In desperate times, what works, wins (Peter Lipson) In the aftermath of the Haiti disaster, alternative practitioners flew in to offer the victims everything from Scientology to homeopathy in lieu of conventional medical care. The line of patients waiting to see one naturopath “melted away” when they saw that he was only offering homeopathic remedies to help with post-traumatic stress.
Zeo Personal Sleep Coach (Harriet Hall) Consumers can now measure the quality of their sleep with a bedside device that detects and graphs the stages of sleep. It’s a nifty gadget, but there is no evidence that it improves the outcome of insomnia treatment.
Acupuncture for Depression (Steven Novella) A new study of acupuncture for major depression during pregnancy is small, improperly blinded and randomized, and its finding of a modest clinical effect does nothing to change the scientific consensus that there is insufficient evidence to recommend acupuncture for depression.
Science-based Chiropractic: An Oxymoron? (Sam Homola) The chiropractic concept of “subluxation” is implausible, and chiropractors have adopted a variety of non-scientific beliefs and treatments. After 43 years as a “science-based” chiropractor, the author sees no hope of reforming chiropractic from within: he thinks it would be better for spinal manipulation therapy to be provided by physical therapists.
Meet me in St. Louis? (David Gorski) A brief announcement that Dr. Gorski is in St. Louis to attend a meeting, in case readers there want to meet him.
A Welcome Upgrade to a Childhood Vaccine – PCV 13 (Joseph Albietz) The pneumococcal vaccine has been a great success: disease from targeted strains of pneumococcus has dropped 99%. But non-targeted strains are still causing disease and killing children: a new version of the vaccine broadens the coverage to target more serotypes.