Science-Based Medicine

Legislative Alchemy: Michigan naturopathic licensing bill passes Senate (Do, 24 Mai 2018)
A bill granting naturopathic doctors one of the broadest scopes of practice in the country passed in the Michigan Senate. If enacted, the egregious quackery already being practiced by Michigan naturopaths will bear the imprimatur of state approval and rectifying harm to consumers will become much harder.
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Death from Cancer Quackery – Black Salve Edition (Mi, 23 Mai 2018)
An Australian nurse dies of cancer while being treated by a cancer quack with a caustic substance known as black salve. How and why is this allowed to happen?
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A Feast of Science (Di, 22 Mai 2018)
Dr. Joe Schwarcz's new book is a banquet of easily digested, fascinating information about chemistry, history, science, alternative medicine, critical thinking, and current trends. It entertains as it informs.
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The very worst version of the sham known as “right-to-try” is poised to become law (Mo, 21 Mai 2018)
"Right-to-try" laws are a cruel sham that purport to allow terminally ill patients access to promising experimental drugs. In reality, they strip away many protections and leave vulnerable patients on their own. After four years and a number of toothless state laws, a federal version of "right-to-try" is poised to become law. A version passed by the Senate could be voted on in the House as early as tomorrow and is the worst version under consideration. Unfortunately, it is likely to pass. If it does, this federal version of "right-to-try" will leave terminally ill patients on their own and will likely be the first step in returning the FDA to its pre-thalidomide state, in which it only required evidence of safety, not efficacy, to approve drugs.
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A Canadian Journalist Calls Out Pediatric Chiropractic, and a Chiropractor Responds (Fr, 18 Mai 2018)
A recent National Post article calls chiropractic care of the infant and young child into question for some very good reasons, none of which were effectively rebutted by the Canadian Chiropractic Association President.
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The Supreme Court of Canada orders a new trial for parents convicted in Ezekiel Stephan’s death (Do, 17 Mai 2018)
The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered a new trial for David and Collet Stephan, who had been convicted in the meningitis death of their son. The Stephans say they're vindicated. The facts say otherwise.
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Reflex Integration Therapy (Di, 15 Mai 2018)
Various methods of reflex integration claim benefits for autism, ADHD, brain injuries, pain, and more. They are based on speculative ideas about retained primitive reflexes. They have not been scientifically tested.
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The Null hypothesis: Gary Null attacks science-based medicine (Mo, 14 Mai 2018)
Over the last couple of weeks, one of the old men of quackery, Gary Null, has decided (yet again) that he really, really doesn't like science-based medicine. That includes Steve Novella, Susan Gerbic, and...me. As is his usual habit, Null teamed up with his producer Richard Gale and wrote some seriously off-base screeds against Wikipedia, skeptics, and science-based medicine, basically the forces that keep his beloved homeopathy down.
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The Great Outdoors (Debate) (Fr, 11 Mai 2018)
What are the health risks of letting your cat roam free?
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Crowdfunding unproven stem cell treatments: overstated efficacy, unstated risks (Do, 10 Mai 2018)
Crowdfunding campaigns for unproven stem cell treatments exaggerate the benefits and underemphasize the risks, all the while raising considerable funds and generating social media buzz.
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Essential Oils in the Ambulance (Mi, 09 Mai 2018)
Aromatherapy with essential oils is pseudoscience, backed only with low quality studies guaranteed to show a placebo effect. Their growing popularity warns that better science education is needed.
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Living Water (Di, 08 Mai 2018)
A device called Living Water will convert your tap water into acidic or alkaline water that supposedly is ionized and has antioxidant properties. There is no evidence that it offers any health benefits.
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PLOS ONE, peer review, and a “crappy” acupuncture study (Mo, 07 Mai 2018)
Meta-analyses can sometimes suffer from the "GIGO problem" (garbage in, garbage out). The publication of a "crappy" acupuncture "network meta-analysis" for acupuncture and chronic constipation illustrates the GIGO problem on steroids and reveals a problem with peer review.
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TIC’D OFF (Fr, 04 Mai 2018)
Two years ago we discussed the TicTocStop, a dental appliance that the inventors assured us would help mitigate the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. In the intervening years things have...not gone well. This illustrates the need for skepticism regarding questionable medical claims, and the importance of initiatives like AllTrials to ensure the good, the bad, and the ugly research is available to everyone.
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Five steps to add ten years to your life expectancy (Do, 03 Mai 2018)
A new study identifies five lifestyle decisions that can add over a decade to your life expectancy.
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Stem Cell Tourism Comes Home (Mi, 02 Mai 2018)
You used to have to go to China to get ripped off by fraudulent stem cell clinics. Now you can get conned right here at home.
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Should I Get the New Shingles Vaccine? (Di, 01 Mai 2018)
There are two vaccines to prevent shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia in patients age 50 and up. If you are wondering whether to get vaccinated and which vaccine to choose, here are the facts to help you make an informed decision.
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Autism prevalence increases to 1 in 59, and antivaxers lose it…yet again (Mo, 30 Apr 2018)
Autism Awareness Month isn't as full of news stories about autism with false balance between science and antivaccine pseudoscience advocates as it was in years past. Every few years, though, when new autism prevalence figures are released, we can count on antivaxers losing it. 2018 is just such a year.
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I Used To Be a Holistic Nutritionist (Fr, 27 Apr 2018)
Up until a year ago, I was a practicing holistic nutritionist. As someone who has left that world behind, I have a moral obligation to do what is right – and what is right is to denounce my former beliefs in an industry rife with deception.
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“Dr. Amy” Yasko’s Autism Protocol: Unproven, Complicated and Expensive (Do, 26 Apr 2018)
"Dr. Amy" Yasko isn't a real doctor and her autism protocol is unproven, complicated, and expensive. Her claims of success are contradicted by autism, nutrition, and genetics experts.
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Bee Venom is Snake Oil (Mi, 25 Apr 2018)
Bee venom acupuncture is a double-barrel pseudoscience that provides new example of an old problem - the use of poor quality preclinical research to justify the inclusion of nonsense in medicine.
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Brittany Auerbach aka Montreal Healthy Girl Gives Unhealthy Advice (Di, 24 Apr 2018)
Montreal Healthy Girl Brittany Auerbach spreads misinformation, pseudoscience, and outright fantasy. She could hurt people who believe her nonsense about cancer, viruses, and vaccines
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Homeopathy, rabid dogs, and naturopathic propaganda (Mo, 23 Apr 2018)
Last week, a story of a bizarre homeopathic remedy used by a Canadian naturopath made the news. Today, American naturopaths are in Washington, DC lobbying for increased prescribing power, including for controlled substances. Lawmakers should be reminded of the quackery at the heart of naturopathy.
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Separating Fact from Fiction in Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Anti-D Immunoglobulin for the Prevention of Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn (Fr, 20 Apr 2018)
The Healthy Home Economist, a pseudoexpert in health and wellness with no actual education or training in medicine, is telling mothers to avoid a safe and effective approach to preventing a deadly pregnancy complication that used to result in the death of thousands of babies every year.
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How rabid dog saliva became an approved and endorsed remedy in Canada (Do, 19 Apr 2018)
A recent blog post by a British Columbia naturopath is raising questions from health professionals about the practice of naturopathy, and the use of homeopathic remedies to treat children with serious behaviour problems.
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New Study Finds that Statins Prevent Cardiovascular Deaths (Mi, 18 Apr 2018)
A new meta-analysis shows that statin drugs are effective at preventing cardiovascular events and death, especially in patients with a baseline LDL cholesterol >100.
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Psychodermatology? (Di, 17 Apr 2018)
A new specialty, psychodermatology, was invented to address the interaction of the mind and the skin. The effects of stress on the skin are not well defined, and the need for this new specialty is questionable.
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Homeopathy Awareness Week shows that homeopathy is still a problem (Mo, 16 Apr 2018)
Homeopathy Awareness Week might be almost over, but The One Quackery To Rule Them All wastes resources and endangers patients year round, and a recent French criticism of homeopathy has provoked another case of legal thuggery by homeopaths.
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Dog breath and stinky studies: Do pets need to be knocked out for dental care? (Fr, 13 Apr 2018)
Most professional veterinary organizations recommend anesthesia to ensure thorough dental care for pet dogs and cats. Despite this, some companies are trying to mislead the pet-owning public by claiming they have high quality evidence showing they provide the same benefit without the risks. Their research smells worse than old chihuahua breath.
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Hypothesized benefit from integrative treatments for veterans’ chronic pain fails to materialize (Do, 12 Apr 2018)
Researchers hypothesized that chiropractic, acupuncture and massage would benefit veterans with chronic pain. Their results said otherwise.
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