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-woo in medicine.
E-cigarettes: The Growing popularity of an unregulated drug delivery device (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/e-cigarettes-the-growing-popularity-of-an-unregulated-drug-delivery-device/ While Jenny McCarthy was campaigning against vaccines because they allegedly contained toxins like antifreeze, she managed to ignore the dangers of the cigarettes she was smoking. Now she is shilling for e-cigarettes, which contain antifreeze. Good evidence is lacking for the safety of e-cigarettes and for their effectiveness as a smoking cessation aid. They are currently unregulated.
Brainwashed: Neuroscience and Its Perversions (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/brainwashed-neuroscience-and-its-perversions/ Brainwashed, a new book by Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfeld, points out how the findings of neuroscience are often subjected to mindless oversimplification, interpretive license, and premature application in the legal, commercial, clinical, and philosophical domains. They explain how neuroimaging is done and what it can and can’t tell us. Dr. Daniel Amen is offered as an example of someone who is reading more into scans than is warranted.
Conscious Discipline – More Dubious Neuroscience (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/conscious-discipline-more-dubious-neuroscience/ “Conscious discipline” is based on a neurodevelopmental model of the brain. It tries to impose a simplistic system onto the complexity of human behavior. It is not supported by any evidence.
CAM Practitioners as PCPs under the ACA: Part 1 (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/cam-practitioners-as-pcps-under-the-aca-part-1/ A section of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination against any health care provider acting within the scope of his or her state license. A debate is developing about how it will be interpreted and applied. Chiropractors support this section because they want to be primary care providers and they want insurance to pay for it.
Survey Says… (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/survey-says/ A study of the attitudes of infectious disease physicians towards alternative medicine makes it sound like they are a bunch of ignorant rubes who just fell off the turnip truck. The study’s definition of integrative medicine and the wording of its questions are misleading. If the findings are true, they are very alarming.