Musings of a phenomenologist

Science, psychiatry and random musings

Archive for the ‘bad media’ Category

Depression, fad or fact?

Posted by soveda on May 18, 2010

I don’t usually read the Daily Mail’s website but my attention was brought to this article by Janet Street Porter:


Which starts:

There’s a big black cloud hanging over parts of the UK, and it’s not going away. Not volcanic ash – but depression. This relatively new ailment appeared on my radar a couple of years ago, when I discovered that more and more women were claiming they suffered from ‘stress’

Ah yes, depression is terribly new – I believe it was first described in… Mesapotamian texts? or the Old Testament? or possibly Ancient Greece. Practically unknown until recent days as you can see.

Why did I get so annoyed with this article?

Is it because, despite the efforts of psychiatrists to reduce stigma (e.g.: Changing Minds) this sort of article appears to promote that stigma? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in bad media, Medicine, mental health | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

I’m starting to think they do it on purpose

Posted by soveda on May 8, 2009

Here we go again, the BBC website has some more marvellous reporting of research. This time the article is : Trial drugs “reverse” Alzheimer’s
O rly…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, Medicine, mental health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The BBC being accurate again

Posted by soveda on April 25, 2009

I know I haven’t been terribly active in blogging recently but this story on the BBC website raised an eyebrow. The story in question is about a crop of daffodils being grown in Wales as a source of Galantamine crystals.
For the uninitiated, Galantamine is an Acetlycholinesterase inhibitor, one of the medications used in Alzheimer’s, more specifically it is one of the three medications that doctors in the UK are allowed to prescribe. It says it right in the NICE guidelines, not according to the BBC’s reporting though. Apparently it is only available in Scotland and then only privately…
I’ve blogged repeatedly about the quality of facts on the Beeb and I will again, hopefully by the time you read this the article will be accurate but I’m not holding my breath.

Posted in bad media, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

When MMR attacks (or LBC and Jeni Barnett, what were you thinking?)

Posted by soveda on February 6, 2009

Just a very quick post, Ben Goldacre has been threatened by LBC’s lawyers fro infringement of copyright.

The copyright in question is to do with an episode of Jeni Barnett’s show which was frighteningly ill informed and further scare mongering about MMR. As I’ve blogged previously, the data about MMR does not show an association with autism and never has.  The events have been blogged by other already, Holford watch, jdc, Anthony Cox (Black triangle) amongst others, click on the links on this page to read their posts. You will find more links in their posts.

All this when the data shows that measles cases are increasing and therefore the risk of serious sequelae including death are also increasing. Well done LBC for stifling debate, the internet is a scary thing when geeks get riled isn’t it.

Mind you it’s all good publicity isn’t it? Well isn’t it?

Posted in bad media, bad science | 1 Comment »

It’s just a little prick

Posted by soveda on January 28, 2009


But does it do any good?

I’m referring to acupuncture which is being puffed, sorry reported on, by the BBC again today in this article.

Confusion you say, now what confusion would that be I wonder? Nothing to do with the media portrayal of previous studies surely. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, bad science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

But she’s a professor!

Posted by soveda on December 19, 2008

Thanks to Ben Goldacre’s mini blog I came accross this story. It’s a worrying story for me in several ways, the diagnosis by letter being one. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Snoring kills, no really…

Posted by soveda on December 8, 2008


I was reading a car magazine last week and found an advert selling SnorBan With the strap-line “Snoring Driving fatigue can be fatal”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad science, Churnalism | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Itz just a little drinkie

Posted by soveda on November 22, 2008

Browsing the BBC website today I came across this article, which states that drinkers lie about how much they drink.

Goodness me, I am surprised, only 2 out of 5 people lie about their drinking. I thought the rule of thumb was:

Double what the individual says they are drinking and halve what their relatives say.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Churnalism | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

It’s just part of getting old isn’t it?

Posted by soveda on October 28, 2008

Memory loss that is, but here is a scary word for you:


Are you scared yet? I am and this is why: Stigma

But what is dementia and why are we frightened, why am I talking about this now. Well, there have been a few news stories recently about treatments and I was interested in looking at why they were reported in the way they were.

First some background,  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, mental health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The biology of crime

Posted by soveda on October 7, 2008

Before I start I have to thank jdc, Ben Goldacre’s mini blog on the site and Cynical OT from the Bad Science forum for pointing this article out to me.

I’m starting to think I should add “bad media” to my byline…

The link in the mini blog is to the ITV news report on a study examining the cortisol response of the body to stress in adolescent males with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (F91.3). The report has been described as flaky, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, bad science | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »