Friday, December 12, 2014

Bring Your Own Resurrection Tape: Another CRPS Article

It's hard not to be insulted by some medical research.  That's when falling back on the kill-or-be-killed attitude necessary for those of us interpreting medical research with the disciplined skills inherent to advanced degrees in foreign language and literary criticism comes in so handy.

I believe in the placebo effect.  I believe that the power of the mind is unlimited.  I have experienced the placebo effect, and use it every day.  It's a bit of a perversion, to "use" the placebo effect, knowingly, daily, and to claim to rely on it, even.

Better to leave that claim out there, brazen and true, but unexplained and undefended.  I will just say that the creatures with whom I live all understand that an announcement such as "Talk to me in 20 to 40 minutes, when I will be feeling better, please!" can be taken seriously.

I could tell you the story of the time I was being coded due to a funky bad heart arrhythmia and deteriorating oxygen saturation, but the sound of my cardiologist's voice led me back to a sinus rhythm and an O2 sat at least over 85.  Over the backs of five loud, panicking medicos, Dr. Chang talked to me in a pleasant monotone.  His voice is not a drug, this wasn't an example of the placebo effect, more of mindful guidance, and a refusal to go down. I'm just saying -- my mind occasionally may be characterized as... open.

Remember Dr Andreas Goebel, from the Liverpool's Institute of Translational Medicine?  I believe his last splash in my CRPS pool came via a cannonball entry claiming that CRPS didn't have a causative relationship with trauma, and also sent another "cure" announcement off the high dive, involving IVIG (it's the go-to moderate difficulty entry in his competitive repertoire) and the designation of CRPS as an auto-immune disease.  The thing is, he wraps his stuff in elements of truth, and stays in the news.

This time, the article framing his study is called:  'Placebo therapy' ineffective...

The conclusion?  I mean, I could go on, but we might need to track down Dr. Chang, and I'm not sure he's even still living in the Western Region of the Lone Alp Territories, here in Tête de Hergé. I should've asked the man to make me a resurrection tape.  So let's just jump to the freaking conclusion of this humiliating study and forego cardiac and respiratory collapse, shall we?

Dr Andreas Goebel, from the University's Institute of Translational Medicine, explains: We found that patients experienced significant pain relief minutes after a placebo therapy, such as salt water injections, but unexpectedly at a later time, and even with repeated placebo applications, there was minimal or no impact on reducing the symptoms of the condition." 
The results suggest that CRPS will not improve naturally over time, and there is little fluctuation in the pain intensity of the condition. 
Dr Goebel added: "It seems that the brain of CRPS patients cannot be easily 'tricked' into believing that a dummy intervention is effective. This means that health specialists should be cautious when considering placebo interventions for these patients."

© 2013 L. Ryan

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