The Demonization of Stiles 

Yes, I am a Teen Wolf fan.  I admit it whole-heartedly.  Sometimes people laugh, but I don’t care one bit.  I know they are laughing because it seems, by title alone, like some silly remake of that movie where Michael J. Fox wears fur.  But you can watch the FIRST EPISODE and fall in love with it.  So it doesn’t take long to make people stop laughing. 

Well, stop laughing at ME and start laughing at the show.  Because they like it, not because they think it’s silly.

SIGH.  You know what I mean.  

This specific entity ties in well to something happening in the Lyme/TBD world.  

It’s all about appearances.  It has been a marketing game from almost day 1.  

Durland Fish, as many know, wrote these words: “This battle cannot be won on a scientific front.  We need to mount a socio-political offensive … ”

There has been an effort by many, with the IDSA at the forefront, painting a picture of Lyme patients/advocates as crazy loons who know nothing of science who are trying to take YOU down with them and are dangerous.  

  
It is sort of like that little demon on one’s shoulder, telling half-truths or straight-up lies to make you think something you have never thought about someone … a trusted friend or family member who normally was never sick or lazy has suddenly become bed-bound?  It must be because they read something on the internet and some wacko Lyme doctor is taking advantage of them–they are brainwashed!  

In this case it is even worse because the person saying this is not even a demon; it is a supposed trusted entity: the IDSA, the CDC, a local physician.  They are supposed to help people.  
How fitting, then, that this season of Teen Wolf is about the Dread Doctors.  

It includes a character who becomes somewhat trusted, though the audience knows he is not a nice guy.  Let’s call him Bad Wolf.  He starts to sow seeds of doubt with half truths, out-and-out lies to make Stiles look like the bad guy and himself look like the good guy.  Which, of course, is the entire opposite. 
These seeds are then given the tiniest bit of water by things that Stiles says and does.  Though these things are truly benign on their own, the doubt now grows in Scott’s head about his best friend, and he starts believing that Stiles is a murderer.  

Scott and Stiles have been best friends for quite a while, and they have been through some pretty rough tests on their character, proven to be pretty darned good people, especailly for those still in high school.  I know.  It’s TV.  Yet you would think this would be able to stand a little seed or two of doubt, right? 

One important ingredient that causes Scott to believe Bad Wolf is the fact that Bad Wolf was THERE the night in question and Scott was not.  So if a doctor or so-called expert comes up and basically says your most trusted friend/son/daughter/mother/1st grade teacher who was a nun is brainwashed, you believe them– because they know something about the situation that you don’t.  This, in Lyme, works especially well on those who are not medically savvy.  

So what takes away the power of these doubt-planters?  Well, if someone else, in addition to Bad Wolf, was there and told Scott the opposite of what Bad Wolf said– that would take away part of Bad Wolf’s power.  It may also make Scott doubt Bad Wolf all together and slap him in his big Bad Face. 

When real Lyme experts, those who actually treat patients (not just send them out the door saying they don’t have Lyme), start to contradict the IDSA, CDC, the doubt-planters, it takes away a lot of their power.  

Luckily, we have this, and I think we are becoming much louder than before.  

Ever notice how many anti-Lyme patient/activist articles will not contradict other physicians, researchers or the science but will only talk about patients or activists?  As if we are the only ones who disagree with them, and there is no science, other physicians or researchers that exist.  They do that for a reason.  It’s a sneaky way for them to start painting a picture.  

Sort of like the picture below.  

Since it is Teen Wolf, and the writing/imagery can be really stunning at times, I am thinking they meant to do this.  But if not, it was a neat coincidence. 

The Demonization of Stiles 

  

–Loon Out 

So Much Bad Science 

I was directed to a link from Facebook for an article that talked about this study.  Click here for study

Since I only can see (at the moment) the free abstract, I am waiting to read the rest of it.  The article itself that talked about the study had some things that the study did not seem to say; however, maybe they read the entire study and these conclusions were actually IN the entire study and they were not the fault of the article writer jumping to conclusions.  

So I am only going to review the abstract at this time. 

It is called “Lyme Disease Diagnosed by Alternative Methods: A Common Phenotype with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” (link above).  

When they talk about alternative methods, this means alternative LAB methods that the CDC does not suggest using to diagnose Lyme disease.  However, this leaves out a large portion of people who were diagnosed by alternative methods that the CDC does suggest: clinical diagnosis.  There’s problem one. 

Let’s forget about that part for the moment and move on to the bigger problem.  

What this study seems to be saying, according to the abstract is that they took healthy controls (25), patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (25), patients with “alternatively diagnosed” Lyme disease (12 out of 13), and 11 patients with SLE.  Ya.  Big whopping study, right? 

But it wouldn’t matter if they had thousands.  

They compared these groups using 

**7 functional scales, 

**cytokine studies, 

**CDC approved Lyme testing criteria

**history and physicials 

**reference serology for other tick-borne diseases.  

Their conclusion after looking at their data was: 

 A provider should realize that if a Lyme patient has a positive Lyme test using alternative criteria, that lab test was a false positive.  

Why is this such BAD SCIENCE? 

We have to remember that the CDC itself has said their criteria are only used for surveillance purposes.  A clinical diagnosis can certainly by made (including the 100% diagnostic EM rash), and Lyme should not be ruled out entirely if the CDC criteria lab tests are negative.  

The above study went through all this to conclude that Lyme positive patients using alternative criteria are false positives and should not be counted as a “surveillance positive” even though the only “surveillance positive” Lyme cases would be counted through CDC surveilllance criteria anyway … what in the world was the study for? 

It seems to me, without seeing the entire study yet, that they are trying to make others think that CDC positive means positive PERIOD so anyone coming to the provider with an “alternative” criteria based diagnosis is a false positive.  

Have time for 1 more issue?  

I am sure infectious disease experts would agree that a culture proven diagnosis is going to hold more weight than an antibody-based test diagnosis.  So even though the CDC does not “recommend” or consider a culture test from ALS (Advanced Laboratory Services) positive “surveillance criteria,” it does not mean it is a false positive by a long shot.  There are other methods of “scoring” western blots for Lyme that have been found to be more accurate than the CDC’s surveillence criteria number of bands as well.  But it doesn’t “count” for the CDC criteria.  

So just because the CDC erroneously leaves out scientifically viable testing processes, they somehow conclude that will mean the science will be correct only the CDC (surveillance) way.   There’s the rest of the bad science.  They took something entirely unscientific as far as how the bacteria is really acting in a person and made that a scientific truth.  

You cannot take CDC surveillance criteria, something the CDC admits misses a big whopping bunch of true Lyme cases, and make it into much more accurate diagnostic criteria, which is how they, more or less, used it in this study. 

I certainly hope they are not this stupid as to think they are the same thing, so I am going to take that leap to say they meant to mislead people.  Since these publications are used by providers that treat actual patients, intentionally misleading them to diagnose a patient one way or the other (for whatever reasons) is a crime just as much as a provider intentionally giving a patient the incorrect diagnosis or medicine would be.  

And last, but not least, the longer this sort of thing continues, the less anyone will be able to trust such publications.  And if no one trusts what is in your publication, oh journal-who-accepted-this-garbage, what will be the point of you? 
–Loon Out