Sunday, May 12, 2013

CALMARE / CTTC: Help Stop This Scam!

Though one hopes these things will reach a natural conclusion, completely market-driven, in this case -- certainly not driven by any sense of moral imperative, or a desire to cleanse both personal and corporate souls of the damning damage being done to desperate people suffering the horrendous pain of CRPS, among other neuropathic conditions -- until they do, we have ourselves, Dear Readers, the opportunity for a series of posts on this moral malignancy of Competitive Technologies and CALMARE.  
It says a lot that the first thing I want to write about after a brief "vacation," is CALMARE.  No, I am not promoting it, quite the opposite.  Just as Dr. Jose OCHOA is a dingleberry on the ass of the medical profession in terms of CRPS quackery, CALMARE vendors (mostly non-neurologists, often former ob/gyn specialtists, for some reason!) are aslo turds.

I'm very, very tired.  Very depressed.  In a dingleberry-bouquet of pain.  But the anger I felt upon opening my emails to find a "response" to a comment I had made on YouTube about a CALMARE snake oil bullcrap video comes close to matching the anger I feel upon reading any of Ochoa's "forensic" work in the courts, denying worker's compensation to thousands of CRPS sufferers, whose CRPS was engendered by an accident at work.  Orthopedic trauma is frequently a root cause and Ochoa lined his pockets with people's pain.

There's nothing new to say about CALMARE that I haven't said in my previous posts.  It's a scam.  It's NOT FDA approved as a treatment for CRPS.  It has applied for various statuses but has been granted none of them.

It has the same uses that any Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) unit has.  It can be comforting while in use.  In a sort of "burst" mode, it's effects might last a few hours in a very limited area of the body.  It does virtually nothing to the central nervous system, and CRPS is, in short, a central nervous system disease -- although in the beginning it has considerable action in the peripheral nerves.

I have asked Dr. Michael Cooney why he won't show pictures or videos of his CRPS cures before treatment.  All we are offered are tenuous, tearful, emotional "testimonials" (snake oil salesmen's best media) of the cured patients.  Most never had, I would wager, true CRPS.  Most couldn't explain the basics of the disorder, I'd bet my life on it.

Here's the intro to Turd Number Two, Dr. Michael Cooney:

Dr. Cooney is one of only 10 certified providers of Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment in the U.S. He introduced this treatment for his patients with treatment and medication resistant severe chronic neuropathy and now helps patients from around the country. Dr. Cooney administers every treatment session personally.

Dr. Cooney is a CHIROPRACTOR. No offense to chiropractors.  My brother Grader Boob, in his more athletic days, relied on a chiropractor to keep those bike wheels whirring on the pavement for those 400 mile jaunts.  I know people who believe in regular "adjustments." I know that my doctors have said "don't you dare ever go to a chiropractor." Not for CRPS.  First, manipulation of any sort is going to be too painful to tolerate;  second, a chiropractor doesn't have the specialized training or experience to deal with CRPS; and third, applying CALMARE as a solution to CRPS is DINGLEBERRY-ASS thinking and just taking money out of folks' pockets.  I would imagine that -- unless used as an adjunctive, alternative, or complementary treatment undertaken with the advice of a neurologist or board certified pain management specialist -- CALMARE might waste valuable time between onset and the close of the window of opportunity for treatment that really may cure the disorder -- the initial 3-9 months or so.

Worse... there are people being featured who clearly were not correctly diagnosed to begin with, or who are obtaining a short term placebo effect.  After they've forked over the dough, they're going to be left worse than they were before, if they truly have CRPS.

I wanna see the BEFORE videos.  I want to hear the "science" -- excuse me for a moment, I just snorted hot coffee up my nose -- behind CALMARE.  Oh, wait, I've covered that already.  More on that after the testimonial entertainment below.

Shame on you, Dr. Cooney.

Here is the video that I find so incredibly offensive.  Please go to YouTube as well to read the illuminating conversations I am having with these... people.

As I said, I keep asking for "before" documentation -- photography (doctors love to photograph CRPS patients -- we're all innately lovely), video (to show spasticity, gait disturbances, guarding behaviors, etc.), child-like fingerpaintings, anything!  Maybe something along the lines of this, a now out-of-date video of my feet/legs,

Twas on Friday, May 6, 2011, that this dingleberry machine was first brought to my attention by one of its pushers, who goes around YouTube and to CRPS support group boards pedaling their dingleberry dumbassedness. It prompted the following write-up here, and I had hopes it would fade away, or rot off, whatever form of decomposition most suited it:

At the moment, the only physician in the entire United States who has suckled at the tit of the inventor of the Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology is one Dr. D'Amato, of Rhode Island (or so I hear, over here in Tête de Hergé, where there is no illness, of course, nor traffic accidents). 
Yeah, there *is* a guy opening up 14 pain clinics using the Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology (Spero Pain Relief Therapy clinics).  Guess what?  He's an OB/Gyn.  Just who I want doing pain management for a central nervous system degenerative disorder.  
CTT is the parent company in the USA...and it's now a penny stock.  Or almost -- it closed today at 1.70.  Because some rubber-stamping idiot approved Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology as a vendor to the VA, all the devious, deviants, and the hoodwinked are going on and on about how if it's good enough for our Wounded Warriors at the "flagship" Walter Reed (I'm thinking they don't read the Washington Post), then, by gum, it's good enough for you CRPSers! 
The Italian inventor was less circumspect, if you can believe it.  He claimed that Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology could reverse aging. 
Now you're talking! 
Meet, my friends, Giuseppe Marineo, and his explanatory woo and gobbledy-gook from the Italian arm of operations, Delta R&D:

Delta R&D is a bioengineering research centre with a unique history. It was born out of individual research work begun in 1983 by Giuseppe Marineo, a researcher and bioengineer, who advanced theories to reformulate the concept of disease (and the corresponding treatment) from a biophysical rather than biochemical point of view. The idea was to restructure the known features of both according to the principles of thermodynamics by means of an analysis and the detailed specification of the relations between entropy, disease, repair processes and ageing. 
This new approach to the interpretation of the traditional aspects of medical science makes it possible to go from a highly heuristic system to an extremely conceptual and rationalized system, which can create models of disease and treatment so sophisticated as to render the experimental results highly predictable. If the latter are in line with the predictions they automatically validate the development model. 
Furthermore, the very name of the theoretical system developed entails a natural transition from reductionist methods to systems theory which, in the present research, takes the form of a powerful working tool capable of providing adequate support for the development of therapies of practical utility. 

In practice Marineo introduced into medical science the research and development criteria typical of engineering, in which the thoroughness of the preliminary theoretical work fully determines the expectations of the experimental verification of the method used. In 1987 the basic research was already sufficiently well structured to be supported by a technology capable of translating the theoretical system into a truly useful therapy. 

The first experimental verifications fully confirmed the validity of the theoretical models developed and opened up concrete future prospects for the safe and non-invasive treatment of pathologies for which conventional methods had proved ineffective.  
In 1998 the Italian scientific community, which had been constantly informed of all research developments, deemed the product of 15 years research to be scientifically valid, the theoretical principles and experimental data to have been clearly demonstrated and the bioethical principles regarding the respect and protection of the patient to have been respected. 

In other words, the research carried out by a private individual was accepted and supported by the public authorities. It was consequently possible to begin official university and hospital studies, at the conclusion of which the first international publications were produced. 

In order to support these changes, in May 1998 Delta R&D was set up, thus marking the beginning of the mature stage of this individual research endeavour. Although the original philosophy was retained, a logistical structure was now available to satisfy the new phases of development and to maintain and expand relations with the international scientific community. 

In Italy the Delta R&D company became a research centre incorporated into a public structure thanks to the prestigious acknowledgement of the Tor Vergata University of Rome in the form of an agreement in which Delta R&D is recognized as part of the scientific structure of the university while retaining its autonomy and individuality. 

Outside Italy, Delta R&D, the theoretical and research work on the Delta-S Entropy Variation Systems and “Scrambler Therapy” pain therapy resulted in Giuseppe Marineo receiving scientific awards for the originality of the basic research, in addition to numerous other acknowledgements by the international scientific community inherent in the acceptance of the proposed published works.

I dunno, maybe that's not your favorite type of woo and gobbledy-gook. How about this? From the lips of Dr. Robert Chalmers, former OB/Gyn:
Q-How do you do Calmare , Exactly?
The treatment is actually quite simple. It involved the machine, wires and surface electrodes that deliver the electrical waveforms. The surface electrodes are the same used in heart monitoring such as an EKG. The patients sits or lies comfortable during each 45 minute treatment session. The electrodes are placed OUTSIDE the area of pain so they will not increase the pain in patients with allodynia from CRPS
Q-How does it work?
The mechanism is completely unique. The primary issue with CPRS is the so called physiologic "wind-up" in the brain. This is a complicated change in the nervous system and can be traced at least in part to changes in NMDA receptors in the brain. We need to get to the brain to help with this disease. The use of electricity for the management of pain is not unique to the Calmare system and I am sure many RSD sufferers have tried traditional TENS therapy. However, the Calmare system is not anything like a TENS unit. Injury or other noxious stimulus in the body creates pain chemicals. These chemicals in turn get converted into electrical impulses by your nerves which get transmitted to the brain and get INTERPRETED by the brain. When we use the Calmare system we "control" the electrical impulses that the brain is recieving. By manipulating the input into the brain we "convince" the brain that the area of the body where pain was present is now normal. We know that the brain can be taught, in medicine we refer to thoses changes as Neuroplasticity and there is quite a bit of interesting reading on that topic on the internet if you have the time. I was the worlds biggest cynic prior to actually treating patients with the machine. I thought it was TENS or Placebo but nearly every patient I have treated has already tried TENS therapy and they can tell you this is nothing like TENS.It works!

Mystery solved.  "It works!" He hits all the right buzz words:  allodynia, neuroplasticity, NMDA receptors, physiologic wind-up...  Oh, gag me with a spoon.  Does any of it make sense?  Not a bit.

They are even trying to sell this stuff to cancer patients.  I found a reply to this snake oily approach from a kindred spirit, reprinted below.

rrtzmd PERMALINKMay 26, 2010 9:06 am
…oh, lordy!…what walks like a scam and goes “scam, scam, scam”?…you get three guesses and one hint — its initials are “CTT”…their idiotic “Calmare device” is NOTHING more than a TENS device…and just like a TENS device, the extent to which it works depends ONLY on whether the doctor can con the patient into believing that it actually IS doing something — which, other than making a muscle twitch now and then — it doesn’t…you can even see it in CTT’s description:
“The method incorporates electromedical equipment for electronic nerve stimulation, and uses the nerve fiber as a passive means to convey a message of normality to the central nervous system (CNS) by a procedure defined as scrambling or tricking of information, which then enables the CNS to modify the reflex adaptive responses – referred to as TEMPR – Transcutaneous Electrical Modulation Pain Reprocessor.”
…have you ever heard such a line of malarkey in your life?…how on earth can a nerve transmit a message by a “passive means”?…that sentence is nothing more than gobbledygook meant to sound impressive…an even better example of obfuscation:
“The assumed pre-coding capacity is a more logical explanation than stochastic fluctuation (which in this case must be re-interpreted as a consistent modification of the information content per stimulus/time) the different discharge time characteristic used by the receptor for the same stimulus if this occurs in sufficiently short time intervals. In this perspective, to return to our model, the comparator?? Is the arbitrary module that sorts the information, compares it with a short-term memory and if it recognizes a stimulus similar to the preceding one, modifies the gain data and the information property which it passes on to the amplifier/attenuator (synapsis), a vital element that controls the passage/non passage of the “decoded” information stripped of spurious signals, associating it with the correct degree of intensity. Again with reference to the model, the noise and stochastic variations are separated since, in my analysis, at least some of these fluctuations actually consist of sub-information capable of modifying the learning capacity and sensitivity to the stimulus if repeated over short time intervals. If the data are reinterpreted in this sense, frequency modulated discharge sequences immediately took on a different significance when combined with the “pseudo-noise” modulation accompanying them and which became an essential element of the “primary” information. At this stage I considered that I had all the elements required to materially construct a pain scrambler (technically an information mixer), that is, a system capable of “masking” the pain signal.”
…that came from Marineo’s website:
…don’t strain too hard trying to understand that since it’s little more than confabulation…but do read at least the other pages about how he can cure cirrhosis, remove scars and reverse aging using his “entropy variation system Delta S”:
…and if THAT doesn’t convince you the guy is a goofball, then consider his “technowind” :…a “limited edition” and “autographed” FAN!…I mean, where did CTT find this character?…come’on!…wake up and smell the scam!…do your readers a favor and don’t pump idiotic quack devices…

1 comment:

  1. It's a lot more than a TENS device... my fiance has complex regional pain syndrome, something I wish upon no one. The calmare machine at Johns Hopkins eliminated her pain... she was in a wheel chair for months and now she's walking. I didn't know they were a publicly traded company.. but after I saw the results I bought in.

    It only a matter of time before this break through gets the spot light in the medical community.


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