Category: Neuroscience/Mental Health

Bee Venom Therapy – Grassroots Medicine

Pat Wagner (or “The Bee Lady,” as she likes to be called) treats herself for multiple sclerosis (MS) by allowing bees to sting her. She calls this bee-venom therapy (BVT) and believes it has saved her from MS. There are now thousands of people who administer BVT to themselves or others, mostly in private homes by unlicensed practitioners. BVT is not prescribed...

/ November 26, 2008

Rainman – Link Between Precipitation and Autism

A new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows a positive correlation between counties in California, Oregon, and Washington with greater precipitation and a higher incidence of autism. While the results of this study are interesting, it needs to be put into proper context. Also of note, the authors had presented early results from this data previously. Correlation...

/ November 5, 2008

Dr. Jay Gordon and me: Random encounters with an apologist for the antivaccine movement

Although he doesn’t detest me nearly as much as antivaccine honcho and founder of Generation Rescue J. B. Handley does, Santa Monica celebrity pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon doesn’t like me very much at all. Actually, I’m not sure whether that’s entirely true or not, but Dr. Gordon sure doesn’t like it when I criticize him for his antivaccine rhetoric. He affects an...

/ October 20, 2008

Is there no end to unscientific treatments for autism?

OK, it’s true that I’m only scheduled to post every other week or so, but I couldn’t resist sharing this one with you (which I’ve cross-posted over at denialism blog).  I promise to get back to my assigned schedule after this one.  Thanks for your indulgence.  –PalMD If you’ve been a regular reader of SBM or denialism blog, you know that plausibility...

/ October 14, 2008

Autism’s false prophets revealed

Dr. Paul Offit has written a book about the false prophets of autism, those who promote the idea that vaccines cause autism and those who sell quackery to treat autism, which are often the same people. If you want a good history of how the "vaccines cause autism" myth started, this is a great primer.

/ September 29, 2008

Sometimes science and ethics win out

Yesterday was a good day.It was a good day because it was one of the days that shows that, sometimes, science and ethics do win out after all: CHICAGO (AP) — A government agency has dropped plans for a study of a controversial treatment for autism that critics had called an unethical experiment on children. The National Institute of Mental Health said...

/ September 18, 2008

Thanks, Jenny McCarthy! Thanks for the measles!

Thanks for bringing back a once-vanquished disease, Jenny!

/ August 24, 2008

Peruvian Hamsters and Autism: Cui Bono?

Some people are very invested in the idea that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism. They have looked and looked, but have been unable to find enough credible evidence to convince the scientific community. Thimerosal was removed from US vaccines several years ago, and you might have thought that would end the debate. It didn’t. The spotlight has shifted to other countries that...

/ August 19, 2008

Autism and Vaccines: Responding to Poling and Kirby

In response to my NeuroLogica blog post on Monday, David Kirby wrote a response in the Huffington Post and Dr. Jon Poling (father of Hannah Poling) wrote an open letter to me, placed in the comment section and posted at Age of Autism. It seems only polite that I respond to their kind attention.The primary focus of my original post (which I...

/ July 23, 2008

Can Psychosis be Prevented?

I recently read an article in Discover magazine entitled “Stop the Madness.” It was about a new treatment program that allegedly can prevent schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis. I found it very disturbing. The PIER (Portland Identification and Early Referral) program was founded by a psychiatrist, Dr. William McFarlane, in Portland, Maine. It has recently expanded to 4 other US sites...

/ July 22, 2008