Correspondent Lorne Oliver is highly skeptical of acupuncture, but faced cognitive dissonance because he believed acupuncture saved his life. He describes the experience on his blog at http://www.filletofseoul.com/2008/10/acupuncture.html Briefly, he developed itching after eating a dried persimmon, broke out in hives, developed a rapid pulse, then shallow, rapid breathing and… read more "Acupuncture miracle"
Psychodermatology has emerged as a new subspecialty of dermatology and psychiatry. It even has its own organization, the Association for Psychoneurocutaneous Medicine of North America. On their website you can locate a psychodermatologist in your area. What exactly is psychodermatology? According to a review article in American Family Physician “A… read more "Psychodermatology"
Depression can kill. Antidepressants can help. A meme that continues to appear regularly in the media and in the comments section of this blog is “antidepressants are no better than placebo.” It is a false belief based on a faulty interpretation of the evidence. A new study has just… read more "The Debate Is Over: Antidepressants DO Work Better Than Placebo"
Psychiatry is arguably the least science-based of all the medical specialties, and Freudian psychoanalysis is arguably the least science-based psychotherapy. Freud’s theories have been widely criticized as unscientific, and treatment of mental disorders has increasingly turned to psychotropic medications and effective therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Freud’s impact on… read more "Freud Was a Fraud: A Triumph of Pseudoscience"
Daniel Amen, the media-savvy psychiatrist and promoter of SPECT scans, has teamed-up with his wife Tana to write a self-help book that hopelessly muddles good medical advice with misinformation and speculation. Dr. Daniel Amen has been called the most popular psychiatrist in America. His main claim to fame is the SPECT… read more "The Brain Warrior’s Way: Standard Health Advice Mixed with Misinformation and Fanciful Ideas"
I got an email urging me to check out a wonderful new product that boosts brain performance: it “doubles IQ, skyrockets energy levels, and connects areas of the brain not previously connected.” It is BrainPlus IQ, a dietary supplement that falls into the category of nootropics, substances that enhance cognition… read more "BrainPlus IQ: Lying with Advertising"
I didn’t intend to review Jon Palfreman’s book Brain Storms: The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s Disease, but after reading it I decided it was too good not to share. Palfreman is an award-winning science journalist who has Parkinson’s himself. He has done a bang-up job of describing Parkinson’s… read more "Parkinson’s Disease: A Detective Story"
Buddhists believe in reincarnation. Some psychotherapists do too. I recently got an e-mail from a PR firm about an “internationally certified regression therapist,” Ann Barham, who has written a book and who claims to help patients to “heal enduring challenges, release unhealthy patterns and beliefs, and find their way to… read more "Past Life Regression Therapy: Encouraging Fantasy"
A cargo cult pseudo airplane. How much of psychology is like this? Last year I reviewed Tomasz Witkowski and Maciej Zatonski’s book Psychology Gone Wrong where they pointed out that many of psychology’s accepted beliefs and therapies were not based on good evidence. Now Witkowski has written a new book, to be… read more "Cargo Cult Psychology"
What is autism? What causes it? Is it genetic? Is it a consequence of something in our environment or lifestyle? What’s an “idiot savant” or an “autistic savant”? What happens when autistic children become adults? Why are so many of their parents scientists, academics, and engineers? If your grandfather’s Uncle… read more "Neurotribes: A Better Understanding of Autism"