Thursday, October 26, 2006

Disclaimer to reports on Pagoclone

My last post was a report of a first-person experience of taking Pagoclone. I am a bit uncomfortable that readers might consider the very positive report as solid evidence for the efficiency of Pagoclone as a medication to reduce stuttering.

There are several issues to consider:

1) A first-person experience is certainly a fact. The person truly does experience what he is reporting.

2) HOWEVER, the interpretation of what he is experiencing and why he is experiencing is an interpretation of reality. He has a theory on what is happening with him. And this is NOT, and I say it again is NOT, necessarily correct. His interpretation, his theory, could be wrong. An example: A man gives a woman flowers. She experiences positive feelings, and interprets that he likes/loves her. Her experience of being given flowers and the feelings associated are true. She also experiences her interpretation of this act, but (as many women know) her interpretation might well be completely wrong and he is just a womanizer!

3) Human often fall prey to logical fallacies, and that's why their interpretation is not be trusted in general, UNLESS the effects reported are very very strong and very many say it. But even then... But their experiences as such are mostly reliable. They truly did experience what they report.

4) Reports are "dangerous" due to the selection bias. Pagoclone might have no effect at all, and lets assume stuttering fluctuates greatly over time (as it does). Then BY CHANCE some will experience a decline in stuttering at the same time as taking Pagoclone. And they and the readers of the reports might associate this correlation with a casual link even though it is just a pure coincidence.


Anonymous said...

I have been taking Pagoclone for nearly a year now. There have definitely been positive results from this drug and no side effects. It clearly works to some degree. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. It is not a cure for stuttering and to my knowledge has not been hyped as such. The effects seem to have been progressive for me. The readers of this blog need to understand that the potential marketing of Pagoclone is a positive breakthrough on an issue that can seriously dominate your life. It is not a magic pill. There is simply no such thing.

Anonymous said...

Were any subjects in this Pagoclone trial given placebos and, if yes, are you certain the subject reporting was given the active substance?

I think you shouldn't publish single reports like that. They are not valid evidence and may be misleading. But, i know, publish or perish...

Anonymous said...

As the reporter, I will say:

After the double blind study, they give an open label. So I know that I was being given the real deal. I totally agree with Tom, however, in saying that it's just one case. I know that in my many years of living, my speech has "come and gone." However, I think it's good to put this out in the hopes that others in the study will come forth and give their opinions and observations as well.

Anonymous said...

I posted the first comment on this issue and completely agree that such anecdotal evidence can be misleading. Nevertheless, my own experience is all I have to offer. The results of the study are supposed to be published in some peer-reviewed academic journal. My guess is that Tom has his ear to the ground on that point. Until then, this is all just cocktail party fodder.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know what the story is on the phase III trial of Pagoclone?