White Coat Underground

Archives for June, 2009

Depression—an online discussion

Major depressive disorder (hereafter referred to as “depression”) is a prevalent and disabling illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health: Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44…[and]…affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in…

I get mail–chiroquacktic edition

A long while back, at the original wordpress incarnation of this blog, I wrote a piece on the reasons that chiropractic is unscientific nonsense. Because it was popular, I moved it over here. Well, a chiropractor has come to bravely defend his field and left us a comment. A study in the May 2007 issue…

Cancer 202—Radiation therapy

(NB: as is usual with my more “science-y” posts, oversimplification is the rule. –PalMD) It’s been a very long while since I’ve updated my series on cancer. I keep meaning to, but you know how things go. Lately, though, I’ve been curious about radiation oncology, the use of ionizing radiation to treat cancers. What set…

PalCast #12—finally

PalCast 12 is up. Some relevant links: Anal Cancer HPV and cancer Simon Singh and chiroquacktic A blogospheric proposal Bad medical ideas Crazy new autism ideas

Hey, Jason!

We should probably mention that it isn’t really your help, either.

You say you want a revolution

Medical science rarely undergoes revolutionary changes. Progress tends to be slow and steady, with new ideas undergoing extensive investigation before being implemented. This pace can be frustrating and every once in a while, someone comes along who thinks they have discovered The Secret to It All. Despite the apparent insanity of such grandiosity (or perhaps…

Everyone who uses the internet leaves some sort of footprint, even if it’s just a string of visited addresses. This presence is magnified if you’ve ever been in the news, been listed on a website (e.g., as faculty), or if you write a blog. Social networking sites such as facebook and Twitter add a whole…

I’ve been a bit remiss in my coverage of the Simon Singh case, reviewed in detail by Phil Plait, among others. As many of my readers already know, respected science writer Simon Singh is being sued for libel in England by the British Chiroquacktic Association (BCA) because he described some of their treatments as “bogus”.…

Reflections

When I look at my daughter, what do I see? There is so much in every glance. Usually, she’s moving too fast to pin down, running at me yelling, “Daddy!!!” I don’t know how anyone even looks at their kids without tearing up, even a little. There is of course a narcissistic joy in having…

Zicam—something doesn’t stink here

I’d like to direct your attention toward an excellent discussion of today’s news about the cold “remedy” Zicam. Dr. Novella and the commenters have hit on all the major points; I can’t improve on it. I would, however, like to give you a personal look at anosmia, or the absence of a sense of smell.…