Friday, June 19, 2015

My response to Brian R Martin on Amazon UK

Dear Mr Martin,

  you wrote a number of interesting things, for example:

  "The cases discussed are ones where Dr O'Sullivan considered that the evidence was in favour of a psychosomatic origin,"

  Doctors or others who say that a disease is psychosomatic do not have any evidence for that; why not because it does not exist. The mere fact that routine testing is normal is not evidence that something is psychosomatic. But many doctors do not understand or realise this. In Parkinson or ALS for example, routine testing is also normal. 

  You continue by saying: "but nowhere do I find that she dismiss the possibility that in future a physical origin for the symptoms may be found, another false charge made against her."

  A few days ago the Institute of Medicine and the National Institute of Health published the final version of their reports on ME/CFS, analysing more than 9000 research papers, concluding that ME is a devastating multisystem disease, and not a psychiatric or psychological one.

  Or to quote exercise physiologist Professor Keller, who wrote in January 2015: "Given what we have learned in the past eight years about this illness, it is intellectually embarrassing to suggest that ME is a psychological illness." 

  You also write that: "I do know that in SOME cases treatment based on the assumption that the cause is psychosomatic does work. So in the absence of definite treatments based on anything else, why not try it. It does not rule out better treatments in the future."

  As there are no proper treatments at present, most patients with ME have tried CBT, because they are desperate to get better, but CBT for ME at best is totally useless. And graded exercise therapy causes severe relapses if people really have ME and breaches the do No Harm principle of the GMC/Medical Profession.

  You also say: "and referring to the authority of the Countess of Mar, herself a sufferer of chronic fatigue syndrome, who without any apparent scientific/medical training quotes papers she undoubtedly has not read and who would not understand even if she had,"

  That's an interesting observation, so if you don't like the evidence which is quoted, and you don't have any arguments to counter the evidence, you just say someone has no "apparent scientific/medical training", doesn't read articles and wouldn't be able to understand them anyway. So you just become very personal. That's not the right way to have a scientific debate or for science to move forward and you as a scientist should know that.

  For your information, I am a medical doctor, to be more precise a GP. And it's really sad to see that another doctor, ie neurologist Dr O'Sullivan, ignores all the evidence that what she says is wrong, and as you know doctors should not do that, and that she hasn't done her homework. Which is even sadder because in this day in age you can do most of it at home, behind your computer, using PubMed, and many articles are open access these days. Meaning everybody can read them, free of charge.

  So I'm afraid to say that therefore the conclusion is that Dr O'Sullivan's chapter about ME is intellectually embarrassing and should be removed from the book.

  PS Saturday, June 20, 2015: interesting find by Linda.

 Brian R. Martin is emeritus professor of physics at University College London. And where is Dr Suzanne O'Sullivan from ?? Neurology Hospital from the University College London.

 PS 2: Brian Martin has now deleted his book review / thread on Amazon because he as a professor can't handle it when other people know more about something then he does. And he got very annoyed because he didn't have any arguments to counter things.

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