Science had their pants pulled down and their genitals exposed.
Last week, a huge study was released that definitively disproved the chemical imbalance theory of depression and a large investigation found that one of the most important findings in Alzheimer’s research was based on fabricated images.
Sadly, as a medical doctor and scientist, none of this surprises me.
Many people believe that if they see something in a scientific study, then it’s a fact.
The truth is that it means very little.
There are MANY reasons why scientific research is flawed, but here are 3 big ones:
1) Publication bias – this is when only results with positive findings are published, leading to a false perception that a drug is effective. Psychiatric drug companies usually only publish the studies showing that their drug beat placebo, not the many more studies that show that it didn’t. This is one of the reasons why meta-analyses are a more reliable guide.
2) Breaking blind – in a double blinded study, both the participant and researcher are supposed to not know who is receiving the placebo. The problem is that for many reasons, the biggest one being the side effects caused by the drug, it ends up being clear who is taking the real drug. This creates an enhanced placebo effect and is why some drugs are concluded to be better than placebo when in reality they aren’t.
3) Cold turkey design – in many psychiatric drug trials, patients have their psych drugs abruptly stopped before the trial. This means that they are in acute withdrawal so that when a drug is then re-introduced, it appears that it’s working. But in reality it’s like stopping someone’s heroin and then reintroducing the heroin to show that heroin is effective.
I have been talking about the chemical imbalance myth, how research and academia are corrupt and the dangers of psychiatric medications for years. If you are interested in delving deeper into this topic with me, check out my masterclass, Drugged: How Psychiatry Does More Harm Than Good.