Quo vadis, Science Media Centre?

Living with M.E. is an extraordinarily difficult existence. Blessings are hard to list at times but I am ever thankful I am not living with M.E. in the UK. In that country, M.E. is not considered a physical disease and those who perpetrate that myth reap huge financial rewards from keeping patients sick. Utting Wolff gives an outstanding critique of the UK media release of yesterday’s good news from the Hornig/Lipkin study. Also, if you have not already read it, Mr. Wolff’s recent post on hate speech and Prof. Shorter is excellent as well.

Utting-Wolff Spouts

Yesterday saw some positive media headlines for the ME community. The research from Columbia University by Hornig et al, concerning the level of cytokine activation as a potential biomarker for ME, looks promising[1]. ME research indicating a biological pathology is often dismissed due to the small number of participants but this was a study comprising 298 ME patients and 348 controls, which will hopefully give it more weight in scientific circles[1]. Unfortunately, as is usual with UK media coverage, reporting was not unequivocally positive; the difference in tone between the UK and US media coverage was marked. In the former, most of the usual suspects promoting the psychogenic paradigm were quoted, aided by the Science Media Centre (SMC). There is little hope of this group of psychiatrists going quietly into the night and we will probably experience a backlash from that quarter; they have much to lose if and when…

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