Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lies, damned lies and Dr. Mikovits

In July, she says, she found it—an entry from March 2009 indicating that a culture of the XMRV virus had been placed into the same incubatorwith the rest of the lab’s blood samples.
Oh, there was XMRV culture in the WPI-lab, while she did the Lombardi 2009 study? You don't say. That would mean that Gerwyn/V99/Flex (or however his sockpuppets call themselves) is a stupid lying cunt.
Mikovits says she was out of town the day this occurred. 
I am sure that's what she said. Its always the others. Always. A shitstorm of incompetence and conspiracy around her, and Saint Judy is the only person, I tell you, the only person in the world who is gifted and innocent. And it's always her who throws others under the bus speaks up about ethical breeches. Always her.

I still wonder how only the patient samples got contaminated, though. Wasn't it supposed to be a blind study? Or was that another lie by Gerwyn/V99/Flex?

And I deeply wonder why fabrication is the only reasonable explanation I can come up for the results Mikovits reported?

Friday, July 20, 2012

My eyesight has improved

It's been a while since I had an eye exam: 2009. Now some time ago I started to realize that my eyesight has changed, so I went to the optician today to get new glasses. And lo and behold, my eyesight has improved. Only slightly on the left, from 2.25 to 2.00. But much more on the right from -2.00 to -1.25 *. In November 2010 I started eating something resembling a Paleo-diet, and I blame my improved eyesight on the diet – YMMV.

* And yes, this is not a typo, I am far-sighted on the left and near-sighted on the right.

Delayed sleep phase disorder

The syndrome usually develops in early childhood or adolescence. An adolescent version disappears in adolescence or early adulthood; otherwise DSPD is a lifelong condition. Depending on the severity, the symptoms can be managed to a greater or lesser degree, but there is no all-encompassing cure. Prevalence among adults, equally distributed among women and men, is approximately 0.15%, or 3 in 2,000.

DSPD was first formally described in 1981 by Dr. Elliot D. Weitzman and others at Montefiore Medical Center. It is responsible for 7–10% of patient complaints of chronic insomnia. However, as few doctors are aware of it, it often goes untreated or is treated inappropriately; DSPD is often misdiagnosed as primary insomnia or as a psychiatric condition. At its most severe and inflexible, it is an invisible disability.
All too familiar.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A sane healthcare system?

The specifics of this outbreak, published, oddly, in the American Journal of Psychiatry are the same as every other outbreak: A patient, in this case a homeless African-American man, has a cough. His cough is mostly ignored because people cough all the time and the clinicians are focused on his schizophrenia. Eventually, someone gets an X-ray (In Jacksonville it was eight months into the illness), TB is diagnosed and then public health workers scramble to locate the hundreds of people he might have exposed. In an adequately funded and sane healthcare system, information from previous visits, including old chest X-rays, might have been available; so too any relevant information about his TB status; perhaps an X-ray would have been easier to obtain (outpatient mental health facilities don’t often have the equipment) – all aspects of the “medical home” at the center of the ACA. Which is why it’s so distressing to see governors like Scott turn away additional Medicaid funding in order to make a political stance against President Obama.

Not taking care of the ill is stupid

A few days ago, while awaiting the Supreme Court ruling on the Obama health-care law, I called a few doctor friends around the country. I asked them if they could tell me about current patients whose health had been affected by a lack of insurance.

“This falls under the ‘too numerous to count’ section,” a New Jersey internist said. A vascular surgeon in Indianapolis told me about a man in his fifties who’d had a large abdominal aortic aneurysm. Doctors knew for months that it was in danger of rupturing, but, since he wasn’t insured, his local private hospital wouldn’t fix it. Finally, it indeed began to rupture. Rupture is an often fatal development, but the man—in pain, with the blood flow to his legs gone— made it to an emergency room. Then the hospital put him in an ambulance to Indiana University, arguing the patient’s condition was “too complex.” My friend got him through, but he’s very lucky to be alive.

Another friend, an oncologist in Marietta, Ohio, told me about three women in their forties and fifties he was treating for advanced cervical cancer. A pap smear would have caught their cancers far sooner. But since they didn’t have insurance, their cancers were only recognized when they caused profuse bleeding. Now they required radiation and chemotherapy if they were to have a chance of surviving.
Even inexperienced physicians like me, still in my residency, have these kinds of stories to tell. They’re tragic. But worse, they’re just so stupid. Notice how, in each instance, the problem still ends up being taken care of, only now it’s emergent, farther along, more risky, and of course, more expensive to treat. This is part of the ludicrous nature of the opposition to health care reform. There is no way to get out of paying for these things. All we do by denying people coverage for necessary medical treatment is guarantee that in a few days, months, or years, they’ll be in the emergency room, only now it will cost ten times as much to fix, at greater risk to the patient. This is also backed up by the international experience of health care. Every other industrialized country has universal coverage, many have far superior care, not to mention superior service (France anyone?) to the United States. Yet every one of the countries pays far less per capita (most less than half) than we do on health care. Data from studies within our own country show it’s cheaper for the state to cover the uninsured than to let them stay uninsured. Because of EMTALA, passed by that notorious socialist Ronald Reagan, everybody gets emergency care whether they are insured or not, and fully 50% of emergency care is uncompensated, costs which get transferred to the insured and the tax payers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Institutions are unlikely to fairly investigate allegations of fraud made against their own researchers"

… One point he made was that institutions are unlikely to fairly investigate allegations of fraud made against their own researchers: this obvious point seemed to be new to some people.  …
You don't tell, captain obvious.
… Aldhous explained how a journalist might have to put in as much time to get a story about fraud as to get, say, 75 stories about usual science. From a business perspective, that is obviously a serious problem. …
So Mikovits, Ruscetti and Lombardi can carry on their business – well, Mikovits only if she finds a new job.


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