGO: An Inexhaustible Resource

I sometimes feel like I am picking on acupuncture. I write more on this pseudo-medicine than another, probably as there are more bad studies with inappropriate conclusions crossing my screen than any other topic.

I have mentioned in the past that most of the chiropractic notifications I get concern business announcements, legal problems and practice building. Chiropractic 'science' never seems to show up in my Google and Pubmed notifications.

Flawed acupuncture studies are apparently inexhaustible with Asia the worlds primary exporter. So often major flaw in the study in question is no placebo. It flabbers my gaster than anyone in the year 2014 would be so clueless as to publish an acupuncture trail without sham therapy.

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Recent Comments
Jeffrey Lazar
I am curious about your significant antipathy towards acupuncture. I am a traditional physician, but I have found it useful in th... Read More
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 20:20
Jeffrey Lazar
I am curious about your significant antipathy towards acupuncture. I am a traditional physician, but I have found it useful in th... Read More
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 20:20
3659 Hits
NOV
14
4

Believing does make it so

Well not really acupuncture, at last not as the ancient Chinese did it. I do not think they had electricity to apply to the needles. But this was an interesting study, Expectancy in Real and Sham Electroacupuncture: Does Believing Make It So?

The took patients with joint pain due to aromatase inhibitors being used to treat breast cancer.

The patients had either sham electroacupuncture (no current applied) or electroacupuncture and a wait list control group, only about 20 in each group.

No surprise, those who had an intervention, be it sham or electoacupncture, had more pain relief than the weight list control. An intervention, even if worthless, usually changes the subjective complaint for the better.

But here is where it is interesting. They used the Acupuncture Expectancy Score (AES), a measure of how much the patient thought acupuncture would help their problem.

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Brian Buchbinder
People have found other uses for the TENS gadget. Therapeutic? Not so much.
Friday, 14 November 2014 12:51
Brian Buchbinder
People have found other uses for the TENS gadget. Therapeutic? Not so much.
Friday, 14 November 2014 12:51
DevoutCatalyst
Friday, 14 November 2014 23:25
4590 Hits
SEP
07
0

Inflicting Nonsense on the Helpless

One of the things that I appreciate about being an adult is the freedom to be a dumb ass. I think that is in the constitution somewhere, the right to be wrong. Adults can do whatever they want within the limits of the law. With the privilege of being a dumb ass comes the responsibility to live with the consequences of your actions and others have the privilege to call you out on your dumb-ass-atude.

There are groups who are unable to make an informed, or perhaps an uninformed choice, about using pseudo-medicines and who should not have to suffer adverse consequences from having pseudo-medical treatments inflicted upon them.

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6079 Hits
FEB
03
0

Acupuncture as Gamma-hydroxybutyrate

Interesting headline: 80-Year-Old Man Paralyzes Women with Acupuncture, Molests Them. It continues:

Seo is also accused of taking off A’s panties and molesting her after paralyzing her with acupuncture needles in the foot, he got access to A after promising to treat her uterus. Another victim, a 22-year-old employee, was also molested after receiving paralyzing acupuncture from Seo.

As one commentator said

I thought paralysis acupuncture was only possible in movies.

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3783 Hits
JAN
29
0

Acupuncture Beer Goggles

I have been writing a lot about acupuncture in the last few weeks. Perhaps it is because there are just more papers to evaluate about acupuncture, it being the pseudo-medicine with the most active presence on the Pubmeds.

Sham acupuncture is no better than real acupuncture for the relief of pain. The usual interpretation is that if an intervention is no different that a placebo, the intervention does not work. But there is always the issue that sham and real acupuncture (as if there is a difference) are better at relieving pain than doing nothing.

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4833 Hits
JAN
23
0

Combinations

Pseudo-Medicines combine and recombine in a continual fantastical dance. Pick any two alternative medicines and someone, somewhere, has combined them into a unique treatment modality. My favorite is Tong Ren, a form of voodoo acupuncture.

I had thought, perhaps incorrectly, that no one could come up with a more ludicrous combination. Perhaps it would be dark energy homeopathy or dark matter acupuncture. I suppose it is just a matter of time before someone combines some pseudo-medical modality with the time cube and their nonsense will reign supreme.

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5018 Hits
JAN
22
0

Googlewhack?

Photographic representations are worth on the order of 103 words, or so the old chestnut would have us believe.

I have been in charge on infection control at my hospital system for 23 years and in that time we have slowly driven down the rates of hospital acquired infections. There have been many initiatives that have helped with the decline, but I would wager that none have been as important getting out hand hygiene rates to almost 100%.

Hands are a wonderful vector for germs and it you want to have an entertaining, if somewhat nausea inducing time, spend a few hours focusing on what people to with their hands. Euw.

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5711 Hits
JAN
13
0

How UTI's can cause depression

As some may know I am infectious disease doctor. Urinary tract infections (UTI) butter my bread. Figuratively speaking. There is an enormous amount known about the pathophysiology of UTI’s and how E. coli  binds to uroepithelial cells to cause infection.  It is both a common and complex problem. But for all our knowledge, chronic and recurrent UTI’s remain a vexing problem.

One reason for recurrent UTI’s is not due to altered chi along meridians fixed by needles. That would be ridiculous. Much to my embarrassment, Clinical Infectious Disease (CID), the flagship journal of my specialty, published Recurrent urinary tract infections among women: comparative effectiveness of 5 prevention and management strategies using a markov chain monte carlo model  and included acupuncture in their analysis. Really.  They thought a pseudo-medical intervention divorced from reality to be worthy of consideration.

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5848 Hits
JAN
06
0

Friends, Koreans, countrymen. Lend me your ears.

Certainly this is the case where ear acupuncture was used as an adjunct to weight loss and found to be effective, only if you lend credence to terribly done clinical trials. Almost every error that could be applied to a study, was.

Patients received 5 point ear acupuncture, 1 point ear acupuncture or sham acupuncture for 8 weeks:

Those who received five-point acupuncture had needles placed 2 millimeters deep in one outer ear taped in place and kept there for a week. Then the same treatment was applied to the other ear... Other patients received similar treatment with one needle or with sham acupuncture where the needles were removed immediately after insertion.

 I suspect that there was such a high drop out in the sham treatment as because they knew they were not getting acupuncture. A lousy placebo renders an already  silly and poorly done trial completely meaningless, like most of the acupuncture trials.  

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