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Nature.com report that Alter paper reviewers want "additional studies"

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by dean, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    Essex, UK
    Oooh - How I wish that were the case. The 'mice-stress-' test I've commented on another thread here was about ulcers, again, after heliobacter. Various articles trying to downplay heliobacter and keep the psychogenic explanation in place are around, including one from Susan Levenstein in the BMJ.

    If the new DSM pans out the way it looks like it's going to - the psychs are going to claim psychogenic by default for any uncertainty in diagnosis in any organic illness. : (
  2. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Indeed. However, I have still encountered people, including doctors, who still blame ulcers in general (including peptic ulcers) on "stress". Apparently the science hasn't sunk in yet. The following sentence about peptic ulcers is a good example of what we may be hearing from the biopsychosocialists about ME/CFS if XMRV is demonstrated to be significant: "The prevailing concept of peptic ulcer etiology has swung over entirely in just a few years from the psychological to the infectious, yet the rich literature documenting an association between psychosocial factors and ulcer is not invalidated by the discovery of Helicobacter pylori." ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10633828 )

    So there is psychosocial research which links ulcers to psychological stress. I have not hunted down these studies and looked into their methodology, but if the quality of "CFS" research is anything to go by, they certainly cannot be taken at face value and in some cases may be suspiciously biased.

    But if such as association does exist, how relevant is it? Consider these statements: "Associations that have been found between acute or chronic stress and duodenal ulcer have been relatively weak, with odds ratios of 2 to 3." [...] "Personality studies have shown that ulcer patients are more neurotic than controls, but the difference is small and there is no evidence to indicate an ulcer personality." ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8505492 ) I have come across CFS research which finds the same thing. However, notice how such findings are worded above as "weak" and "small", but when it comes to CFS the same association/strength is often grossly overstated.

    Further consider the gist of this more recent abstract regarding stress and peptic ulcer, this may turn out true for XMRV and ME/CFS as well if stress is also significant. Basically, it may play more of a role for the minority (5-20%) of cases that test negative for the relevant virus, but the association is nonspecific and controversial. ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18537633 ).
  3. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Sad but true. They haven't learnt much after 100+ years of false psychogenic attributions, it's still the default explanation, despite being proven flawed many times. They have shifted the boundaries and refined their models, but the same quintessential attitude from the 19th century remains. XMRV may turn out significant for a bunch of currently presumed "medically unexplained" illnesses.

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