#MEAction protests Per Fink in NYC today

JaimeS

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Article to get you up to date here:
https://www.meaction.net/2018/10/19/join-the-fight-in-new-york/

This weekend, the New York State Psychiatric Institute is hosting a conference on psychosomatic illness at Columbia University Medical Center — and they invited Per Fink to speak. If you have watched Unrest, you know that Fink’s clinic was responsible for the involuntary institutionalization of Karina Hansen, a Danish young woman with ME.

Hansen was kept against her will for three and a half years. For the first year, she was forbidden to see her parents. She begged to go home.

When Fink’s clinic could not cure her, she was diagnosed with Pervasive Refusal Syndrome — a pathologization of her unwillingness to obey instructions she knew would make her worse.

Fink has a hypothesis that ME, IBS, Whiplash, Lyme, Fibromyalgia, and many other illnesses are psychosomatic. He groups dozens of illnesses together under the label Bodily Distress Syndrome (BDS). Fink’s clinic teaches doctors how to retrain patients, to convince them they have a psychosomatic illness.

This is what is being taught at Columbia on Saturday and Sunday at the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s conference, for continuing education credit.

The protest was this morning in New York City at Columbia University. Please read through the article, a lot has happened very quickly, but here's a super-swift summary:
  • Per Fink was invited to speak at a psychosomatics conference hosted at Columbia University
  • Terri Wilder launched a protest at #MEAction, asking he be disinvited -- 10K signatures and counting
  • Multiple individuals wrote letters of concern, including David Tuller, Terri Wilder, and several others -- they all received the same, boilerplate response from the conference organizers
  • Columbia's Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) issued a generalized statement saying they believe in the biomedical reality of ME
  • Per Fink's hospital issued a press release style statement that aligned itself with CII's efforts, saying that psychosomatic theorists and Columbia work together to solve ME
  • Ian Lipkin personally responded to the attempt to connect the two groups
I've seen Tuller's letter in a post but not all this info collected and nothing on the protest itself, so I figured I would post. If it's someplace else, I am happy to merge threads.

-J
 

ebethc

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I think it's useful to note that none of these people (Per Fink, Simon Wessley, and their myriad colleagues in the shrink industry) have CURED any psych disease... (bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.)... They aren't real scientists any way you look at them...

The former head of the NIMH, Thomas Insel wrote a scathing letter to the APA when they delivered the current version of the DSM (very, very late, b/c it's all subjective, so who can agree??)... This is my favorite part:
  • The goal of this new manual, as with all previous editions, is to provide a common language for describing psychopathology. While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever. Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment.
  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2013/transforming-diagnosis.shtml
BTW - Insel quit the NIMH and is now at a startup in Palo Alto that helps track BIOMARKERS ... ha! take that, Per.
 

ebethc

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finally getting around to listening to the OMF Symposium lectures and this caught my attention, b/c it's relevant to the discussion here today....

Raeka Aiyer compares where are today w CFS to Parkinsons:

"50 years ago, ppl thought parkinson's disease was a psychosomatic illness driven by a viral infection"
see/hear ~29:45
https://livestream.com/accounts/1973198/ME-CFS-2018/videos/180981460

p.s. Parkinson's still isn't cured, so I hope the comparison isn't TOO literal :- |
 

Gemini

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Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment.
Great find @ebethc.

Three weeks ago a NY Times article described the immune systems role in psychiatric "symptoms."

A cancer patient's schizophrenia was cured by a bone marrow transplant: "He Got Schizophrenia. He Got Cancer. And then He Got Cured."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/29/...enia-psychiatric-disorders-immune-system.html

Excerpt:
"Watershed moments occasionally come along in medical history when previously intractable or even deadly conditions suddenly become treatable or preventable. They are sometimes accompanied by a shift in how scientists understand the disorders in question."

Worth a read @Jaime, article cites autoimmune and infectious diseases as well and may be of interest to Ron and his team.
 

Gemini

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@JaimeS given his own intriguing ME/CFS switch experiment, Ron Davis might find this study of interest (from the article):

Another case study from the Netherlands highlights this still-mysterious relationship [between the immune system and central nervous system]. In this study, on which Dr. Yolken is a co-author, a man with leukemia received a bone-marrow transplant from a schizophrenic brother. He beat the cancer but developed schizophrenia. Once he had the same immune system, he developed similar psychiatric symptoms.

Ian Lipkin might find the sections on minocycline and probiotics/microbiome interesting. Good to see him weighing in on Per Fink; thanks for posting the link to #MEAction's summary.
 
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