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Goodbye, revere! Hello The Pump Handle (with some revere)

Yesterday was a sad day indeed, as a blogger that I’ve been following almost since I myself started blogging has decided to close up shop:

It’s been a long time coming but the time has come. Effect Measure is closing up shop, after 5 and a half years, 3 million visits and 5.1 million page views of some 3500. You commented on them some 37,000 times. It’s been a grand ride but to all things there is a season. It’s time to simplify my life and while my family has had me all along, at times science got short shrift. Now my time is getting short and I want to turn my attention to my research, the other polar star of my life. “Revere” will continue to post occasionally on Effect Measure’s successor site, The Pump Handle (TPH), which will hold down the public health anchor position after EM is gone. We’ll provide more details later this week when we officially hand off this spot to our friends and colleagues at TPH. Our archive will be folded into theirs, with details to follow when they are firmed up.

revere and I haven’t always seen eye to eye on some health issues (for instance, cell phones and cancer, although our differences tended to be more ones of emphasis rather than any fundamental disagreements), but he’s always had my respect, and Effect Measure has been a blog that I routinely check out at least every other day. It’s good to hear that he will still be contributing occasionally to Effect Measure’s successor blog, The Pump Handle. I’ve learned a lot about epidemiology and public health from the reveres, and I hope that continues at The Pump Handle. Actually, The Pump Handle is not a new blog at all; it’s simply been recruited by our benevolent Seed Overlords.

As one leaves The Collective, another joins.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

8 replies on “Goodbye, revere! Hello The Pump Handle (with some revere)”

well, it’s a sad day for another reason. I believe Pediatrics just published some news about a study showing a connection between pesticides and ADHD. When you think about it, if Nancy Snyderman talks about this stuff being harmful even in “teeny, tiny amounts” it doesn’t bode well for vaccines with known neurotoxins in them, does it?

I think Jen is referring to the following article which seemed to be hot on the TV streamer news headlines this morning.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721892

The article first states that:

“”Each 10-fold increase in urinary concentration of organophosphate metabolites was associated with a 55% to 72% increase in the odds of ADHD,” first study author Maryse F. Bouchard, PhD, of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, told Medscape Psychiatry.”

and then goes on to:

“For the most commonly detected pesticide metabolite, dimethyl thiophosphate (64.3%), those with levels higher than the median of detectable concentrations had nearly twice the odds of ADHD (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23 – 3.02) compared with children with undetectable levels. The adjusted OR was higher when children taking ADHD medication were included as case subjects (adjusted OR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.32 – 3.43).”

I’m not sure how they got from needing an order of magnitude increase in the urinary concentration to correlate with a 55-72% increase in the odds of ADHD to almost twice the odds of ADHD for those above the median detectable level.

It might be somewhat related to this work by Kim et al from last fall:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19748073

I would like to see a discussion by someone more familiar with this type of research, perhaps here or at SBM.

jen that makes total sense as people are vaccinated several times a day every day of their lives. It’s a pattern that matches fruit and vegetable consumption.

Don’t hurt yourself with those mental gymnastics.

squirrellette: I read the paper (prior to publication; don’t have in in front of me) and my recollection is that the order of magnitude increase in the DMAP metabolite associated with malathion-type OPs was the ratio between the 25th and 75th percentiles. Not sure if that answers your question. I know 3 of the 4 authors (all but the first, who may be a fellow or visiting faculty at Harvard) and they all know what they are doing. Dave Belllinger is one of the leaders in these kinds of outcome measures and very experienced. They are aware of the cross sectional nature of this study (it’s NHANES based like earlier studies on BPA from the Warwick group) and needs to have prospective follow-ups. But it’s a red flag. At the lower levels seen here some of these OPs are endocrine disruptors. These results look a bit like the PCB work being done in New Bedford Harbor by other Harvard SPH researchers (not all the same team but similar instruments), so we may be seeing the tip of the iceberg here in behavioral outcomes. I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.

@revere,

Thanks for the info.

I’m not primarily in medicine but I have a peripheral interest in ADHD and ASD because I know several people who work teaching these kids.

I’ve read several of your columns although I haven’t followed them as closely as some others.

Good luck with your new efforts!

with known neurotoxins in them

That’s got me thinking that, Botox being a neurotoxin, I wonder if it could cause ADHD or maybe some other hidden neurological aberration? What is the anti-vax stance on Botox?

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