JoNova

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How many children died because peer reviewed data was buried and results cherry-picked?

This example below shows the dangers of cherry picked and buried data. It shows how great news and joy can be reported from rancid results, and the only protection against this is open access. When the taxpayer funds research that is not fully and transparently public, and immediately available, the people are funding PR rather than science. “Peer review” does little to stop this, little to clean up the mess after it happens, and the truth can take years to  be set free.

Ten percent of teenagers taking an anti-depressant harmed themselves or attempted suicide. This was ten times the rate of the teens on the placebo. The results of this clinical trial were published in 2001, but those alarming statistics were not reported. The drug went on to be widely used. A new reanalysis of the data, reported in the BMJ, revealed the dark and hidden dangers. The company that funded the research, Glaxo Smith Kline, has already faced record fines of $4.2 billion. The Journal of the Ameri­can Academy of Child and Adoles­cent Psychiatry won’t retract the paper.

There are many ways to hide data. In this case, the results of the trial include 80,000 records which were provided in a form that could only be accessed one at a time.

There are many branches of science, and psycho-science where the data is partially withheld, or unavailable, or provided in a difficult-to-use form. David Jones of the Australian BOM was caught in the climate gate emails saying “we have a policy of providing any complainer with every single station observation when they question our data (this usually snows them).” Stefan Lewandowsky did a survey and held back a quarter of the results. John Cook and the University of Queensland threatened to sue people making their data public.

All publicly funded data must be made available upon publication; the public shouldn’t need to ask for it.  If they have to FOI, the government funded system of “science” has already failed.

Data from a peer-reviewed antidepressant trial misleading: 

An Australian-led study of a popular antidepressant has shown that it can tip young people­ into suicide.

In a rare re-analysis of a contro­versial clinical trial, the researchers­ found that the drug paroxetine — touted in 2001 as safe and effective for teenagers — was neither.

The new study, published in the journal BMJ, proves the long-suspected dangers of the drug also known as Paxil, Aropax, Extine­ and Paxtine. Study leader Jon Jureidini said it raised wider implications about the need for medical researchers to publish their underlying data — standard practice in genomics and astronomy, but rare in medicine.

 Big money at stake, and bad statistics go unspoken:

The controversy eventually contributed to a record $4.2 billion fine against GlaxoSmithKline, whose constituent company SmithKline Beecham had funded the study during the 1990s, for withholding data and misleading consumers. But the Journal of the Ameri­can Academy of Child and Adoles­cent Psychiatry, which published the 2001 paper, dismissed retraction calls.

The new study re-analysed records extracted from the company during legal proceedings and subsequent negotiations. It found that more than 10 per cent of the teenagers who took paroxetine during the trial had harmed themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 1 per cent of patients who took a placebo.

There are many ways to hide data:

A GSK spokeswoman said the side-effects of the drug were now well understood, and the company no longer owned the product in Australia. She said the company was committed to open disclosure of trial data and had allowed the Adelaide researchers access to the Study 329 records. “We disagree with any suggestion that we didn’t help the team with its analysis,” she said.

Professor Jureidini said GSK had granted access to the data via a server that allowed the researchers to look at the 80,000-odd records only one at a time, and repeatedly logged them out. One researcher had spent more than 1000 hours painstakingly extracting information.

Two million prescriptions to children:

The “blockbuster” drug, paroxetine, which is sold under the brand names Aropax here and Paxil overseas, was prescribed more than two million times to children in the US alone until warnings emerged that it may be causing suicidal behaviour in some children.

Study co-author Jon Jureidini, from the University of Adelaide’s Critical and Ethical Mental Health Research Group, said previously unreleased patient records and other documents showed far higher rates of serious incidents in children taking the drug than previously thought, and no evidence the drug worked for depression.

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92 comments to How many children died because peer reviewed data was buried and results cherry-picked?

  • #
    Bulldust

    Perhaps this is of interest… The WA Government is moving in the right direction with open data policies:

    https://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/Consultation/Pages/WAWholeofGovernmentOpenDataPolicy.aspx

    I can personally vouch for a couple of the contributors on that group, so I have hope that this will be a positive change.

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  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Jo, I have never understood the policy that research funded wholly or partially by taxpayers funds could withhold data, paywall papers, and otherwise hide their results.
    If private companies or NGOs mislead the public, hide data, and otherwise act against the public welfare cay be taken to court by lawsuits.
    But, it seems to me if science is to be about any part of truth then the journals have to establish standards to protect the public and science itself. And these standards should include 100% transparency of the papers, peer reviews, data used in analyses, and supporting data. All of this should be provided concurrently with publication if it is to be effective.

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  • #

    I recall Aropax being a prescription of choice for anyone, adults as well as young people, some time during the 90s? Not sure of the date, but I remember warning family members and others about Aropax. I was given the stuff myself during a bad patch. Against advice, I stopped taking it in less than a week because it made everything worse, not better. The advice was that this was a side-effect that would wear off.
    Uh-huh. I guess it would if the patient has a fatal accident or commits suicide…
    I would be tempted to go and sort out the person concerned, but I understand they have now passed on.
    Perhaps as a result of sampling their own stuff …

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    • #
      Ian Hill

      I agree Martin. Not only teenagers get into trouble with Aropax. On the very first day I started taking Aropax in June 1996 I got into serious trouble at work where the side effects caused a panic attack after a particular incident. This set into motion a chain of events from which I never recovered and I left there a year later. Sorry I need to be so vague about this.

      It wasn’t my choice – it’s what the doctor prescribed.

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  • #
    Yonniestone

    From personal direct experience this behaviour comes as no surprise, my better half had been on Zoloft (Pfizer) for 20 years with no side effects until a global shortage of the drug forced her (and millions of others) to seek an alternative, she was now takes Lexapro which has worked out well despite her initial anxiety (pun intended).

    After further research into the reason for a shortage I found lawsuits filed against Pfizer for a claimed connection to pregnant women taking Zoloft and birth defects back in late 2014 , even though some cases have since been dismissed it still highlights the need for more transparency in drug research, as with research these few cases do not represent what the majority may experience .

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  • #

    Sadly, it doesn’t matter what the industry (including the UN climate industry), it’s all to do with money, or avoidance of bad PR (which goes back to money). I don’t think anyone will ever stop it.

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    • #
      joseph

      But some people are making a good effort and helping a lot of people. Dr. Linda Lagemann for example . . . . .
      http://www.drlagemann.com

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Very interesting.

        It is not the doctors or psychiatrists but the control mechanism which regulates quite strongly how a “professional’ (with appropriate “insurance”) will treat a patient.

        If the governing manual says “prescribe XYZ for depression with additional Cognitive Behaviour Therapy then that is what gets done.

        The big problem is that somebody arranged for the “treatment” to be included in the manual.

        How did the prescription of a particular drug, sometimes with limited testing and or selected results from a special test group become the required treatment?

        KK

        21

  • #
    Manfred

    “Peer review” does little to stop this, little to clean up the mess after it happens, and the truth can take years to be set free.

    True. And why does the ‘truth’ take years to be set free? Who prescribed the ’2 million prescriptions to children’?

    When SSRI’s were delisted from specialist-only prescription to General Practitioner prescription, the GP professional bodies stated how circumspect they would be, how wise and informed they would be with each SSRI prescription, in stark contradistinction to their well known record around the historical prescription of benzodiazepines. One could also be forgiven for thinking that continual professional education and the rise of evidence-based practice would facilitate the necessary therapeutic circumspection, together with and awareness of alternate avenues.

    It seems, much like antibiotics, that the flagrant, loose and widespread prescription of SSRI’s frequently for years without review in individual cases for years, have bred a monster of a problem.

    The problem is that all professions have limitations of expertise that are generally reflected in their scopes of practice. In the case of Australian Medical Practice it appears more like caveat emptor. The recognition of limitations is obviously a problem given the subject of this thread. Perhaps it appears better to be seen to do something (prescribe) than not when one has essentially unlimited pratice? What is clear is that a double bachelors degree may imply the keys to the therapeutic kingdom, but in reality the evidence suggests that they barely open a few of the many rooms.

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  • #
    tom0mason

    The problem with many of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) of which Paxil (paroxetine) is exactly what it does and how it does it in the individual.
    One effect of Paxil is it appears to interfere with some functions in the human liver, cytochrome P4502D6 (CYP2D6), being the most often quoted. However this cytochrome P4502D6 in the liver, as far as I have read, this very variable between individuals and appears be race specific as to which types any person may make and utilize. These effects were know when many later studies were made, were considerations for these natural variation taken into account when conducting trials?
    Was variation of efficacy/side-effects by race and cytochrome P4502D6 make-up even thought about?

    References -
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2004.02282.x/abstract;jsessionid=98DFC7A4DB6289E50721D9F8A77CE168.f02t02
    and
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00003088-199529030-00005

    I await to be corrected by someone more qualified than myself…

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    • #
      tom0mason

      A further search and I find this http://enzymecyp2d6.blogspot.com/
      The comments left on this site are quite illuminating.
      A comment from Bob Fiddaman Author of Seroxat/Paxil Sufferers, says –

      Something has been bugging me about the Paxil NCT00812812 trial currently being run by GlaxoSmithKline in Japan. Enough to keep me awake at night to ponder the 112487 trial Protocol and its content, in particular, the exclusion criteria.

      For those of you who don’t know, the Paxil NCT00812812 trial, underway at this moment in time, is for children from the age of 7 upwards to 17 – Yes, you read it correct, CHILDREN! …

      He then goes on at length what the trials do.

      90

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    I am ex-military. My Doctor is also ex-military, and also my age. My Dentist is ex-military, although a bit younger.

    The standard discussion with either one, follows a pattern: “This is what is wrong with you”. “It is/is not potentially going to kill you”. “You will probably get better in x weeks or so with treatment/or y weeks or so without treatment”. “These are the known side effects of the treatment”. “What do you want to do?”

    The decisions are all mine, and and I have not died yet. This is probably because I understand the possible upsides, and the potential downsides, of embarking on any course of treatment.

    And I think that is actually at the heart of the problem. People expect their doctors to be infallible, and so they leave all of the decisions to the doctor to make. In return, the doctor will always ere on the side of caution, so prescribing something, anything, is better than telling somebody that they are going to feel really crook for the next six weeks, and they might get better, or they might not.

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    • #
      Manfred

      In return, the doctor will always ere on the side of caution, so prescribing something, anything, is better than telling somebody that they are going to feel really crook for the next six weeks, and they might get better, or they might not.

      RW, I struggle to see how such an approach could be construed as ‘the side of caution’. ‘Caution’ would arguably be the side that allowed the aetiology of an uncomplicated condition to run its natural course, following the tenets of evidence-based best practice, as opposed to ‘usual practice’?

      The (now former?) routine prescription of antibiotics for an uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infection in a normally healthy individual has been shown recurrently not to possess substantive utility, yet to be seen to ‘do’ something, to prescribe an antibiotic, may be considered more reassuring. As such, it is also an opportunity for patient education, one that may be missed.

      So the uninformed patient may ‘demand’ an intervention. The wiser therapeutic consideration may then be confounded by economic self-interest because there is an awareness that the patient may chose to go elsewhere in the future, knowing that they will find someone more amenable to their immediate wishes.

      When it comes to the vagaries of the human psyche, the genetic and epigenetic variability, the complexity of individual neurochemistry and physiology, subject to an heuristic empirical approach, scientifically determined on the basis of a cohort response that engenders the ‘one size fits all’ of an SSRI, this approach appears as I mentioned previously, is not without significant downstream problems.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Manfred,

        Thank you for your concise and erudite comment.

        I recognise that allowing the aetiology of an uncomplicated condition to run its natural course, can be construed as a null hypothesis, and on that point I concur. But I must disagree that prescribing an antibiotic, purely as a means of reassuring the patient, has any merit over an above the use of a placebo, and in fact may have the delitorous effect of creating an immunity towards the class of antibiotic prescribed.

        Therefore, should the patient ‘demand’ an intervention, I would argue that the use of a placebo would be entirely consistent in addressing the possibility of the patient choosing to explore other forms or sources of treatment.

        Regarding the vagarities of the human psyche, and the presented physiology, and given that we are discussing a cohort of one, I consider that the empirical approach that I have adopted in my choice of medical and dental practitioner, to be entirely consistent with the complexity of my psychological state.

        Perhaps it comes down to a relationship and raport that develops and evolves between a patient and a professional, where both come from a somewhat similar background?

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        • #
          Manfred

          RW, thank you for your generous comments and reply. I regrettably overlooked your personal preference in your single case report.

          The prescription of an antibiotic in this instance is arguably no better than a placebo, although complications of antibiotic resistance, which are now a scourge, are regarded as undesirable and difficult to manage. After all, typically the acute infective agent is a virus.

          I agree however that your anecdotal experience of n=1 is personally valuable and immensely reassuring. Indeed, an axiom lies somewhere within the comment that a single patient is not an experiment or a study.

          Clinical practice is not research. For those anchored solely in clinical insurance driven algorithms it is unsurprising that they seek clinical humanity elsewhere and make choices. I should add here that the practice of evidence-based medicine holds to a tenet that respectfully embraces a patient’s preferences and cultural proclivities.

          May your need for any consultation of the nature we are discussing always remain vanishingly infinitesimal.

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      • #
        Rob JM

        It’s dangerous to claim that antibiotics are not require for upper respiratory infections. Yes most infections are from viruses and antibiotics are not needed, but without proper diagnosis you are risking death. infections from S. pyogenes, S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, N. meningitidis all start with URTIs and are not something you want to be leaving your immune system to deal with.

        If your concerned about antibiotic resistance then you might want to look at the 90% of all antibiotics produced that are used as low dose grow enhancers in livestock production.

        10

        • #
          NZPete

          Yep, I’ve just been through this. Felt very ill Thurday 30 July. Thought I had the flu (in spite of an inoculation earlier). Put off going to the Doctor until the following Thursday. Diagnosis was URTI, with a secondary bacterial infection. A one week course of Augmentin cleared the latter up, and the viral infection took weeks to clear completely – I’m still coughing from time to time.
          I’m dead against casual use of antibiotics, especially when they are completely ineffective, but there are times when they are a lifesaver.

          00

    • #
      Gee Aye

      Omg and you survived despite the public funding?

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  • #
    KinkyKeith

    The suicide of young children on SSRIs is one of the biggest scandals I have come across.

    Many parallels with the Global Warming scam.

    In my University Psychology course almost twenty years ago we were able to see that there was actually NO link between SSRIs and relief from depression.

    As a Metallurgist with systems analysis background it occurred to me that there was not a sensible reason to use SSRIs.

    Drug companies referred to a “chemical imbalance” and there certainly was one:Serotonin was low; it was also known as the love drug because people in love experience the same state.

    They then took this connection and decided that IF Serotonin was low in people with depression then logically if you increase serotonin in the neural gap everything will be OK.

    WOW!

    SSRI’s were known to be little more than a Placebo many many years ago and there was never any proper evidence for widespread use.

    The only group they saved was the extreme group on the verge of suicide; in that case they worked by putting the victim to sleep.

    Hard to commit suicide when you are asleep!

    As for young children prescribed SSRIs and told they would feel the benefit in three weeks.

    Comes the end of 3 weeks and they feel worse after taking the best and latest thing on offer.

    They decide they are in a hopeless jam, and without the worldly experience of adults, who know things may get better; they decide to end it. A scandal.

    From an earlier thread discussion:

    “Yes.

    The big antidepressant scandal comes to mind.

    There is a link between Serotonin and mood and so the Big Pharm’s have sold billions of dollars worth of SSRIs to “help?’ people with mood disorders.

    All junk science.

    An analogy on how SSRIs work, maybe a bit hard to follow but here goes:

    You are diving down a long straight road and a very long way in the distance a huge concrete wall has been erected across your path (final mental collapse).

    After half an hour of driving you run out of petrol and stop. (low Serotonin)

    Saved.

    You look across the road and see a petrol sign and go to fill up (antidepressants).

    You drive on and reach the wall at great speed.

    If real life is making you ill, the only solution is to turn your life around.

    No amount of Antidepressants will make an abnormal stress normal.

    Young people have been given SSRIs and tend to suicide – how can a “Civilisation” eg the

    USA allow such distortion of science to penetrate its people so badly.

    Big Money. Big deception”.

    More from the earlier discussion:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/02/misanthropology/#comment-947527

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  • #

    I’ve been rereading posts @ Climate Audit.
    Here Craig Loehle’s 2000 Yr Global Temp
    Reconstruction based on Non-Tree Ring
    Proxy Data. (2007)

    Excellent critical review by Steve MC
    and commenters, open science at work,
    provenance and method. C.L. 19/Nov. @
    8.10am says: ‘I did search the archives
    and did not cherry pick.I chose the data
    BEFORE looking at it based on length and
    coverage.’

    Interesting that this study is an excellent
    match to Linquist FC 2010,2 millennia non-
    tree-ring proxy study with different region
    zones.

    Both show Medieval Warm Period Hey,where’s
    that Hockey Stick shaft?

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/11/15/craig-loehle-reconstruction/

    60

  • #

    In moderation? What might I have done. (

    [It might have been the use of the @ sign, or perhaps the spam filter is having an "off" day, it is hard to tell. Sorry.] Fly

    40

  • #

    One problem is the belief that things will work precisely or mechanistically once given a tech name or acronym. Where there’s a high level of complexity, whether it’s a drug unleashed on the fantastically variable human system or a rough observation set like ENSO applied to climate, everything works…but nothing works like it’s supposed to.

    The problem isn’t science, it’s the scienciness which assumes, against all experience, that best available data is adequate data. Scant data can be adequate in some situations, massive data can be inadequate in other situations. Pile as much data as high as you please, but what you don’t know, you don’t know.

    Plausible isn’t good enough, best available isn’t good enough. Only good enough is good enough.

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    • #

      Black swans abound, mosomoso.

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      • #
        Richard of NZ

        Are not all swans black? In my experience it is so, and the white ones shown on T.V. etc. are obviously image manipulated because I have never seen one.

        Seems as reasonable as much of “climate science” and its “deniers”.

        p.s :>)))))

        00

  • #

    Reminds me of Dr Ben Goldacre from Alltrials presenting the problem with drug trials publication(or not). See http://www.alltrials.net/
    and his presentation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=797&v=RKmxL8VYy0M

    20

  • #
    Gee Aye

    If research is not publically funded, who funds it?

    310

    • #
      Ernest Bush

      In the United States most drug research is done by Big Pharma. Some of us prefer calling this group the medical industrial complex.

      I had reason to research online the effects of statin drugs. If you are over 70 and taking one, there is a probable 1 in 5 chance you are damaging your joints and/or your ability to think clearly. Out of a list of 6 factors in heart disease it rates no 5, yet is prescribed like it is aspirin by most U.S. doctors. Even worse, the statistical analysis done on these drugs in the 70′s and 80′s were deliberately misstated and misrepresented to doctors, government overseers, and the public in general. Cutting down on your cholesterol will lower you testosterone levels, Co-Q–10 factor, and the amount of cholesterol available to your brain. Weight loss, exercise and de-stressing will do more for your heart and mind than any drug you take. Production of statins is a 30 billion dollar a year industry worldwide. Opening up the use of psychotropic drugs to children is merely an attempt by people who don’t give a flip about your children to increase the size of the market.

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      • #

        thanks but not really an answer. Have a think EB… where does the money come from that funds the Pharma and in fact which define any business great or small. Not from aliens is the only clue I will give you.

        15

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          I know!!

          It comes from the Big Government which sends it to Big Pharma via prescription subsidies.

          Now that’s out of the way.

          KK

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        • #
          Ernest Bush

          I understand what you are saying, of course. However, most new drugs are not accepted by Medicare, Medicaid, and lesser insurance policies. Management and government employee insurance plans cover some of the cost of new drugs. But mostly, it comes out of the pockets of whoever needs the drug and they may be paying thousands a year to have it. Research on new drugs is a bet that billions will be made before the drug patent runs out. A win is worth a lot of drug research that failed. However, there are companies that will cheat on test results despite the fact that some have gone to jail over it. The stakes are just too big for some not to cheat.

          Government and insurance plans in the U.S. require doctors to prescribe generics if available. Sometimes, the actual brand name drug is no longer manufactured by the company that patented it because there is not enough profit to make it worth their while. I speak from experience in this area. My wife and I are both on Medicare Part D drug coverage with supplementary insurance added. All told, currently about $7,000 comes out of our pockets for what younger people think is free coverage for older citizens. About $2400 of that money is for Medicare coverage.

          00

  • #
    bill

    THis has been going on for many years. Fines on companies are not the complete answer, the person/s responsible for the cover up and withholding information need to be held accountable and if serious jailed.

    80

  • #

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for exposing this horror and these incredible harms caused by the sociopaths in the drug companies, etc.

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    • #

      wrong… we are talking publically funded!

      17

      • #
        Dave

        .
        Geeaye
        Are we talking about public funding?
        Is GlaxoSmithKline, and it’s constituent company SmithKline Beecham public funded?
        The reference to Public funding was this:

        All publicly funded data must be made available upon publication; the public shouldn’t need to ask for it. If they have to FOI, the government funded system of “science” has already failed.

        Yet you’re demanding that the whole thread is about this

        Hmmm Jo’s crusade is against public ally funded research.

        Maybe you should realise the implications refer surreptitiously to BOM, CSIRO etc in regard to data should be made available upon publication of papers!

        Every comment so far you have made has been about:

        FUNDING?

        Is this a problem for you?

        40

  • #
    toorightmate

    Unfortunately, many people who REALLY require ant-depressants are in a desperate state.
    If their physicians are fully supportive then, UNFORTUNATELY they too are in a desperate state to help their patient.
    Depression is a horrible affliction. I have not experienced it, but my parents and loved ones have.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I take a drug — not for depression — that carries a warning about not only suicidal thoughts but also hallucinations and even an increase in compulsive gambling. From reading I’ve done it appears that almost any drug that acts in certain ways within the brain can cause suicidal thoughts and certainly some people will act on those thoughts. It doesn’t have to be an antidepressant.

      In my case the condition I have is completely harmless as far as adverse health consequences. But when it strikes it literally drives me up the wall. It’s called Restless leg Syndrome. This article is about as good as any if you’re interested. Don’t take the statement about low iron levels too seriously because it appears to not be the case with me.

      For something completely without known bad health or life threatening possibilities it’s nevertheless a major problem for anyone who has it.

      Our problem is how to treat people with serious conditions like depression without doing any more damage than is already taking place. And we don’t seem to be there yet.

      50

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Hi Roy

        In my younger days I used to have restless leg syndrome. It was especially difficult to go to the movies and sit still for two hours. Constantly needed to move to reduce the problem.

        It was most likely associated with all the running I once did but went away about 20 years ago.

        More recently I went on an antidepressant (remeron) for a few weeks to get through a bad patch.

        On taking the first half pill no problem; slept like an angel; on taking a full pill guess what came back:Restless leg syndrome. Not taking any medication now.

        KK

        40

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          It’s interesting that your symptoms went away. Once I was diagnosed and on treatment I remembered incidents from childhood where I had the same problem but as I got older the symptoms went away and didn’t strike again until I was almost 60. I had forgotten all about those unpleasant sensations and the need to move to do something about it until years later. Of course, it would have done no good to seek medical help because no one knew even the name Restless Leg Syndrome at that point.

          According to my neurologist there are only theories as to cause, either fall off of production of dopamine in the brain as you begin to relax and low iron levels.

          I’m just grateful these days that some drug will control the symptoms.

          10

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Roy, did anyone ever suggest taking potassium?
        I know it helps with leg cramps.

        30

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Had that suggested to me; nearly choked on the pill :) but stopped taking the AD so no prob.

          KK

          10

        • #
          Ernest Bush

          RLS has more to do with overstimulated or frayed nerves than any other physical cause. I took Gabapentin for mine and it worked wonderfully for a while, then gradually its effect went away. The RLS is not as severe as it was and I take ibuprofen for the occasional attack.

          20

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            The only thing gabapentin did for me was make me sleepy but it had no accompanying beneficial effect on the RLS. I would soon wake up with stronger symptoms than ever. Response to gabapentin is apparently highly individual.

            10

    • #
      Annie

      I can’t believe someone would red thumb you there toorightmate…I hope it was just accidental. Depression is an appalling affliction…I’ve had the post natal version…the people who say ‘pull yourself together’ haven’t a clue what they are talking about…they are actually being very cruel because they add a guilt component. I also suffered the trite comment ‘oh, we all get a bit down sometimes’…from my husband’s boss, who was an ignoramus.

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Annie

        I have unfortunately experienced it first hand. An extraordinarily powerful force of nature that will not be moved.

        How did you get past it?

        http://www.postpartumprogress.com/

        KK

        10

        • #
          Annie

          KK,I discovered yoga. The third time round, while pregnant, I had read a book about yoga and there was some comment about how it could help with hormone inbalance. I forgot all about it until about six months into severe post natal depression and the penny dropped that the depression started each time the lactation failed…hormonal? Yoga worth a try? Definitely; kicked all medications within two weeks and never looked back.

          The only time I’ve felt vague depression since was while taking statins. Two different statins both gave me depression and panic attacks so I stopped taking them. I’ve been given a third one and haven’t dared to try it; I prefer a shorter life without depression, if there is a choice!

          You have my sympathy if you’ve had this horrible illness. One thing I did discover is that, although you can do nothing to get out of the depression when it’s at its worst, once things start to lift you need to work at it.

          10

  • #
    hunter

    The rash of mass killings in the US correlates almost 100% with the use of so-called psychiatric drugs. There are many good reasons to do a deep and thorough no-holds audit on the companies making and profiting from those drugs.

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    Ruairi

    With access to data denied,
    To those on the skeptical side,
    As a ploy or a dupe,
    From a tax-funded group,
    Is a sign they have something to hide.

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    Andrew McRae

    Oh yes, Jo, think of the children, such as the people of the future in a man-made warmer climate.
    Richard Tol now says AGW is damaging but only very little…
    http://www.voxeu.org/article/economic-impacts-climate-change-new-evidence

    A global warming of 2.5ºC would make the average person feel as if she had lost 1.3% of her income, 1.3% being the average of the 11 estimates at 2.5ºC. [..]
    a century of climate change is about as good/bad for welfare as a year of economic growth.

    He gives no mention or countenance to the possibility that temperatures will go down even if AGW is real.
    However he points out poverty is the main exacerbator, not climate, and coal is currently the cheapest way to make electricity.

    Stop me if this sounds crazy, but when the UN’s number one Sustainable Development Goal is to reduce poverty, why don’t they just green-light (nyuk nyuk) building coal-fired power stations in the developing world, which then gives them many years of economic growth in those countries which is more than enough to offset the SINGLE year of lost income growth expected due to a century of warming. It’s not rocket science.

    On a related note, the Grauniad trash-talks coal again with agitprop concocted by the usual green gravy suspects.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/16/us-australian-taxpayers-pay-billions-fund-coal

    The subsidies given to coal companies included tax breaks, cheap leases, government-funded infrastructure including railways and ports and allowing inadequate funding of clean-up operation after mining ends.

    When a company isn’t charged as much for mining leases as the Carbon Tracker Initiative thinks they should be charged, that’s a “subsidy” of coal production according to CTI. Seems their bizarre definition of a subsidy is any discrepancy between reality and their imagination. So of course perceived subsidies abound.
    Last time I checked, if you subtract a real number from an imagined number the result is imagined not real.

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    Roy Hogue

    An Australian-led study of a popular antidepressant has shown that it can tip young people­ into suicide.

    The teenage suicide rate is alarming. We’re telling our children that their parents are destroying their world. And I suspect that even without this problem adding to the suicide rate, it would be higher than, say 50 years ago when adjusted for population.

    What are we doing to our progeny? Why are we doing it? It’s senseless and downright stupid.

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      Not just stupid Roy but cruel also, children and teenagers go through continuous stages of fear and uncertainty where any new, unknown, situation in their lives can upset their still developing view of the world, it’s a basic survival mechanism that continues through life.

      The point is as adults, parents, family we are wired to protect and nurture our young, when a society is ready to accept the manipulation of children through unwarranted, unfounded fears or phobias en masse then something has gone terribly wrong.

      This must pale in comparison to what incredible tales of the world are taught to children in North Korea but it doesn’t make it right.

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Excellent observation Yonnie.

        When I was growing up my boundaries were the police, the church, the scouts, athletics and my family and community.

        These days children are under the direct influence in school of an enormous mental construct about the world which distorts reality.

        The age of entitlement has struck with a vengeance.

        Teaching institutions, politicians and by extension the community itself are totally confused about life.

        The best thing any government can do is to create certainty for all children, because they are all vulnerable to anxiety.

        Providing or making government jobs to give a safety net after school would be a good start.

        These days and for the past forty years far too many children are just put on the dole and for a while they think it is great.
        They also must come to the conclusion that the community doesn’t care about them. Having a job to go to is one of the greatest gifts a government can give a person of average ability.

        It was done in the past and when done properly produces outstanding benefits for the worker and the community.

        Modern politics makes it easier to just hand out the money (OPM) rather than do the organising.

        KK.

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        Roy Hogue

        Not just stupid Roy but cruel also, children and teenagers go through continuous stages of fear and uncertainty where any new, unknown, situation in their lives can upset their still developing view of the world, it’s a basic survival mechanism that continues through life.

        Every cause has gone for control of the classroom. Why bother to fight with the adults when you can mold the child into the adult you want? In a generation or two you’ve accomplished a revolution. We’re using our children and stealing their childhood from them, literally. And many parents aren’t even aware of what’s happening.

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      hunter

      Roy,
      In some ways the climate obsession is worse than the Cold War. The climate crisis, after all, is due to the wickedness of the capitalist Christian world. CO2 is the tool of punishment and ruination. Every weather event is reported as if CO2 had caused it. For vulnerable, drugged, easily manipulated children, this could be too much and tip them into acting out.

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    “British MET Office – just another GroundHog Day”

    The British MET Office has lost its contract with the BBC !

    When asked what they will do now, the MET Office responded that it is considering its options.

    In an recent article portraying the MET Office’s attitude as very similar to the role (an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman) played by Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”. The MET Office replied that although there are similarities, the characters and events are purely coincidental.
    A spokesman for the MET Office did however admit that the Squirrel “Punxsutawney Phil” is a valid member of the MET office staff and his services will be retained despite his wild and totally un-Scientific forecasting methods.

    apologies for the off topic post, but I thought this might be interesting ..
    Does BOM perform the same role for ABC and do they also have a squirrel working for them ?

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    Jo Great post

    This is a great article and goes right to the heart of obtaining “Public Data” in this modern age of computers.
    I have noticed that many Climate Information sites “Public Websites” provide data in “piecemeal” form, when in fact it is just as easy for them to provide a link to the whole dataset in which people can simply click the link to download the dataset.

    For those familiar with FTP, it is sometimes far easier to access data using the FTP server and go straight to the dataset.
    Access is provided via the anonymous userid (you type anonymous in the userid field) NO password is needed or just type anything in that field.
    However an sometimes an email address is required for notifcations
    an example is given below for NOAA :-

    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/tg/anonymous.php – information for using FTP on NOAA

    ftp://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/SL.us008001 <– actual ftp directory containing datasets

    to download – "right click" mouse and select "save target"

    Most Websites are equipped with an "ftp server", especially if they are repository for data.
    every Browser is equipped with this ftp capability

    there should be one for BOM too :o

    http://www.bom.gov.au/catalogue/data-feeds.shtml – information

    ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/gen/fwo/ – BOM FTP directory

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    • #
      Just-A Guy

      ScotsmaninUtah,

      Good find. ;)

      In one of the other directories there there’s a 22Mb zipped file that contains data for many weather monitoring stations in Oz. The files are .csv, comma delimited, and can be opened using Excel and other programs.

      Downloaded but haven’t got time to examine the contents. Maybe someone else does?

      Abe

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      • #
        David Maddison

        Is that real data or homogenised data?

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        • #
          Just-A Guy

          David Maddison,

          There’s a fairly easy way to check. If some-one has the time, that is. All they need to do is download the data. Import the data into Excel or similar program. Check a few records to see what data set they match up with. Some of the un-homogenized data is available on line.

          I really do wish I had the time to do the analysis.

          It would also be of great interest how much data is there. I.e., are the records for each station complete? If not, what’s missing? Etc.

          Abe

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          • #
            David Maddison

            I don’t know a lot about it but would any of the commercially available data mining software packages be of use in analysing and comparing data sets for evidence of homogenisation? They presumably would at least partially automate the process.

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  • #
    craig

    As a medical rep, that is just embarrassing and I’m glad GSK copped a massive fine. Sadly, I think this is more common then we know and it comes down to how the researchers and statisticians and the company execs behave with respect to company expectations of trial results.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Craig

      I have bagged SSRIs but still think that the major issue relates to testing, reporting of results and government oversight of what the public is prescribed.

      Unfortunately governments cab be bought and that is the problem.

      You as a rep, doctors and psychiatrists must adhere to the given protocols or else and if you are given bad info then those giving it to you are those who need to be sorted out.

      KK

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    [...] How many children died because peer reviewed data was buried and results cherry-picked? This example below shows the dangers of cherry picked and buried data. It shows how great news and joy can be reported from rancid results, and the only protection against this is open access. When the taxpayer funds research that is not fully and transparently public, and immediately available, the people are funding PR rather than science. “Peer review” does little to stop this, little to clean up the mess after it happens, and the truth can take years to be set free. [...]

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  • #

    Here’s what Karl Denninger has to say: http://www.market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=230691
    Scroll down to the comments. Seems the Germanwings guy was on SSRIs.
    It is much worse than suicides.

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    pat

    the state of academia:

    20 Sept: Canberra Times: Clive Williams: Why climate change is Australia’s greatest national security issue
    I recently gave my “National Security and Counterterrorism” Masters students a syndicate exercise at the end of their course requiring them to prioritise the most serious threats to Australia’s national security (with national security being defined as safeguarding the “wellbeing” rather than “survival” of Australia – “survival” being more relevant to the Cold War era).
    They were given 13 threats or potential threats to consider: adverse global trends and challenges to the international system; terrorism and piracy; instability and failed or failing states; poverty, inequality, and poor governance; serious and organised crime; WMD proliferation; climate change; civil emergencies, including natural disasters and pandemics; state-led threats (such as rising powers and balance of power issues); competition for energy and resources; social cohesion; sovereignty issues (including illegal fishing and illegal entry to Australian waters and airspace) and; cyber threats.
    They then had to rank them by scale of impact, geographic proximity and urgency in time, and come up with a 1-13 list in order of priority. I don’t have the space here to go through the list of outcomes, but the students’ calculations based on current intelligence projections indicated that climate change should be our top national security concern…
    (Clive Williams is an adjunct professor at Macquarie University’s Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism and a visiting professor at the ANU’s Centre for Military and Security Law)
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/climate-change-is-australias-greatest-national-security-issue-20150918-gjpqv4.html

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    • #
      David Maddison

      Gosh, I can only think of one main national security concern and it is NOT “climate change”.

      What hope have we got if this is the state of academia?

      00

  • #
    handjive

    Psychiatric drugs kill 500k+ Western adults annually, few positive benefits – leading scientist

    http://www.rt.com/uk/258133-antidepressants-unnecessary-for-many/

    The government gave each teen a laptop. Now they’re the world’s worst cyberbullies

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/the-government-gave-each-teen-a-laptop-now-theyre-the-worlds-worst-cyberbullies/story-fnpug1jf-1227314059525

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Two very interesting comments handjive.

      The culture of bullying in Australian schools goes on unremarked by the establishment.

      I have seen the effects of 14 year old girls giving another “friend” a hard time. terminal result; pain all round for the parents and her brother and possibly even those involved.

      In the end it’s not the kids who are to blame but the adults running the system at the administrative level at Education HQ in each state and the current mindset that pervades society. Everybody contributes either by action in ignoring the problem or inaction in failing to demand a fix.

      KK

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    Helen

    This discussion reminds me of the deep sleep scandal. The easy diagnosis of depression was one factor that allowed that serious abuse to occur and I still remember one unfortunate victim. She was diagnosed but instead of life changing ideas was sent to try Chelmsford for the treatment but one of the nurses warned her and she checked herself out. However the department of education insisted she go back to the hospital becaused she had been sent for mental illness and needed a discharge to be taken back. I stll mourn for that victim. To read about her made me cry.

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    warcroft

    Every one of the last 15 or so mass shootings in America the shooters were on a cocktail of prescribed psychotropic drugs. Except two of the shooters.
    The medical records of those two have been locked so there’s every likelihood they were drugged too.

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    David Maddison

    When I was a fresh graduate I worked for a biomedical engineering firm making implantable electronic devices. The boss wouldn’t accept my analysis of the experimental data in terms of the calculation of the mean and standard deviation. So he recalculated it and obtained the hoped-for result.

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  • #
    Neville

    Sorry this O/T, but interesting.

    Another good post from Steve McIntyre looking at the lack of a hockey stick blade when using the latest alkenone proxy data for SST. Of course the HAD 4 data shows just 0.8 C of warming since 1850 and at the end of one of the coldest periods for the last 10,000 years.

    http://climateaudit.org/2015/09/19/the-blade-of-ocean2k/

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Neville you got the important bit there:

      “at the end of one of the coldest periods for the last 10,000 years”

      KK

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    Old farte

    Jo,

    You’re always ahead of the curve. I think that any article whose primary funder is government, should be open-access. If Nature wants to publish privately-funded papers, that only get sent to subscribers, okay, if the subscribers don’t get most of their library-funding money from the government. But every one of their taxpayer-funded papers, whose promulgation to universities spending public dollars, needs to be accessible to everyone, i.e. the people who are paying for them.

    “You people who are paying for research, and for publications, do not need to know what you are paying for,” does not resonate here.

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    Ian Nairn

    Science is infallible yet when it isn’t.

    01