Thursday, November 04, 2010

Don't understand the critique

A new blog Stutter-Mind writes on stuttering focussing on medication
The most vociferous critics of fluency drug testing (e.g., The Stuttering Brain blog; Roger Ingham, Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, October, 2010) rely heavily on the placebo argument to bolster their beliefs and prejudices--namely that individuals respond favorably to a particular drug not because of its therapeutic efficacy but rather through a placebo effect. And, according to them, this effect might be short lived. Since stuttering is basically a mind-body problem, and the mind
plays a very important role in the severity of the disfluency, it is no wonder that it is very difficult to disentangle any real therapeutic effects from placebo effects. In addition, naturally occurring fluctuations in the levels of neurotransmitters may further obfuscate clinical trials. Listening to these critics may result in paralysis through analysis with regard to the search for fluency enhancing drugs.
I am all in favour of double blind random control trials. I do not understand how we are biased. We are only careful. Placebo is a well-known effect, and therefore random control trials include an empty pill arm. And a long observation time is important, because the placebo effect is mostly short-lived. It's an important part of science to look for effects that could distort results.

I don't understand why it is difficult to disentangle the effects? Even fluctuations should be no issue, because the sample size is large which evens out the fluctuations. The real issue is that a subgroup might respond well to the compound, and due to averaging this effect is lost in the trial.


Simona Negoita said...

Placebo stands as a proof that taking chemical medication is not all. I don't understand why traditional medicine ignores (or even mocks at) the mere idea that chemical reactions impact not only on the physical human body, but also on its energetic layers. Placebo has a short-term effect, medication may have a longer-term effect, but why we cannot talk about a life-time effect ?

Besides a physical presence, the human being is also an energetic (some call it spiritual) presence on Earth. Medication treats the physical illness, but what humans have not yet considered (for life-time effectiveness of medication) is to cure those black holes in the layers of energy or spirit that block people from being naturally healthy.

Tom Weidig said...

What and where exactly are those energetic layers?