Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lives matter?

BBC has a story of a "Christmas miracle", of a child who lived after her life support was turned off.

then we have the Texas man who kept them from turning off the life support for his "brain dead" son, by holding them off with a gun.

He was drunk, so ended up in jail and not shot by the SWAT team who negotiated hoping he'd sober up, but the really strange part of the story is that his son lived.

then there is the Jahi McMath case... and if you don't think minority patients will start getting suspicious, you are naive.

We had one of our nursing home patients who was alert but with frontal lobe brain damage. She couldn't swallow very well, so had a feeding tube. But frontal lobe damabe meant she cried with tears as if sad when she saw her family, and she could be quite loud. So we sent her to a neurologist to see if there was a medicine that could help her without sedating her.

The neurologist didn't examine her, but spent the whole time advising the family to remove the feeding tube.

The parents and siblings, traditional Indians, kept their silence, but on leaving, the cousin, an LPN who had accompanied her to the doc, turned and told him off saying: That's the difference between you white people and us: We care for our sick and elderly.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

E Coli and Shigella: Fly, fingers, feces germs

Article on toxic EColi at Chipote restaurants.

If it is from fresh salads, then why not start nuking the lettuce?

 This article is from the wapo 2008:

Food producers can now use radiation to kill bacteria on fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce because of a new Food and Drug Administration ruling meant to help head off outbreaks of foodborne illness.
 This is the first time the agency has allowed produce to be irradiated as a health precaution. Tiny doses of radiation already are used to kill pests on some fruits and vegetables. But the process is most often used on meat -- especially E. coli susceptible ground beef -- and some spices.
The food is exposed to just enough radiation to kill off most, though not necessarily all, harmful germs. For instance, the process won't rid the produce of foodborne viruses.

when we sell our organic salads, we grow the lettuce etc inside greenhouses (to stop bugs) and then clean them off by putting them into a water bath with chlorox type bleach, and then washing them off and air drying them before we make the salad.

And if it is from undercooked meat, then make folks wash hands and counters, and check the meat is cooked properly. Often there is cross contamination from "fresh" meat that dripped on counters and gets onto hands or onto plates or cooked food.


Related item:

Shigella outbreak in Texas schools and daycares.

again, local health officials are checking hand washing and washing down the place with chlorox.

But since kids are not tidy, they might be spreading it to families.

Ordinarily I would blame the failure to screen food workers for being carriers, or blame the failure of checking that hands are properly washed.

But the epidemic is in so many places one wonders if food is the source.

And pet turtles have caused epidemics in the past.

the bad news: Usually you don't treat with antibiotics since the disease clears itself and giving antibiotics only increases the chance of resistant germs

But the disease is now becoming resistant to common antibiotics.

a lot of cases are imported but then spread. CDC report here 

they also add:
Shigella causes an estimated 500,000 cases of diarrhea in the United States annually (1) and is transmitted easily from person to person and through contaminated food and recreational water. Outbreaks of shigellosis frequently are large and protracted. Although diarrhea caused by S. sonnei typically resolves without treatment, patients with mild illness often are treated with antimicrobial medications because they can reduce the duration of symptoms and shedding of shigellae in feces (2)

Reserving antimicrobial treatment for immunocompromised patients and patients with severe shigellosis and using antimicrobial susceptibility data strategically to guide therapy might help preserve the utility of such medications. 

an article that summarizes the treatment of diarrhea type illnesses can be found HERE. 

but with all the resistance, the use of "probiotics" and other things are being looked into.

Heh. Lactulose, the artificial sugar used to treat constipation and as a low cal sweetener, has been investigated and seems to help (but not cure) the carrier state. (but doesn't help acute cases).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Genes for antibiotic resistance?

gizmodo story for later reading

discusses how the bacteria evolve and even exchange genes to help survive antibiotics.

Then it notes:

New drugs are in development, such as teixobactin, which might delay the apocalypse, but are not yet ready for medical use.
Teixobactin, if you haven’t heard of it, is a new class of antibiotics discovered in soil bacteria earlier this year. When teixobactin was first published, it waslauded as a “game-changer” in the fight against antibiotic resistance. Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote back in March explaining why:
It’s the first new class of antibiotics we’ve discovered in nearly thirty years, and so far, it’s killed every pathogen we’ve thrown at it, including several highly drug-resistant strains of staph. Unlike most antibiotics, which target critical bacterial proteins, this drug attacks the lipid molecules bacteria use to build new cell walls. Vanomycin, another antibiotic that targets cell wall precursors, worked for over 40 yearsbefore bugs started to develop resistance.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Plastic surgery in World War II

Gizmodo has an article on the pilots who had severe facial burns from crashing during WWII.

One of those pilots, Richard Hillary, wrote a book about his time there: The Last Enemy (or sometimes published as Falling Through Space).

Project Gutenberg Australia has it on line.

Shortly after my arrival at the Masonic the Air Force plastic surgeon, A.
H. McIndoe, had come up to see me, but as I had been blind at the time I
could recollect his visit but vaguely, remembering only that he had
ordered the gentian violet to be removed from my eyes and saline
compresses to be applied instead, with the result that shortly afterwards
I had been able to see.

He was expected this time at about eleven o'clock, but I was ready a good
hour before, bathed and shaved and dressings elaborately correct. The
charge nurse ushered him in fussily. Of medium height, he was thick-set
and the line of his jaw was square. Behind his horn-rimmed spectacles a
pair of tired friendly eyes regarded me speculatively.

'Well,' he said, 'you certainly made a thorough job of it, didn't you?'

He started to undo the dressings on my hands and I noticed his
fingers--blunt, capable, incisive. By now all the tannic had been removed
from my face and hands. He took a scalpel and tapped lightly on something
white showing through the red granulating knuckle of my right forefinger.

'Bone,' he remarked laconically.

He looked at the badly contracted eyelids and the rapidly forming
keloids, and pursed his lips.

'Four new eyelids, I'm afraid, but you're not ready for them yet. I want
all this skin to soften up a lot first. How would you like to go to the
south coast for a bit?'

He mentioned the official R.A.F. convalescent hospital on the south
coast, generously supplied with golf courses, tennis and squash courts.
But as I could not use my hands, and abhorred seaside resorts in winter,
I wasn't very enthusiastic. I asked instead whether I could go down to a
convalescent home a couple of miles from his hospital. He raised no
objection and said that he would fix it with the Commandant.

'And I'll be able to keep an eye on you there,' he added. He had got up
to go when I asked him how long it would be before I should fly again. I
had asked the same question on his previous visit, and when he had said
'Six months' I had been desperately depressed for days. Now when he said,
'Next war for you: those hands are going to be something of a problem,' I
wasn't even surprised. I suppose I had known it for some time. I felt no
emotion at all.

He took his leave and I went off to have lunch with my mother.

Two days later, after the disentangling of a few crossed wires in
official circles, Air Ministry permission came through and I was driven
down to Sussex.

The next day McIndoe took down the dressing from my eyes and I saw again.

'A couple of real horse blinkers you've got there,' he said; and indeed
for a day or so that is what they felt like. In order to see in front of
me I had to turn my face up to the ceiling. They moulded in very rapidly,
and soon I could raise and lower them at will. It was a remarkable piece
of surgery, and an operation in which McIndoe had yet to score a failure.

Shortly afterwards I was allowed to have a bath and soak the bandage off
my arm from where the graft had been taken. This laborious and painful
process had already taken me half an hour when Sister Hall came in. I was
down to the last layer, which I was pulling at gingerly, hurting myself
considerably in the process.

'Well, really, Mister Hillary!' she said; and taking hold of it she gave
a quick pull and ripped the whole thing off cleanly and painlessly.

'Christ!' I started involuntarily, but stopped myself and glanced
apprehensively at Sister's face. She was smiling. Yes, there was no doubt
about it, she was smiling. We said nothing, but from that moment we
understood each other.

Tony's graft had been a success, and within a few days we were allowed
out for a fortnight's convalescence before coming in again for further

As I was getting ready to go, Sister took me on one side and slipped a
small package into my hand.

'You'll be wanting to look your best for the girls, Mr. Hillary, and I've
put in some brown make-up powder that should help you.'

I started to protest but she cut me short.

'You'll be in again in a couple of weeks,' she said. 'Time enough for us
to start quarrelling then.'

We returned after a short but very pleasant convalescence--Tony for his
last operation, one top lid, and I for two lower ones.

This time when the dressings were taken down I looked exactly like an
orang-outang. McIndoe had pinched out two semicircular ledges of skin
under my eyes to allow for contraction of the new lids. What was not
absorbed was to be sliced off when I came in for my next operation, a new
upper lip. The relief, however, was enormous, for now I could close my
eyes almost completely and did not sleep with them rolled up and the
whites showing like a frightened negro.

Once again we retired to our convalescent home, where our hostess did
everything possible to relieve the monotony of our existence. She gave a
large party on Christmas night, and every few weeks brought down stage or
screen people to cheer up the patients.

there is more at the link.

Much of the story is about flying, and later the recovery from wounds of both the body and the soul. It is a classic on many levels.

I lent my hard copy of the book to my son in law, a helicopter pilot, when he was visiting (and bored). He loved it and asked if he could take it home with him.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Getting rid of polio: The nasty mutation problem

Although oral polio (3 viruses) can stop Polio, the problem is that in one of a million cases, the weakened virus mutates back to the real thing.

Not a big problem in countries where most people have gotten the vaccine (in the USA, about 7 cases a year) but a big problem in countries where Mullahs read the UKGuardian and similar anti vaccine screeds and told their people that vaccines were a western plot to destroy them and their kids. Result? Lots of unvaccinated kids to play with the kids who do get the vaccine, and secondary epidemics

So the WHO and others are changing the way vaccines are given, including giving kids one shot of the old fashioned shot (killed virus) vaccine.


for my later reading.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Medical Cannabis doesn't work

This one is from the UK Mail but you can find similar stories in the MSM.

There is very little evidence to suggest cannabis can help ease the symptoms of a raft of illnesses, scientists have said.
Medicinal cannabis has been legalised in 23 US states as a therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms, and a further seven states have legislation pending.
But despite the drug's legal status in many parts of the world, the debate rages as to whether it is effective.
A new study, in which scientists assessed the findings of 79 randomised trials including around 6,500 volunteers, found the evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis is weak.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

It doesn't work statistically....I suspect most of the "benefits" were placebo effect, in former druggies.

However, I suspect, on the other hand, like using anti depressents for pain, it makes you not care that you hurt.

Two things: One: You notice a lot of those who use it for "glaucoma" ignore that to work it needs quite a dose, making them high all the time? Ah but better than using eyedrops that don't do this?

The other problem: The medical marijuana organizations are funded by millionaires (Including Soros' Open Society program). That last organization has a larger agenda, including legalizing all drugs, and medical marijuana is the nose of the camel entering the tent.

Oh yes: They also support legalized euthanasia, which is why they are funding "end of life" type organizations, and slowly subverting those who run them.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Are psychologists/psychiatrists to blame for the epidemic of pedophilia?

WaitingForGodotToLeaveBlog sometimes posts on the pedophilia problem with priests, and today he blast folks for defending a bishop who didn't report sexual abuse of a child.

Good for him.

But the REAL elephant in the room is this part:

As soon as the pictures were discovered, Fr. Ratigan tried to kill himself, leaving a note saying he was sorry for what he had done. He survived his suicide attempt and was sent to a psychologist in Philadelphia who specializes in treating priests with problems. And yet, after interviewing Fr. Ratigan, and even after viewing the pictures which were pulled from Fr. Ratigan's laptop, the psychologist concluded he was not a pedophile. He was just lonely. And depressed. Why? Because the principal of the school was "out to get him," having complained about his inappropriate behavior around children. It was her fault, not his. 
the psychologists didn't just whitewash his actions and deny the obvious diagnosis, but the psychologist didn't bother to report the problem to child protective services either (and note that the psychologist saw the photos, so ignorance is not the reason).

Time and again, bishops were told by experts to whitewash these crimes.

When I was in medical school, not only were there trends to minimize the problem of childhood sexual abuse (which was often attributed by Freud to fantasy...and here I don't discount the witchhunts and exaggerations that falsely accused many).

But in the 1970's Newsweek had an article lamenting that fathers/stepfathers who molested their underaged daughters shouldn't go to jail, because not only would it break up the family but because of what would happen to them in jail.

And in the 1970's, we were told that reporting cases often traumatized the victim more than the actual abuse...

So when will the psychologists be called to pay for their sins?

I mean I remember stories that sex with children was normal and good for them, that teenaged boys should not pay attention to when girls said no and push sex on them anyway, that moms should give their fifteen year old daughters condoms before they went out on a date, and that a lot of psychosis was from homosexual panic or sexual repression, so once this was destigmatized, there would be no problems.

And personally I am waiting for the former Bishop of Altoona to pay for his sins. He once bragged in his paper that there had been no pedophilia problems on his watch, but at that time a nurse cried on my shoulder that her husband was asked to intervene with a family in their town not to report the abuse of their young teenaged boy, using the excuse that the priest was such a nice guy. The bishop was right: There was abuse, but there were not "problems' with it because the families were paid off or pressured not to make problems.

Another thing: We were told in our diocese newspaper about how Pennstate was so gay friendly and had gay friendly psychlogists and a gay friendly priest. Later, when the Sandusky affair exploded I wonder if the reports were not made much of because it was just normal sex play by an older man and a young man, no one hurt, just move along here...

if I am still a Catholic, it might be because of two things:

One, I knew many good and holy priests when I was a missionary.

Two: I also was aware of at least one minister who abused his 13 year old daughter. That case went to court after the girl's boyfriend told someone...and the guy did a plea bargain because there was enough evidence to send him to jail for years, and he plea bargained it down to six months so the daughter didn't have to testify against him in court.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

TB report

CDC report says immigrants from Asia have the most tuberculosis.

lots of data in the article, but it is all mixed up so hard to comprehend.

and then they mix homelessness and TB into the mix. Uh, are Asian immigrants homeless, or is it the homeless who are injecting drugs, getting TB and spreading it through homeless shelters.

As I said, lots of data, but not organized or connecting the dots.

another article is about IV drug use and HIV. lots of IV drug abusers are MSM too.

Sorry but I'm too sleepy to get this data organized either.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

well, duh

NYTimes quotes NEJM article that notes most kids who die of malaria die from cerebral malaria.

guess what? when they get cerebral malaria, their brain swells.

well, duh.

Their answer? Put the kids on ventillators.

“What’s killing these kids is that they stop breathing, because the respiratory center in the brain stem is compressed by the swelling,” said Dr. Terrie E. Taylor, the senior author of the study and a professor at the Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine. She spends about half the year working in Malawi. Ventilators might save some children, Dr. Taylor said, by maintaining their breathing through the worst of the brain swelling, which usually lasts for only a few days. Ventilators are not widely available in Africa, but providing them “is not beyond the pale,”

of course, ignore the real problem:

Get rid of stale water where the mosquitos breed.

Use DDT.



give prophylactic anti malarials to stop the kids from being infected.

Stop counterfeit/substandard anti malarials from being sold (i.e. get rid of activists who decry drug companies that make money from selling drugs and say that "generics" work, when the dirty little secret is that a lot of the "Generics" are substandard...and get officials to stop counterfeits that look like the brand names from being imported)

True, having clinics treat by adding prednisone/steroids may help, but that wasn't what was investigated.

Remember: Kids have fevers all the time, and they don't always get taken immediately to the clinic. And cerebral malaria can have a very fast onset.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Near death experiences: You don't always see the light.

BBC article.

Doctors mostly dismissed such anecdotal evidence as hallucinations, and researchers have been reluctant to delve into the study of near-death experiences, predominantly because it was viewed as something outside of the reach of scientific exploration. But Sam Parnia, a critical care physician and director of resuscitation research at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, along with colleagues from 17 institutions in the US and UK, wanted to do away with assumptions about what people did or did not experience on their deathbeds. It is possible, they believe, to collect scientific data about those would-be final moments. So for four years, they analysed more than 2,000 cardiac arrest events – moments when a patient’s heart stops and they are officially dead.
 Of those patients, doctors were able to bring 16% back from the dead, and Parnia and his colleagues were able to interview 101 of them, or about a third. “The goal was to try to understand, first of all, what is the mental and cognitive experience of death?” Parnia says. “And then, if we got people who claimed auditory and visual awareness at the time of death, to see if we are able to determine if they really were aware.”
 Seven flavours of death Mr A, it turned out, was not the only patient who had some memory of his death. Nearly 50% of the study participants could recall something, but unlike Mr A and just one other woman whose out-of-body account could not be verified externally, the other patients’ experiences did not seem to be tied to actual events that took place during their death.
Instead, they reported dream-like or hallucinatory scenarios that Parnia and his co-authors categorised into seven major themes.
“Most of these were not consistent to what’s called ‘near-death’ experiences,” Parnia says. “It seems like the mental experience of death is much broader than what’s been assumed in the past.”
 Those seven themes were:
 Seeing animals or plants
 Bright light
Violence and persecution
 Seeing family
Recalling events post-cardiac arrest

I have one problem with this: You see, people who do not "die" can also go through similar experiences. For example, several people on the "miracle of the Hudson" airplane state they had these types of experiences, although none were sick or dying, just in peril...and presumably their "soul" did not leave the body (which is one explanation of the phenomenum).

And yes, I believe in heaven...and our Native American patients who were dying often saw relatives (they called it seeing the other side). And numerous stories relate how a dying person sees a relative who is there to welcome them home...sometimes a relative they didn't know had died.

Patients who are dying often "say goodbye" before they die.
Similarly, the senile/comatose etc. often "come to" and say goodbye before they die.

And in medical school, we were warned that if a patient didn't want surgery because they were convinced they would die, then don't do the surgery because they actually would die.

Could the fever from Dengue fever cure some cancers?

A long article on the BBC about "spontaneous" remission of various cancer tumors.

The technique, developed by American start-up PrimeVax, involves a two-pronged approach. It would begin by taking a sample of the tumour, and collecting dendritic cells from the patient’s blood. These cells help coordinate the immune system’s response to a threat, and by exposing them to the tumour in the lab, it is possible to programme them to recognise the cancerous cells. Meanwhile, the patient is given a dose of dengue fever, a disease normally carried by mosquitoes, before they are injected with the newly trained dendritic cells.
Under the supervision of doctors in a hospital, the patient would begin to develop a 40.5C fever, combined with the widespread release of inflammatory molecules – putting the rest of the immune system on red alert. Where the tumour was once able to lurk under the radar, it should now become a prime target for an intense attack from the immune cells, led by the programmed dendritic cells. “Dengue fever crashes and regroups the immune system, so that it is reset to kill tumour cells,” says Bruce Lyday at PrimeVax.
this double approach (but not with dengue) was used against Joy's sister's cancer, and no it did not work.

so don't get your hopes up...

However, malaria was once used to destroy syphillis of the brain which was fatal in the bad old days before Salvarsan and Penicillin.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

GIGO Studies

GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out.

So moms who took antibiotics during pregnancy have kids with a higher rate of "asthma" and allergies?

uh, maybe it was because mom had low grade "asthma" and usually needs or wants antibiotics when she got bronchitis?

Or did they include the moms who took antibiotics for UTIs?

without reading the study, who knows.

And the side bar contains similar GIGO articles.

Related Stories

In "asthma", there are two reasons it is more commonly diagnosed: one, the threshhold is lower (in the past, unless one wheezed all the time you didn't get diagnosed with "asthma". Now if you get a little bronchospams when running etc. you are diagnosed as such), two, air pollution.

David Warren writes a scathing essay on these studies, that justify the nanny state, and of course, more funding for more "research"...

According to the latest research, he writes facetiously, coffee may be good for your heart. It just might prevent cholesterol build-up in the arteries and … blah blah blah. I refer to some Korean study in the news this morning, but the findings (not of causation but of statistical correlation) are hardly new. There was for instance a big Dutch study five years ago, which redeemed tea as well as coffee, and I vaguely remember others. “More research is needed,” say all the people who make money from such pointless research. We are trained to nod sleepily in agreement. These hugely expensive, perpetually inconclusive, and very soft epidemiological studies are what most people have in mind when the magic word, “science,” is invoked: for we are living in an age of magic.Actual science would show the mechanism by which a specific constituent in coffee, such as caffeine, operates within the human metabolism to produce specific reactions in a long, very specific chain, leading to a specific result. 
and he notes that they are aiming at other people's sins, the innocent pleasures of ordinary people, not the traditional sins of promiscuity, seducing children, aborting offspring etc. But I'll probably quote that part on my boinkieblog.


related item: divorce fuels kid's sugary intake.

"When families separate, one of the things that is most impacted for kids is their day-to-day routines," said Jeff Cookston, professor and chair of psychology at SF State and lead researcher on the study. "Children are looking for consistency in their family environment, and family routines provide that security and continuity."
The study is the first to examine the real-time eating habits of divorced and married families, rather than rely on family members' recollections of past meals or behavior. Cookston and his colleagues interviewed the participants -- parents and children in both married and divorced families -- and asked them to keep five-day diaries of their eating habits. When they looked at the data, they found that children whose parents were separated or recently divorced were much more likely to drink sugar-sweetened beverages than children whose parents are married. Divorce did not appear to have a major impact on other unhealthful behaviors such as skipping breakfast or eating dinner outside the home.
The reason, Cookston says, is likely ease and access. Divorce can put a great deal of stress on families, including children, and drinking sugary beverages can be a "quick fix" for dealing with that stress.
why, yes.

And as StrategyPage notes: Ways that soldiers cope with stress are sugary drinks and junk food, cigarette smoking, and video games...

The troops know that the drugs they take have bad side effects, but combat is inherently dangerous, and staying awake and stress free is the easiest way to avoid all the other dangers. In addition to these immediate problems there is the longer term impact of stress and tobacco has always been good at that. So when pilots land they go looking for a drink and a cigarette. Same with sailors, who are still allowed to smoke in specified areas and these smoking stations are always busy when the crew is under a lot of stress. Thus for all its long term problems, tobacco is still one of the best short term anti-stress solution. The other one is candy, but that has more immediate shortcomings as well as long-term dangers that explains all the efforts to cure bad eating habits. Then there are violent video games, which unexpectedly turned out to be an excellent combat stress reliever as well as useful in dealing with long-term (PTSD) combat stress problems. It’s still unclear what the long-term downside is for these games. The problem with video games is that they are not as convenient as tobacco. In any event the search continues for more effective combat stress relievers.

and I would add: Alcohol and sex.

this last part is a problem in Muslim lands, since honor killing might be the fate of the friendly girls. But there are some lovely ladies among the military who help...alas, some men mistake the lovely and willing with the non willing, so rape is a major but little talked about problem...and now, with Obama pushing gay/transvestites in the military, expect more unreported problems.

Am I being cynical? Well, we can't keep young male employees here since they get sexually harassed by a family member who will remain nameless. Half just quit, and the other half go along for the money until the wifey finds out and fires them...and this doesn't include the guy at the farm party who passed out and ended up raped. Luckily he was greedy, but our cook got upset because she was no longer getting any love from her boy toy.

Ah life in the Philippines....

related item: How beer made civilization.

Monday, March 2, 2015

will ultrasound treatment help heel pain?

one common problem is pain on the heel, aka plantar fasciitis, where the plantar fascia (that's the broadcloth like support that holds up your arch and tendons) inserts to the heel bone.

photo source

Usually you treat it with NSAIDS (eg advil/alleve/aspirin) and stretching, also shoe inserts to keep the arch from falling. Some people say to use splints, but I could never get people to actually keep using them.

photolink here.

Now they suggest ultrasound might help those with this nasty painful but not serious cause of heel pain.

I used to give a lot of cortisone shots for this (on "the res" where I worked, to get ultrasound treatment took making a request via the tribal health board, since we didn't have the machine...and since this treatment was not urgent, often it didn't get funded).

usually I warned the patient that the shot was very painful: enough to make strong men cry.

And they agreed with me.

But usually it did help the pain

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

reversing the abortion pill


apparently a shot of progesterone will save the pregnancy if the mom changes her mind.

Indeed, some women change their mind. Well, duh. that is why population freaks don't want a waiting period. They claim it discriminates against poor women, but what they mean is too many poor women are panicked or coerced and change their minds.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mrs Wilde diagnosed? Nah.

TeaAtTrianon links to a UK Guardian article on Mrs Oscar Wilde, saying that some South African doc has written an article saying she had Multiple Sclerosis not neurosyphilis of the spine.
color me skeptical.

Syphilis was called "the Great imitator" and few modern docs have seen tertiary syphilis. Ironically, one of the doctors penning the original article being reviewed is a South African. Now, one does see tertiary syphilis there, mainly because their social policies separated the men in mines and factories from their wives. Yet one does not see MS in black Africans. I believe the rate in white Africans is the same as in Europeans, but I'd have to look that up to be sure. So why does this doc have expertise in both diseases, since the populations are different and the diseases are treated by different subspecialists? (One, infectious disease specialist the other Neurologists).

Neurosyphilis was common back then, including spinal versions where only the spine was affected...and neuropathic pain and paralysis from heavy metal poisoning from medicines used to treat these diseases was also a problem. (some doctors think Isaak Dineson's leg pains and paralysis was from her treatment, not her syphilis, for example)...

Since the saying in medicine is "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras", let me doubt the MS diagnosis, although I don't have access to all the symptoms, headache is not a symptom of MS, and I didn't see any reference to blindness or arm symptoms, which is seen in that disease. But without access to the original article, I can't be sure.

See the book Shakespeare's tremor and Orwell's cough.

which discusses the mercury neurotoxicity from treating "the great pox".

Modern docs tend to shy away from these things, yet one wonders how much of the eccentricities of folks like Henry VIII or Ivan the terrible were heavy metal problems.

And of course, the deterioration of Nietze, whose writings resemble one in a manic phase of bipolar disease, were probably from the manic phase of neurosyphillis, which slowly deteriorated into dementia and paralysis.

Ironic, isn't it, that the philosophy of the modern world and the philosophy of the Nazis might be from a diseased mind?

Lots of denial here: I've even  read that his Nazi sister "edited" the writings to support Hitler's ideas. Well, maybe she did, but she wasn't that talented, so the ideas were still his. She seemed to be narcissitic, not demented...

And the modern physicians often get headlines by pointing to exotic rare diseases as the cause of something. For example, the black plague, diagnosed as "ebola", or the plague of Athens, which turned out to probably be typhoid, being something else. Disease in the past often didn't look like it does now, which also confuses matters.

The evolution of syphilis to a more "benign" disease for example is well known.

Of course, rare diseases do occur: Polio is almost eradicated, but with the Mullahs reading the UKGuardian and other papers insisting polio vaccine causes ____ (fill in blanks with favorite problem) we now see almost as many cases of mutated Oral polio virus (in a tiny percentage of those given OPV, the weakened virus mutates back to full strength, and can infect those in contact with the child. Given the large populations of unvaccinated kids, this has caused outbreaks of polio in Africa and Pakistan). And now, in the US, a variation is found in another enterovirus causing paralysis in rare cases.

That hasn't gotten publicity of course except on right wing blogs, since there is some suspicion that it came up from Central America with the children illegal immigrants who obeyed Obama's policy to come quickly and get in free before President Cruz gets elected.

one more thing: One quack decided it was her gynecology problem causing the problem, and Mrs. W died of surgery. Well, that implies she had adhesions and chronic pelvic pain from PID (Untreated gonorrhea). That disease, however, doesn't cause paralysis, but points to the fact she might also have had syphilis.

Or maybe he decided her problems were psychological, and could be cured by hysterectomy. Given my problems with ovarian cysts and "raging hormones" there is a little truth in that statement, but a lot of this was Freud's influence too.

Indeed, Freud got into trouble when some quack influenced him to think that nasal problems were sexual and almost killed one of Freud's patients in a surgical procedure.

Freud is still seen as a pioneer scientist, but the truth is that most of his theories are philosophical, not scientific, and few psychiatrists do psychotherapy anymore, since drugs work faster and more efficiently for such things.