In Science and medicine there is no such thing as a free lunch. Bones do not mend simply because we will or wish them to do so but according to established processes in biology, contingent on variables such as health status, age and other absolute factors. Disordered genes that result in Huntington's disease or Down syndrome, never ever get better, no matter how much we try with methods such as the Lightning Process (or that we shell out monetarily) to circumnavigate sheer chemistry and molecular biology.
It is an absolute truth, therefore, that whenever we encounter claims that apparently contravene these organic facts, such as 'people getting cured from Lyme Disease or HIV' by way of affirmations, it is scientifically certain that it is because some confounding variable has been overlooked and dealt a deceptive hand.
A good example of this are the ME-acclaimed success accounts of the Lightning Process (LP), the latest magical conjuring trick to come to town. The only lightning thing about this therapy is the speed at which money vanishes, in a flash, from your bank account. Let's see how easy it is to be mislead - and ripped off.
One medical disorder that closely mimics ME is the commonly occurring viral condition Glandular Fever (GF). This condition certainly goes a long way to explaining the so-called success story of the LP in 'curing' ME, in occasional apparent cases, for several reasons.
It is believed that many young persons can contract the GF virus a-symptomatically and so never know they have been infected. But in some cases an immune response is initiated resulting in a symptom profile that eventually reads like ME, especially for myalgia, pain, sleep disorder and profound fatigue, with cognitive haze.
There are, however, early initial differences as well, since ME long-term is not known for fever or even necessarily the overt glandular signature typically encountered in acute GF. And GF generally resolves within several weeks to months at most. But effects such as physical and cognitive fatigue can persist for considerably longer, well after the initial temperature and glandular indications have subsided. And GF patients can be shown to harbour representations of the Epstein Barr virus that is the culprit 18 months after the initial condition onset.
The natural parental and medical concern for young people contending with ill-health is expressed especially so in Glandular Fever where it has been common universal practise to advise extended rest and curtailed activity for periods of time well beyond the expression of the evident physiological manifestations of fever and lymphatic involvement. And that's a first clue.
But this cautious behaviour on behalf of carers, medics and the GF patient themselves, can lead to a profound illusion in terms of acclaimed interventions such as CBT/GET and the LP. Patients with extended cognitive and physical fatigue seen in months following some GF cases can come to be labelled as 'ME' casualties. We have seen clear indications of this over the years - and one You Tube Internet clip currently reporting the Lightning Process, for example, refers to a youngster as having had 'ME' for four months before being cured in two sessions. This is a misdiagnosis and shows that some LP apologists, at least, don't actually know what they are talking about. So there was another clue. ME goes much beyond such time bounds.
Under constrained circumstances and over time the 'self and other' imposed restrictions on activity, actually recommended in Glandular fever, will mask the slow but generally inevitable recovery that occurs from the virus and which process can take up to a couple of years, by some accounts. It is during this already established recovery phase that the well-meaning and protective parents may unfortunately discover interventions such as CBT/GET or the LP for their 'ME' concerns.
In such events, it is therefore easily conceivable that these 'treatments' act behaviourally and psychologically for all concerned - by simply providing definitive permission to discard the stringently imposed restraints on activity that medics recommend for GF patients.
The apparent LP 'ME-miracle cure' that emerges is nothing more than the fact that the individual has been recovering all along from GF, and which condition mostly gets better anyway, with the rest, in spite and despite what patients do. LP therapy for many is just like deciding, after an appropriate time, to removing an elastoplast that once covered what was a naturally healing wound.
A final clue, a dead give away in fact, to the distinct plausibility of this scenario is a repeated observation, and one made only recently again on these pages by a pro-LP parent who like us has noted often that 'the LP seems to work especially well on younger people,' children, juveniles and young adults - the very age category of individual who are by far the most susceptible to GF and its protracted fatigue (ME like) consequences.
This largely age-specific Glandular fever incidence, with the largely age-specific Lightning Process acclaim, I propose, may not be a co-incidence
Similarly, when our North Wales CBT/GAT Clinics were announcing a level of success for 'self efficacy' and 'improved outdoor working and social life' for 'ME' patients at local Conferences up here, we pointed out to them (2004), among other criticisms, that these effects were easily explicable in terms such as those described for GF recovery in some of their 'newly diagnosed' (sic) referrals. An 'A' level stats-student, attending their first evening class, should have been able to spot that explanation - but not the Clinics. And as we have noted before, the Welsh CBT/GAT Clinic's 'research findings' were soon buried in the light of similar criticism we also made, and it is easily likely that a comparable dynamic is operating and being paraded as 'recovery' by the LP illusionists as well.
For these reasons, the proposed impending attempt to investigate the LP on children and young adults, therefore, contains an experimentally 'contaminating variable', and which like the Welsh CBT Clinic's research, also completely invalidates the intended UK Bristol study without a doubt, unless the possibility of post-GF recovery, for example, is carefully factored out first. We want Bristol to test experienced, perspicacious adults, if they really must test anyone using the LP, and those with verifiable ME. In fact, we seriously wonder why child subjects have evidently been selected specifically in the first place?... no more tricks please!
In the meantime, of course, the fact remains that individuals who do have ME specifically, and who undertake potentially damaging therapies such as CBT/GET and the LP may be made much worse (as many have in N Wales), and at an organic-molecular level (Twisk, Jason and others), long and short term, as a consequence.
How can anyone, soundly in the know, believe that prancing back and forth absurdly, gesticulating and muttering health and recovery affirmations can mend broken bones, de-myelanated nerve-axons in MS, for example, or 'cure ME'?
Karl Krysko. N Wales Research Forum.
May be reposted.