Visual Stress

The Opticalm Clinic claims to diagnose and treat visual stress with colored lenses and other aids. Visual stress is a poorly defined, questionable condition and Opticalm’s claims are not backed by scientific evidence. What does “visual stress” mean? It appears to be a new term for what has also been called Irlen syndrome (described by Steve Novella

Shooting the Messenger: Activists Persecute Scientists Whose Findings They Don’t Like

Alice Dreger’s book recounts many instances of shooting the messenger, when scientists were persecuted for research findings that activists found objectionable. Social justice matters, but it should rely on science and reality, not ideology. Don’t shoot him. He’s just bringing a message. Alice Dreger is an academic historian who has been active in supporting those

Neuriva: Clinically Proven?

Neuriva claims to have proof from clinical studies. That’s misleading. Will your brain work better if you take Neuriva? Probably not.My TV is threatening to collapse under the onslaught of commercials for Neuriva. They say it has been clinically proven to improve five measures of brain performance: accuracy, performance, concentration, memory, and learning. I found

Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)

TRE exercises can supposedly cure PTSD by inducing tremors. Not credible. And there’s no science to support the claims. This bear is running away. After he has escaped the danger, will he lie down on his back in the woods and deliberately tremor to release the aroused stress? I doubt it! Pseudoscience and silliness are

New Drug Is Effective for Post-Partum Depression, But There Are Drawbacks

A new drug promises to cure postpartum depression, but it is restricted and patients must be hospitalized for a 60-hour IV infusion. There’s a new cure for postpartum depression; but don’t celebrate just yet. It’s far from a panacea, and it’s not for everyone. The devil is in the details. Post-partum depression (PPD) affects about

Treating Mental Illness with Nutrition: The Walsh Protocol

The Walsh Institute offers the Walsh protocol for the nutritional treatment of mental illness. This “orthomolecular psychiatry” is not supported by any clinical studies. You can use the words in Scrabble, but claims to produce mental health with nutrition don’t hold up to scrutiny.The Walsh Institute, founded by William J. Walsh, is “dedicated to unraveling

Pseudoscience in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

This new book addresses the neglected field of research on child and adolescent psychotherapy and does an excellent job of distinguishing treatments that have been proven to work from treatments that are based on pseudoscience. Pseudoscience in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: a Skeptical Field Guide is a new book with multiple authors, edited by Stephen

Chiropractor Treating Concussions for Earlier Return to Play

A chiropractor is using questionable diagnostic and therapeutic measures to return athletes to play sooner after a concussion. Not a good idea. A science teacher contacted me with concerns about a story he saw on his local TV news. It featured a chiropractor in his area who is treating athletes with concussions. He claims that

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

The Magic Feather Effect: Placebos and the Power of Belief in Alternative Medicine

In her book The Magic Feather Effect, journalist Melanie Warner covers placebo research, shows that alternative medicine is placebo medicine, takes a “try it yourself” approach, and gives belief and anecdotes more credit than they deserve. In the movie Dumbo, a little elephant with large ears can fly by flapping them like wings, but he refuses to

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