Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Lies, damned lies, and science-based medicine? (David Gorski) A study by John Ioannidis reminded us that “most published research findings are false;” we take this into account when interpreting studies. In recent articles, critics have distorted Ioannidis’ message in an attempt to discredit science-based medicine, implying that it is hopelessly flawed. SBM’s flaws are not hopeless and there is no other system that can begin to compete with it.
Energy Bracelets: Embedding Frequencies in Holograms for Fun and Profit (Harriet Hall) Several companies are selling bracelets, cards, and other products that supposedly improve strength, balance, and sports performance. They say that beneficial frequencies embedded in a Mylar hologram somehow interact with a mythical body energy field. Their explanations are laughable pseudoscience and their demonstrations of effectiveness are simple musculoskeletal parlor tricks.
Blog Discussion with an SBM Critic (Steven Novella) Marya Zilberberg has criticized science-based medicine in a blog-to-blog discussion with Dr. Novella. Her misguided accusations are regurgitations of CAM propaganda and are full of logical fallacies She attacks what is really a straw man misrepresenting the SBM position.
Fatigued by a Fake Disease (Scott Gavura) Vague, nonspecific symptoms like fatigue are being diagnosed as “adrenal fatigue” on the basis of an unvalidated questionnaire and questionable lab tests. There is no such disease. The fake diagnosis may interfere with getting appropriate care for a real diagnosis, and unnecessary treatments could cause harm.
Corporate pharma ethics and you (David Kroll) An insightful historical review of the complexities of the recent Avandia case illustrates how pharmaceutical companies are constantly having to make tough financial and clinical decisions. If you try to imagine yourself in their shoes, you will realize that it is overly simplistic to label them as evil profiteers. We need to protect the worldwide drug discovery effort while finding ways to minimize bias, conflicts of interest, and unethical behavior.