THE JOYFUL REDUCTION OF UNCERTAINTY

Tag Archives: medicine

Cancer Progress: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

Official statistics say we are winning the War on Cancer. Cancer incidence rates, mortality rates, and five-year-survival rates have generally been moving in the right direction over the past few decades. More skeptical people offer an alternate narrative. Cancer incidence … Continue reading

Did A Melatonin Patent Inspire Current Dose Confusion?

Yesterday I wrote about melatonin, mentioning that most drugstore melatonin supplements were 10x or more the recommended dose. A commenter on Facebook pointed me to an interesting explanation of why. Dr. Richard Wurtman, an MIT scientist who helped discover melatonin’s … Continue reading

Cost Disease In Medicine: The Practical Perspective

Sometimes I imagine quitting my job and declaring war on cost disease in medicine. I would set up a practice with a name like Cheap-O Psychiatry. The corny name would be important. It would be a statement of values. It … Continue reading

HPPD And The Specter Of Permanent Side Effects

I recently worked with a man who took LSD once in college and never stopped hallucinating. It’s been ten years now and it’s still going. We can control it with medication, but take the meds away and it starts right … Continue reading

Should Psychiatry Test For Lead More?

Dr. Matthew Dumont treated a 44 year old woman with depression, body dysmorphia, and psychosis. She failed to respond to most of the ordinary treatments, failed to respond to electroconvulsive therapy, and seemed generally untreatable until she mentioned offhandedly that … Continue reading

Powerless Placebos

[All things that have been discussed here before, but some people wanted it all in a convenient place] The most important study on the placebo effect is Hróbjartsson and Gøtzsche’s Is The Placebo Powerless?, updated three years later by a … Continue reading

Against Rat Park

I. Rat Park is a famous study in which lab rats were kept in a really nice habitat that satisfied their every need. Contrary to the usual results with lab animals, scientists couldn’t get these happier rats addicted to drugs. … Continue reading

Is Pharma Research Worse Than Chance?

[Epistemic status: very speculative] The two most exciting developments in psychopharmacology in the 21st century so far have been ketamine for depression and MDMA for PTSD. Unlike other antidepressants, which work intermittently over a space of weeks, ketamine can cause … Continue reading

Postmarketing Surveillance Is Good And Normal

I. Scientific American notes a recent study saying that a third of drugs approved by the FDA over the past ten years have since been recalled, been given new boxed warnings, or been given new “safety communications”. A few people … Continue reading

Link: Taubes Contra Guyenet on Sugar

On Thursday I linked to Stephan Guyenet’s negative book review of Gary Taubes’ work on sugar. Taubes asked that I pass on a counterargument he’s been working on for a while. In early January, he posted a short version of … Continue reading

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