Interesting and depressing book on medical research

I just finished reading a book, Rigor Mortis by Richard Harris. It discussed the many shortcomings in research, some so glaring it is hard to imagine they could exist in the field of science. Anyone frustrated by the constant promises of cures "just around the corner" only to be disappointed should read this for a better understanding of why progress is so slow and what is being done to overcome the obstacles.

10 Replies

  • As someone who researches the medical journals from time to time, I find the quality of some of what gets published is appalling. A big part of the problem is the vast amount of $$ spent by big pharma to pollute the record in their favor. More here:

  • According to the book the pharmaceutical companies are meticulous compared to universities. The pressure to publish and obtain worthwhile results caused many researchers to mine their data for something significant if their original hypothesis doesn't pan out. You would probably enjoy the book if you are aware enough to look at research critically and recognize the shortcomings.

  • Such shortcomings are apparent in some current PD efforts. The P1 trial for nilotinib that hit the news last year claimed no adverse effects, yet 40% of patients have skin reactions (at the leukemia dose). Personally even tiny amounts give me an unacceptable skin reaction. I'm betting the P2 planned by the MJFF comes up with some adverse events.

    A highly questionable PD strategy is raising urate levels. If one looks at the studies applicable to the raised level sought, the adverse cardiovascular and kidney effects are unacceptable.

    Will get the book.

  • High urate levels is a recipe for gout.

    Which is no fun.

  • Not just PD. Until research is based more on finding the cause of diseases and a cure, not on expensive drugs to treat different symptoms as you mentioned by the big pharma, we will to be stuck in the loop.

  • They know the cause. It's environmental poisoning aka: Pesticides.

  • I worked in the airline industry as an engineer and was exposed to Skydrol an organophosphate mineral oil, as was my dad who also had PD.there is an ongoing court case by The American pilots association about aerotoxic syndrome that I have been following ,because I think there has been a coverup.this is an article from Australia which states its toxic and causes neurological symptoms but no one takes any notice

  • Paul sounds interesting, thanks for the post.

    PB wasnt the nilotilib study reporting adverese reactions in that trial and at the strength not adverse events in general? Have you used google scholar as your search engine? I find it good.

  • Yes I use google scholar and agree it is good. If I understand your other question - yes, of course the trial was to report only adverse effects seen in that trial. Based on my own experience and the observed frequency of skin reactions, I am skeptical that no one experienced skin reactions even at half dose.

  • This podcast called The Portland Countdown has several great interviews covering the history and current state of research on PD. The moderators are Jon Palfreman Ph.d and Dave Iverson. The search for a cure and more effective treatment options is certainly frustrating..

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