Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epidemic

Medical topics with questions, information and discussion related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
phyfe
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by phyfe » Sat 10 Jan 2015 17:49

That proves how unreliable Henry's conclusions are!

velvetmagnetta
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by velvetmagnetta » Sat 10 Jan 2015 19:24

So, I'm just reading along on this tread, chuckling now and then...It is very entertaining at times.

But, in blasts hv with this big huge iGenex rant! (I am paraphrasing because I'm not feeling well...) "IGenex is not using anything new, they're only using the Western Blot analyzed through a slightly different qualifying criteria." Then, "Igenex tests have not been validated." Well, which is it? Too old or too new? You can't have it both ways here.

And then hv's mad because they're using a different Borrelia strain - but yet, the same exact bands as the Good 'ol Western Blot.

So, what exactly is your complaint? I'm confused at the source and aim of your latest vitriol.

Lorima
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by Lorima » Tue 13 Jan 2015 17:58

Good point, VM.

Duncan, I agree about your 10,000 hypothetical patients. The algorithm is functioning as a "baffle them with BS" ploy, although I'm not convinced they didn't baffle themselves first, before turning on the public. The algorithm breaks down upon examination of how it was generated.

Henry, your post here
http://www.lymeneteurope.org/forum/view ... how#p41285
was pretty shocking; I hardly know what to say to a biologist whose field is related to immunology, who thinks that IgM has only 5 binding sites, instead of 10. IgM is "pentavalent" only in the sense that IgG has a valence of 1.

[For non-biologists: the reason it is easy to remember that IgM has 10 binding sites while IgG has two, is that these "stick figure" diagrams of the two types show up all over the literature and textbooks:
http://www.jbc.org/content/280/32/29080/F1.expansion
So it's not a matter of remembering number of sites, it's about having these diagrams in your head. Any professional involved in immunological issues, has these diagrams pop up in their head whenever IgM and IgG are discussed. Or should have them pop up.]

Henry, the rest of your offered explanation is similarly wrong; I'll analyze the details of your mistakes, if anyone cares to go further. I think not knowing the structure of IgM, yet writing about it, should be enough to convince everyone to ignore the subsequent hand-waving about why IgM is "sticky."

You could have looked up all this basic immunology with a click of the mouse, and refreshed your memory, and not made this embarrassing mistake. But yet again, you didn't bother. Please learn to check your facts. It's never too late to improve your habits of thought.

Henry wrote:
When you say that the criteria used to interpret the results of some of the diagnostic tests used are arbitrary, that is not correct. For example, the number and type of bands used to develop the criteria used for interpreting the results of Western blots were based on the frequency at which certain bands appear when hundreds of specimens from well-characterized patients were examined. The criteria are hardly arbitrary as you falsely state. They are based on statistical considerations and frequency analysis.
Hundreds of specimens? Not so: 54 patients went into the ROC calculation as the actual LD patients. The rest he threw out as not having LD (actually, worse, he used them essentially as negative controls!). His clinical selection criteria were so narrow that there is no (realistic) way he can say whether or not they have LD; he can only arbitrarily declare they don't, on the grounds that they they don't have the few characteristics he deemed worthy, simply because they happen to be easily measured. I think Steere has the mind of a lawyer; he thinks that medical facts are socially arranged, like laws are. But then he seems to think that the Truth Fairy makes his arrangements come true in physical reality, just because he can make them stick "in court," by social domination. We all have our faults; no one's mental processes are perfect. The problem is that his faults have been cloned and imposed as guidelines, on all of the LD mainstream medical field. Same problem as occurs in a political machine or dictatorship.

Re-read Dressler et al. 1993:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8380611
snip

In the prospective study, the sera were tested from all 237 patients evaluated in our weekly diagnostic Lyme disease clinic from July 1990 through June 1991. By clinical criteria, these patients were categorized as having active Lyme arthritis or neuroborreliosis, inactive Lyme disease, or other illnesses. Active Lyme arthritis was defined as brief attacks of oligoarticular arthritis in a few large joints, not caused by other known types of arthritis, in a person from an area endemic for Lyme disease. These patients were required to have objective evidence of joint inflammation at the time of evaluation. Active neuroborreliosis (meningitis, chronic encephalopathy, or polyneuropathy) was diagnosed in patients with meningeal signs, memory impairment, or sensory abnormalities accompanied by a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis, increased CSF protein, or electromyographic evidence of an axonal polyneuropathy, not caused by other known diseases, in a person from a Lyme disease-endemic area [31]. These patients often had a history of erythema migrans, but this clinical marker was not required for diagnosis. After clinical categorization, all 237 patients were tested for serum antibodies to B. burgdorferi by ELISA and Western blotting. To determine the sensitivity and specificity of these tests, results in the 54 patients who met clinical criteria for Lyme disease were compared with those in the 183 patients who did not meet these criteria. If patients met clinical criteria for Lyme disease but were seronegative by ELISA, their cellular immune response to borrelial antigens was determined by the T cell proliferative assay, as previously described [31].

snip

Among the 139 clinic patients who did not meet clinical criteria for Lyme disease, 5 had positive IgG responses to B. burgdorferi by ELISA, and 34 had indeterminate responses. Only 7 of these patients had positive blots; our diagnoses in these patients were gouty arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, supraspinatus tendinitis, diabetic neuropathy, vascular headache, stroke, or depression. Because these patients came from areas endemic for Lyme disease and had clearly positive blots, we believe that they also had asymptomatic infection with B. burgdorferi. [Lorima: !!] The remaining 100 patients were seronegative by all tests. In both case and control subjects, positive and negative serologic results by ELISA and Western blotting were usually concordant. However, among the patients who had indeterminate IgG responses by ELISA, 6 of the 9 with active Lyme disease and 11 of the 14 with inactive infection had positive IgG blots compared with only 2 of the 34 patients who had other illnesses (P < .001 for both comparisons).

snip
(Anybody who wants a copy of this paper, PM me.)

54 LD patients, by Steere's criteria. Bizarrely, patients positive for LD by other clinician's criteria but negative by Steere's, were used as negative controls. There's nothing to do but sputter in indignation, at the lunacy of this approach.
NOT "hundred of specimens."


I will save my other observations for another post, to keep things simpler. I hope my use of bolding and repetition will help Henry understand this, although I realize it's inelegant.
Last edited by Lorima on Thu 15 Jan 2015 1:26, edited 1 time in total.
"I have to understand the world, you see."
Richard Feynman

hv808ct
Posts: 256
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by hv808ct » Tue 13 Jan 2015 19:36

Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide
Unread post by Lorima » Tue 13 Jan 2015 18:58

Henry, your post here
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5608&start=60&p=41285&view=show#p41285
was pretty shocking; I hardly know what to say to a biologist whose field is related to immunology, who thinks that IgM has only 5 binding sites, instead of 10. IgM is "pentavalent" only in the sense that IgG has a valence of 1.


Google “IgM” and “pentavalent”. You should get about 70K hits.

Then read this very important article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10626367

Lorima
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by Lorima » Wed 14 Jan 2015 0:19

hv,
Ha, the old Dunning-Kruger defense. You must be hanging out with those who, ironically, call themselves Skeptics. That's one of their favorite insults.

Yes, IgM is said to be pentavalent. Look at the diagram I linked to; that's why.

Those weren't scare quotes; I was suggesting that this particular term must account for Henry's mistake about the number of antigen binding sites. By the same logic one would call IgG monovalent, which doesn't seem quite right to me, as it has two binding sites. But the term "pentavalent" doesn't seem to fall out of favor, so we'll just have to hope that most biologists have those little stick figures firmly in mind.

I guess I've made the mistake of assuming that you and Henry are more literate than you are, and would understand my point. I'll try to be more literal and explicit in the future.

You don't share this misconception of Henry's, do you? That would be a really strange coincidence.

The reason I'm belaboring Henry over this, instead of letting it go, is that he could have easily checked, before he posted. Everybody makes the occasional mistake, but Henry makes way too many. Failing to realize when one's memory is unclear about something, and then failing to check facts that easily can be checked, is a really bad habit. It means that we can't trust anything he says about biology, no matter how elementary. If this habit were common among actual working scientists, it would mean that everyone has to waste time checking each other's simplest assertions for accuracy. Scientific progress would slow to a snail's pace...oh wait, it already has, in this field.
"I have to understand the world, you see."
Richard Feynman

velvetmagnetta
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by velvetmagnetta » Wed 14 Jan 2015 11:50

I am rather disappointed to learn that Henry is not sufficiently learned in the field of biology, micro- or otherwise, to comment on the many subjects on which he does on this forum. And though Lorima suggested this in her usual elegant and eloquent way, I came to this conclusion just before her post - as a result of Henry's very sloppy post previous. There were so many scientific inaccuracies and mistakes that I now realize for certain that Henry is not, and never has been, a scientist of any kind.

I should have realized this when he did not understand the weight that "statistical significance" holds in experimental results. I guess I just wanted to believe that he was a real scientist so I could think I was communicating with the Wormser Crowd, believing we all could be getting through to those who hold positions of power who are standing in the way of scientific progress in the treatment of Lyme disease and its life-altering, debilitating, and disabling after-effects.

Well, I guess on the internet, you can pretend to be whoever you want to be insomuch as you can pull it off. I suppose, too, that real life is like that at times. Because if it wasn't, Wormser would already be out of a job.

hv808ct
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by hv808ct » Wed 14 Jan 2015 12:54

Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide
Unread post by velvetmagnetta » Wed 14 Jan 2015 12:50

I should have realized this when he did not understand the weight that "statistical significance" holds in experimental results. I guess I just wanted to believe that he was a real scientist so I could think I was communicating with the Wormser Crowd, believing we all could be getting through to those who hold positions of power who are standing in the way of scientific progress in the treatment of Lyme disease and its life-altering, debilitating, and disabling after-effects.
Actually, there are real scientists on this forum: people with training in immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases, biostats, and who actually know something about LD and the people who work in the field of LD. If by the “Wormser Crowd” you mean people who rely on science-based medicine and reproducible data, who don’t announce outlandish theories in self-serving press releases, then yes, some of them are here occasionally. But you’re not going to get through to them with anonymous whining and abuse, and since there is no one in power holding up scientific progress (see “conspiracy”) you’re effectively talking to the wall.

As for LD being “life-altering, debilitating, and disabling after-effects”, that’s not the LD most of us know. I’m sure whatever you think you have is life-altering, etc. but it’s not Lyme. Frankly, I’d be shocked to find that more than 10% of people on these forums have any evidence of ever having had LD.

You want to get better? Then get thee to a real doctor.

duncan
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by duncan » Wed 14 Jan 2015 14:35

10%? Would that be employing the highly regarded Monty Python School of Arithmetic?

Seems like just yesterday the self-proclaimers of champions of evidence-based medicine had to recalculate their estimates of Bb infection in the United States. They had to ratchet up their claims (which had been in place for many years) from - what was it? 20,000 to 30,000 cases annually? - to 300,000 cases annually. They appear to have been off by a factor of 10. For years. I'm pretty sure that kind of math where I come from would have earned me a failing grade in grammar school.

Is that the calculus you embrace, hv808ct?

velvetmagnetta
Posts: 469
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by velvetmagnetta » Wed 14 Jan 2015 15:52

hv808ct wrote:
velvetmagnetta wrote:

I should have realized this when he did not understand the weight that "statistical significance" holds in experimental results. I guess I just wanted to believe that he was a real scientist so I could think I was communicating with the Wormser Crowd, believing we all could be getting through to those who hold positions of power who are standing in the way of scientific progress in the treatment of Lyme disease and its life-altering, debilitating, and disabling after-effects.
Actually, there are real scientists on this forum: people with training in immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases, biostats, and who actually know something about LD and the people who work in the field of LD.
That may be true, but "Henry" is not one of them.
hv808ct wrote:
If by the “Wormser Crowd” you mean people who rely on science-based medicine and reproducible data, who don’t announce outlandish theories in self-serving press releases, then yes, some of them are here occasionally. But you’re not going to get through to them with anonymous whining and abuse, and since there is no one in power holding up scientific progress (see “conspiracy”) you’re effectively talking to the wall.
Yes. I now realize I am talking to a wall.
hv808ct wrote:
As for LD being “life-altering, debilitating, and disabling after-effects”, that’s not the LD most of us know. I’m sure whatever you think you have is life-altering, etc. but it’s not Lyme. Frankly, I’d be shocked to find that more than 10% of people on these forums have any evidence of ever having had LD.

You want to get better? Then get thee to a real doctor.
You don't really believe that, do you hv? Otherwise, why would you subject yourself to this "abuse" by terribly ill, incapacitated non-Lyme patients? You poor thing. :cry: I feel so sorry for you now - except my spine is crushing me (probably from some mystery illness that is not neuroborreliosis), so I cannot, at the moment, weep for you and your plight.

Lorima
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Re: Why the Government is Suppressing the Lyme Disease Epide

Post by Lorima » Wed 14 Jan 2015 16:19

VM, just read your latest when I came to post. Yes, funny isn't it, how hv808ct thinks he can diagnose people accurately, on the internet. And he doesn't have your medical records, nor is he an MD. He's violating his own principles.

I'm sorry to say, there is as much variation in scientists, as there is in any other profession. I'd like to think that the curve is skewed toward intelligence and integrity, but there is still a long tail of incompetence. Getting a PhD is laborious, but it's quite possible to get one by simply following orders from one's mentor. No independent thinking required.

As far as the scientific work ethic goes (which Henry is demonstrably lacking, with his failure to check his facts), there are plenty of opportunities to underperform, especially if one gets a berth in the scientific bureaucracy. There are fields of science and medicine that are well-run, with competence and integrity, of course. But the LD field is more like a political machine:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_machine

The minor functionary demonstrates loyalty to the boss's organization, and then that group takes care of him for life, while he helps the group reach and maintain a dominant position. It has to do with power, a sense of belonging, and financial security, not public service. Trying to talk a member of a political machine out of his loyalty to the group, is indeed like talking to a wall. They won't change; but we can tell by what they say, where they went wrong. I think that is very interesting, so I keep watching them. It's a different kind of research, but the same principles apply. Observe, formulate a working hypothesis, and then observe some more, to see if it holds up.

Here's someone who was NIH Lyme program officer during the period when crucial errors were made, and who still participates in every form of political action against LD patients and their doctors and caregivers, that is available to him. If you look at his CV, you'll see that he did almost no actual science. It's not surprising that he is completely dependent upon the dominant group for his opinions about LD, including his contempt for the patients. Indeed, he was very well-paid, just for promoting those opinons. Think how much harder his life would have been, if he had taken the patients seriously, instead of siding with Wormser and Steere.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-man-with-no-work/

Our tax dollars at work. Kind of discouraging, for a big-government Democrat like me. ;)

I'm sure all these people believe that their version of LD is the "correct" one, and therefore, they are just promoting the facts (defending science, they like to say.) The problem I see is that they are spending way too much effort pushing the group opinion, and way too little effort checking to see if it corresponds to physical reality.

I'm sorry to have to bring up these political issues, but I think our ideals about how science operates can get in the way of a realistic understanding of what's going on in the LD field. As a scientist, I can't help but think that the first step in fixing something, is to understand, in detail, how it works. All the usual ways that science gets corrected, have been tried, and failed so far. (Though the attempts generated enough public information, that I was able to get care for my family, for which I'm grateful.) I'd rather think about nature, and i do, most of the time. But if something in my life is greatly affected by a political situation, then I'll work on that.

Hv808ct, it's not called a conspiracy, if it's out in the open. The AHILD (Ad Hoc International Lyme Disease) group has made it pretty obvious in their editorial publications, even without the FOIA emails. The details of the bad science are in the medical literature, available for anyone to read and see where it went wrong. The part you don't get, is that the science is wrong; and I think you and Henry just don't have what it takes, to figure that out, even if you weren't committed to ignoring it. Real science is about how nature works; while you and Henry are political animals, busy aligning yourselves with the powerful. I'm sure you could run rings around me, in the political sphere, like AHILD's leaders do to the dissenters. So cheer up; we each have our own set of talents. ;)
"I have to understand the world, you see."
Richard Feynman

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