Dr. David Brownstein is a "holistic" family practice physician in my area. Consistent with being "holistic," he is antivaccine to the core. That's why he's unhappy with the recent CDC recommendation that adults over 50 receive the new shingles vaccine. He thinks he's found a clever argument to show it doesn't work. Unfortunately, his argument only reveals his bias and misunderstanding.
Two years ago, I took note of an "energy healer" named Charlie Goldsmith and an incredibly poor "clinical trial" being touted as evidence of his healing abilities. It now turns out that Goldsmith is following a trail blazed by celebrity psychic Tyler Henry and has his own TV show on TLC. His claims are no more plausible or supported by evidence now than they were then.
Last week, the results of ORBITA were published. This clinical trial tested coronary angioplasty and stenting versus optimal medical management in patients with single-vessel coronary artery disease. It was a resoundingly negative trial, meaning that adding stenting to drug management didn’t result in detectable clinical improvement. What was distinctive about this trial is that it used a sham procedure (i.e., placebo) control, which few trials testing surgery or a procedure use. The results of ORBITA emphasize how important sham procedure controls are, whenever they can be ethically used, and how resistant physicians can be to change.
Southeast Michigan is currently in the midst of a hepatitis A outbreak that started in August 2016. In Algonac, a small town in the Thumb region, the mayor decided to help a restaurant whose business suffered when one of its new staff members under training caught hepatitis A. Unfortunately, the form that help took was to host an antivaccine propaganda meeting.
What the title says. The old ScienceBlogs version of Respectful Insolence is dead. (Well, not quite, but it soon will be.) This new independent version of Respectful Insolence now rises in its place.
As you probably noticed, I didn’t manage a post yesterday. Nor did I manage one today, other than this. That’s because I was busy preparing for QEDCon, where I will be on a panel and giving a talk, and, of course, putting together my talk. As I write this, I’m horrendously jet lagged; so I probably couldn’t write much that’s coherent anyway. Consequently, there likely won’t be any new posts until next week. I will take a moment, however, to mention that there will be significant changes to this blog in the near future. It’s a process that will likely …
Ever since the $200 million gift by Susan and Henry Samueli to UC-Irvine, I've been thinking about the "integration" of quackery into medicine through integrative medicine. The way advocates of quackademic medicine are going to make this "integration" really happen is to start with the medical schools.
Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic are known for producing dubious scientific studies in the service of antivaccine pseudoscience. Last month, they published a paper purporting to show that aluminum adjuvant causes neuroinflammation in mice that was roundly criticized for poor experimental design and manipulated images. Guess what? It's soon to be retracted.
My skeptical analysis of Rigvir, a “Virotherapy” from Latvia being promoted by alternative medicine clinics as a cancer cure, caught the attention of the International Virotherapy Center (IVC). The result was a long and very telling e-mail exchange between its Assistant of Business Development and myself. I post it because the arguments used in the discussion are very telling about where the IVC is coming from when it comes to science. Hint: It’s not a good place.