Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Yet another nail in the coffin of the myth that the MMR vaccine causes autism (David Gorski) A new case-control study from Poland showed that the incidence of autism was lower after any measles vaccine and lower with the MMR than with the single measles vaccine. The data suggest that the MMR vaccine protects children from autism; even if this is not true, the idea that it causes autism is no longer tenable.
Endocrine Disruptors – The One True Cause? (Peter Lipson) Endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment have been blamed for a variety of health problems on the basis of speculation with little or no evidence; whether any cancers could be prevented by banning these chemicals is a question that's barely been asked, much less answered.
Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (Harriet Hall) The existing evidence for acupuncture for treating this puzzling disorder is positive but flawed. In fact, the studies did not even test acupuncture as commonly defined and practiced.
Evidence in Medicine: Experimental Studies (Steven Novella) Describes the basic features of an experimental study, with guidelines for evaluating the quality of a clinical trial.
Midwives and the assault on scientific evidence (Amy Tuteur) The ideology of midwifery often conflicts with the principles of scientific evidence. For instance, a paper titled "Including the nonrational is sensible midwifery" thinks it is acceptable to focus on "supporting love between the woman and her baby" in lieu of treating hemorrhages.
The Mammogram Post-Mortem (Val Jones) The storm of controversy in the media about the new NSPSTF guidelines for mammography was both predictable and preventable.
An Influenza Recap: The End of the Second Wave (Joseph Albietz) The latest information about the severity of the H1N1 flu and the safety of the vaccine: after over 46 million doses it has yet to be significantly correlated with any severe adverse events.
The End of Chiropractic (Harriet Hall) A study published by chiropractors in a chiropractic journal combed the medical literature and found no evidence that the chiropractic subluxation is a cause of disease or suboptimal health; this undermines the whole basis of chiropractic.