This lecture is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute. It will be held at their facility, 305 South Street, Jamaica Plain/ Boston, Massachusetts 02130. Registration will begin at 1 p.m. There is plenty of free parking and the auditorium comfortably holds a large group, so please pass the word.
Friday, April 8, 2011
A meta- analysis of 61 studies in PLoS ONE found an increased risk of breast cancer for women taking an antidepressant. Antidepressants are used by 27 million Americans -- most of whom are women. Antidepressants are increasingly being prescribed for other conditions such as hot flashes, headache, back pain, neuropathy, sleep-related conditions, anxiety spectrum disorders, eating disorders, and fibromyalgia. This analysis raises serious public health policy issues about how conflicts of interest by researchers and academic institutions skew the integrity of the research process, the scientific literature and clinical practice guidelines.
Vera Hassner Sharav, AHRP
Thursday, April 7, 2011
In fact, Social Security offers disability beneficiaries some incentive to ease back into the work force. For nine months after starting a job, they can earn any amount without threatening their benefits. For another three years, if their income falls below $1,000 a month, they can immediately receive full benefits again. And they can keep Medicare coverage for eight and a half years after going back to work, something few beneficiaries may realize.
So far, the program has had little success. Out of 12.5 million disabled workers and those who receive benefits for the disabled poor, only 13,656 returned to work over the last two and a half years, with less than a third of them earning enough to drop the benefits.
Nicole Maestas, an economist at the Rand Corporation, has examined Social Security data with fellow economist Kathleen J. Mullen, and concluded that in the absence of benefits, about 18 percent of recipients could work and earn at least $12,000 a year, the threshold at which benefits are suspended.
Other economists say that even among those denied benefits, a majority fail to go back to work, in part because of medical problems and a lack of marketable skills.
"In an atmosphere in which there is a concern about fiscal problems, it's always easy to point the finger at groups and say, 'These people should be working,' " said Prof. John Bound, an economist at the University of Michigan, "exaggerating the degree to which the disability insurance program is broken."
Even if claimants have more ambiguous medical cases, once they are granted disability benefits, they generally continue to collect. Of the 567,395 medical reviews conducted on beneficiaries in 2009, Social Security expects less than 1 percent to leave because of improved health.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Once upon a time, this wouldn't have been a question, because you had friends in common, who'd tell him for you, probably before the date, especially if those friends were setting you up. "Mary, John is a big football fanatic. John, Mary has major health problems."
Read more: http://www.4wallsandaview.com/2011/04/a-letter-from-a-me-survivor-to-everyone-else/#ixzz1Il0oTuRx
Monday, April 4, 2011
Professor Simon Wessely, psychiatrist:
"What the patient doesn't know won't hurt."
UNUM Insurance, Chief Medical Officer's Report 2007
This document is a discussion of the outcome of the PACE trials which coincide with a shake-up of the UK state benefit systems. The latter involves a move towards a 'comply or be sanctioned' culture. Strategies for differentiating yourself from the PACE trial patients and for holding on to state benefits are discussed. Key to success is having the strong financial support from ME/CFS charities to fund individual biomedical testing for patients. The flaws and weaknesses of the biopsychosocial model and the increasingly nebulous definitions that identify CFS patients as having only 'subjective fatigue', psychological in origin, can be exposed with thorough biomedical testing. Start lobbying your charities to pay for it now or face being characterised as having a Functional Somatic Syndrome and your resources cut off indefinitely. How PACE was allowed to come to fruition in this manner is a travesty. Patients have fought for over 50 years to get proper reco gnition for their illness, and several thousand research papers elucidating many of the biomedical factors behind their symptoms have been published. So why were they not taken seriously, and who failed to fight their corner? Could it be the ME/CFS charities who insisted that patients did not need any more than a set of standard blood tests (in line with Wessely School dogma); who seem content to broaden the definition of ME/CFS to include patients with no evidence of inflammation of the brain or spinal cord? The same charities who did not give their wholehearted support to the Canadian Criteria; which, while not perfect, at least recognised the neurological and other biomedical factors central to ME/CFS. And even now, what are the charities really doing about the mess that is the PACE trial publication? Very little seems to be the answer, and for that reason patients must now look to themselves, and each other to limit the damage.
Lara, Health Advocate
* The PACE Report - The MRC/PACE Trial Scandal
Jane Bryant, The One Click Group