Category: Neuroscience/Mental Health

Elton John, "I'm Still Standing"

The price of opposing medical pseudoscience

When quacks can’t answer with science (which is most commonly), they fall back on their favorite ad hominem attack. They call their critics “pharma shills.” Then they try to silence them by almost any means they view as necessary. Those means can include attempts to get critics fired by going to their bosses and falsely accusing them of serious misdeeds. Dr. Gorski...

/ June 28, 2010

The genetics of autism

Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) actually represent a rather large continuum of conditions that range from very severe neurodevelopmental delay and abnormalities to the relatively mild. In severe cases, the child is nonverbal and displays a fairly well-characterized set of behaviors, including repetitive behaviors such as “stimming” (for example, hand flapping, making sounds, head rolling, and body rocking.), restricted behavior and...

/ June 14, 2010
Pills

In which Dr. Gorski once again finds himself a target of the “pharma shill” gambit

When quacks can't answer with science (which is most commonly), they fall back on their favorite ad hominem attack. They call their critics "pharma shills." Then they try to silence them by almost any means they view as necessary.

/ June 14, 2010

Certainty versus knowledge in medicine

I don’t want knowledge. I want certainty! — David Bowie, from Law (Earthlings on Fire) If there’s a trait among humans that seems universal, it appears to be an unquenchable thirst for certainty. It is likely to be a major force that drives people into the arms of religion, even radical religions that have clearly irrational views, such as the idea that...

/ June 7, 2010

Potential New Mechanism of Pain Relief Discovered

The development of drugs and other treatments for specific symptoms or conditions relies heavily on either serendipity (the chance finding of a beneficial effect) or on an understanding of underlying mechanisms. In pain, for example, there are limited ways in which we can block pain signals – such as activating opiate receptors or inhibiting prostaglandins. There are only so many ways in...

/ June 2, 2010

Stand up for science-based medicine against anti-vaccine fear mongering in Chicago today

As I’ve pointed out numerous times this week, anti-vaccine loons, led Generation Rescue and a “health freedom” group, have organized an anti-vaccine rally in Grant Park in Chicago from 3 PM to 5 PM CDT. Andrew Wakefield himself will be the keynote speaker, and there will even be some very bad music promoting the anti-vaccine message. The rally, with its wonderfully Orwellian...

/ May 26, 2010

Autism One: The yearly antivaccine autism “biomed” quackfest begins

In the world of the anti-vaccine underground, there is one time of the year that looms large. Over the last few years, this time has generally come right around the end of May, usually coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season here in the U.S. I’m referring, of course, to Autism One, which blights...

/ May 24, 2010

Brain-Training Products Useless in Study

The health marketplace has a life of its own, mostly separated from science and evidence. Generally the marketplace gets a hold of an idea and runs with it, before the science is carefully worked out. Since most new ideas in science turn out to be wrong, that means most products will eventually be found to be worthless. One such idea is that...

/ April 21, 2010

Social Factors in Autism Diagnosis

There is no question that the incidence and prevalence of autism are on the rise. Starting in the early 1990s and continuing to today, there has been a steady rise in the number of children diagnosed with autism. Prior to 1990 the estimates of autism prevalence were about 3 per 10,000. The most recent estimates from the CDC and elsewhere now have...

/ April 14, 2010

Steven Higgs: Another antivaccine reporter like Dan Olmsted in the making?

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and as of today April is nearly half over. Do you notice anything different compared to the last couple of years? I do. Can you guess what it is? The anti-vaccine movement’s usual suspects haven’t been all over the mainstream media, as they usually are this time every year, often as early as April 1 or...

/ April 12, 2010