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Archive for the ‘Diagnoses’ Category

Sense and Nonsense on Autism: Beyond Genetics

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Sense and Nonsense about Autism: Beyond Genetics
beach “Autism is currently, in our view, the most important and the fastest-evolving disorder in all of medical science and promises to remain so for the foreseeable future.” —-Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, chairman of the department of psychiatry at Columbia University’s school of medicine.

A few months back David Kirby (author of the book “Evidence of Harm”) interviewed Katy Wright about her autistic child Christian, and more specifically the recovery that he was beginning to make with biomedical treatments that have been developed over the years by the MDs and Ph.D.s involved with the organization Defeat Autism Now (DAN). (http://www.autismmedia.org/media15.html)

Katy makes no bones about what she believes happened to her son: “I believe that Christian’s regression and subsequent autism was the result of receiving six vaccines during one office visit at two months of age,” she wrote. “He screamed for twelve hours and had a 104 degree fever nearly the entire time. His vaccines contained thimerosal,” the mercury-based preservative. “It is devastating,” she added, “because so much of this is preventable.” (more…)

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Antidepressants may not offer relief in Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

PillsAn article in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine finds that anti-depressants don’t contribute significantly to the recovery of bipolar patients. It is estimated that some 70% of bipolars are also being prescribed one or another anti-depressant. Since these are not fast-acting medications, it is often difficult to tell which of the medications being prescribed are actually doing the work.The surprise in the paper, however, was something else. It turns out that the placebo group did better than the medication group! Not only did the addition of anti-depressants fail to improve outcome, but the outcome was actually somewhat worse overall than among those who did not have anti-depressants added to their regimen. The difference was not statistically significant, according to the researchers. Some 23.5% of the treatment arm made “durable recoveries,” whereas some 27.3% of the placebo group did so. (more…)

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Passing Judgment on the Verdict

Friday, December 8th, 2006

beachLos Angeles has been riveted over the last few months by the trial in Santa Monica of an elderly driver who mowed down numerous bystanders at an open-air farmer’s market, killing ten people and wounding nearly 70, many of them seriously. His car traveled over 1000 feet through the market, managing to avoid all encounters with parked vehicles along the way and hitting only people. The driver, George Russell Weller, was at a loss to explain what happened, but laments “his contribution” to the deaths. At the time of the tragedy, he was 86 years old, having first learned to drive in a Model T.

There was controversy around whether there should be a trial at all, that it would be difficult to find such an elderly person morally culpable. Weller himself may have opened the door with his own behavior after the event. Weller did not testify at the trial, so one must resort to his early utterances to police after the incident. He sounded “contrite, bewildered, and uncomprehending.” The defense contended that he had one grand, monumental senior moment in which he hit the gas rather than the brake, and in his panic was unable to correct himself. (more…)

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