When doctors believe "The Wrong Stuff"

meadowlark

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I found this very enlightening. It is an interview with Dr. Barry Marshall, who overturned the popular belief that peptic ulcers are caused by stress, discovered the virus involved, and won a Nobel Prize for his efforts ... The piece (from slate.com,) discusses all kinds of things that relate to our ME/CFS predicament: how status, ego and lack of research money among researchers impede progress, the influence of the pharmaceutical giants, etc. Personally, I was struck by how Marshall's outsider status as a scientist helped him think outside the box and persist despite so much opposition.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/thewrongstuff/
 

CBS

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Thomas Kuhn distinguishes between what he calls normal and extraordinary science, the latter being the type that brings about a complete changethe famed "paradigm shift"in a field. Which one do you think describes your work? One can arrive at new ideas and theories and solutions without ushering in a whole new paradigm, after all.

It was definitely a paradigm shift, because it got this stress thing debunked. And the implications of that are much bigger: What else is supposedly caused by stress that we can debunk? A lot of these things that are supposedly caused by stress, you try to track down the reason for that link, and there isn't one, except the fact that we don't have any better cause. Everything that's supposedly caused by stress, I tell people there's a Nobel Prize there if you find out the real cause.

So that's one thing that happened. The second thing is that by 1980, everyone was feeling pretty confident that infectious diseases were going to be wiped out and there wasn't going to be any more problem with them. H1N1 is enough to wake us up to the fact that we don't know everything about infectious disease, but it really happened with Helicobacter first. People had been seriously studying ulcers for 50 years, billions of dollars were spent, and thenwhat do you know, it's a bacteria. So you have to ask, what other infectious diseases are we missing? I reckon a lot of these mysterious chronic diseases are related to some infectious agent that's been a trigger. It might have happened when you were a child and now it [the infectious agent] is long gone, but it sets you up for a problem later in life. We'll see if I'm right.
Meadowlark, Thanks for the link.

Sounds quite familiar. Reassuring to know there are scientists willing to challenge conventional "wisdom." I'm not buying the notion that no one (individual or agency) has anything to gain from maintaining the CFS status quo. Every time there's a big shift some win and some lose and for many it's all about money and reputation/ego.
 

Enid

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Quite agree too. And presumably it takes more courage to admit " I don't know yet" than write off as just stress/all in your mind.
 

pictureofhealth

XMRV - L'Agent du Jour
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Thanks Meadowlark, fascinating interview about a REAL scientist.

I loved these 2 comments from Dr Marshall in the article:

"It was definitely a paradigm shift, because it got this stress thing debunked. And the implications of that are much bigger: What else is supposedly caused by stress that we can debunk? A lot of these things that are supposedly caused by stress, you try to track down the reason for that link, and there isn't one, except the fact that we don't have any better cause. Everything that's supposedly caused by stress, I tell people there's a Nobel Prize there if you find out the real cause.

... by 1980, everyone was feeling pretty confident that infectious diseases were going to be wiped out and there wasn't going to be any more problem with them. ... So you have to ask, what other infectious diseases are we missing? I reckon a lot of these mysterious chronic diseases are related to some infectious agent that's been a trigger. It might have happened when you were a child and now it [the infectious agent] is long gone, but it sets you up for a problem later in life.
We'll see if I'm right."

Yes, we will.