A response to the excellent Post and discussion PD-by-the-Book-may-be-Wrong healthunlocked.com/parkinso...
Death is a serious medical condition with a broad impact. It is surprising that while there is reasonably consistent acceptance of the definition of clinical death there is a broad range of opinions in the medical community regarding conditions leading to death and its onset, which we shall denote as pre-death (PD). Certainly experience indicates there is early-onset PD, rapidly progressing PD, “normal” PD, and an unending variety of named PD realizations.
There seem to be as many prescribed PD treatments as there are practitioners. PD treatments are directed towards two goals: 1) curing PD and 2) providing relief for the symptoms of PD. Drug therapy is very popular and has generated vast incomes for the pharmaceutical industry. With all this attention it is disturbing that no cure for PD has been discovered. Indeed there is surprising the little scientific evidence that the most expensive PD drug therapies provide substantial benefit beyond a consistent regimen of 1. Eat a sensible diet, possibly with some supplements, 2. Get plenty of sleep, and 3. Exercise vigorously.
The scientific evidence that exists has been generated mostly by funding from the institutions that corner the profit generating market, aka, the pharmaceutical industry, and consistently supports the use of their products. The professional community aggressively discourages comments from the PD sufferers regarding possible treatments, or even which symptoms torment PD sufferers. Discouragement can take several forms: mostly comments are simply ignored, but for comments where consistency creates a little traction, the professionals dismiss them as being antidotal. In this latter case there is abundance of self-defined savants in the PD community who jump on the bandwagon, eager to castigate those PD sufferers who choose to share what little they have learned rather than to suffer in silence.
This situation might be amusing if the outcomes were not so grave. There is little science in the “scientific” evidence presented by the professionals and far less in the tirades issued by the savants. For example:
1. Do they understand the difference between correlation and causation?
2. Do they understand the meaning of independent samples?
3. Is it appropriate to cherry-pick the results, publishing only results that are supportive of their agenda?
Based on accepted practice, it is appropriate to wonder if “Medical Science” is an oxymoron.
Disclosure: I am a retired scientist from MIT and the National Center for Atmospheric Research and have served on a panel for the National Academy of Sciences (Radar Meteorology).
Explanation 1. The numbers, which are generated as evidence of success in a double-blind trial, are correlation coefficients and do not infer cause-and-effect.
Explanation 2. Comparison statistics require that the sample populations in the test be independent, not just different. For example if there is any positive/negative correlating supplemental treatment, genetics, etc. in the TEST and CONTROL groups then the sample populations fail to be independent. To select randomly and to know enough about the test group and the control group to guarantee that there are no correlating supplemental treatments, genetics, etc. probably would require a “quadruple blind” trial (subjects, group selectors, test administrators, test evaluator).
Explanation 3. It is scandalous that cherry-picking has been widespread and accepted in the medical research community. While recent actions have been taken to reduce cherry-picking, no effort has been taken to measure and publish the level of cherry-picking in historical studies, which are cited so often in our current discussions.