Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Rituximab

IV rituximab has been used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome. A large, well-designed new study shows it doesn’t work. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME or ME/CFS), is a poorly-understood condition characterized by profound fatigue and a constellation of other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria, cause, pathophysiology, and treatment have been embroiled

Medical Apartheid

Harriet Washington’s book tells the dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans. It also reveals broader problems of inequality, poor science, and human failures. In a recent post, Clay Jones reminded us that “the unconscious need to avoid cognitive dissonance serves as a powerful motivation to rationalize even the most horrific beliefs and behaviors.”

Great Courses: Skeptic’s Guide to Health, Medicine, and the Media

The Great Courses offers continuing education for adults in a wide variety of subjects. They search out the best college professors and have put together over 500 expertly-produced video courses. You can buy them individually or subscribe to The Great Courses Plus, which gives you unlimited access to all their courses. I am a long-time customer,

Lou Gehrig’s Disease Was Named for the Baseball Player, But Was He Misdiagnosed?

Lou Gehrig, the famous New York Yankees first baseman, was known as the “Iron Horse” for his batting skills and durability. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and voted the greatest first baseman of all time, he set records that stood for over 50 years. In 1939, on his 36thbirthday, he was diagnosed with

An HBO Documentary about the Theranos Fraud Raises Concerns

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos to develop a device that could do 200 tests on a single drop of blood in a minute. She lied; it failed; she is being tried for fraud and conspiracy. The HBO documentary The Inventor tells the story but has some flaws. We can learn lessons from what happened. Alex Gibney’s film The Inventor:

How to Know What’s Really Real

Review of book: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake, by Steven Novella et al. There are many classics of skeptical literature. We often hear how someone became a skeptic because they read a book by Carl Sagan, James Randi, Michael Shermer, or some

Health Freedom, Right to Try, and Informed Consent

Starting with the Terrible Twos, when toddlers hear the word “No” on a regular basis, people don’t like to be told they can’t do something. They often believe government regulations interfere with their rights. The government requires vaccinations for school attendance; parents complain that they should be able to make their own decisions about whether

For Discussion: Should I Write Only About Fake Stuff If It Is Well-Known?

A person who describes himself as a “pseudoscience fighter” e-mailed me to chastise me for writing about Prodovite last week. He felt compelled to offer me some advice. He made some good points; but they were things I had already thought about, and they didn’t change my mind. I thought it might be useful to open

Beber Sangre De Murciélagos Es Una Mala (Y Loca) Idea

En la medicina tradicional china (MTC), uso médico generalizado de productos animales tales como bilis de oso, cuernos de rinoceronte, huesos de tigre y escamas de pangolín ha devenido en la práctica de la crueldad animal y ha amenazado a varias especies respecto de su extinción. Se han propuesto como remedios o encantamientos mágicos, todo

Drinking The Blood Of Bats Is A Bad (And Batty) Idea

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the widespread medical use of animal products such as bear bile, rhino horn, tiger bone, and pangolin scales has resulted in cruelty to animals and has threatened several species with extinction. All kinds of animal parts have been proposed as medicines or as magical charms, as in Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Fillet of