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Thursday, March 3, 2011


News from the world of homoeopathy: From Schwabe Family March 4, 2011
 
French nobelist takes high dilution research further Dr. Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, has surprised the scientific community with his strong support for homoeopathic medicine.

In a remarkable interview published in Science magazine of December 24, 2010, Professor Luc Montagnier, has expressed support for the often maligned and misunderstood medical specialty of homoeopathic medicine.
 
Montagnier, who is also founder and president of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, asserted, "I can't say that homoeopathy is right in everything. What I can say now is that the high dilutions (used in homoeopathy) are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules." Here, Montagnier is making reference to his experimental research that confirms one of the controversial features of homoeopathic medicine that uses doses of substances that undergo sequential dilution with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution. Montagnier's research (and other of many of his colleagues) has verified that electromagnetic signals of the original medicine remains in the water and has dramatic biological effects. Montagnier affirms that these new observations will lead to novel treatments for many common chronic diseases, including but not limited to autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
 
Montagnier's new research evokes memories one of the most sensational stories in French science, often referred to as the 'Benveniste affair.' A highly respected immunologist Dr. Jacques Benveniste., who died in 2004, conducted a study which was replicated in three other university laboratories and that was published in Nature. Benveniste and other researchers used extremely diluted doses of substances that created an effect on a type of white blood cell called basophils. Although Benveniste's work was supposedly debunked, Montagnier considers Benveniste a "modern Galileo" who was far ahead of his day and time and who was attacked for investigating a medical and scientific subject that orthodoxy had mistakenly overlooked and even demonized.
 
In this new interview in Science, Montagnier also expressed real concern about the unscientific atmosphere that presently exists on certain unconventional subjects such as homoeopathy, "I am told that some people have reproduced Benveniste's results, but they are afraid to publish it because of the intellectual terror from people who don't understand it."
 
Montagnier concluded the interview when asked if he is concerned that he is drifting into pseudoscience, he replied adamantly: "No, because it's not pseudoscience. It's not quackery. These are real phenomena which deserve further study."
 
Research news
More chronic patients of musculoskeletal disorders seek homoeopaths than conventional and other CAM therapies – A study from France reported
Many people seek homoeopathy for various musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as joint pains, muscular pains, lumbago, arthritis, etc. But there is a lack of clarity in information describing patients with MSDs using complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) and almost none distinguishing homeopathy from other CAMs. A study was conducted in France to describe and compare patients with MSDs who consulted primary care physicians, either certified homeopaths (Ho) or regular prescribers of CAMs in a mixed practice (Mx), to those consulting physicians who strictly practice conventional medicine (CM), with regard to the severity of their MSD expressed as chronicity, co-morbidity and quality of life (QOL).
 
The study was a nationwide observational survey of a representative sample of general practitioners and their patients in France. The sampling strategy ensured a sufficient number of GPs in each of the three groups to allow comparison of their patients. Patients completed a questionnaire on socio-demographics, lifestyle and QOL using the Short Form 12 (SF-12) questionnaire. Chronicity of MSDs was defined as more than twelve weeks duration of the current episode. Diagnoses and co-morbidities were recorded by the physician.
 
A total of 825 GPs included 1,692 MSD patients (predominantly back pain and osteoarthritis) were included, 21.6% in the CM group, 32.4% Ho and 45.9% Mx. Patients in the Ho group had more often a chronic MSD (62.1%) than the CM (48.6%) or Mx (50.3%) groups, a result that was statistically significant after controlling for patients’ characteristics (Odds ratio = 1.43; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07 - 1.89). Patients seen by homeopaths or mixed practice physicians who were not the regular treating physician, had more often a chronic MSD than those seen in conventional medicine (Odds ratios were1.75; 95% CI: 1.22 - 2.50 and 1.48; 95% CI: 1.06 - 2.12, respectively). Otherwise patients in the three groups did not differ for co-morbidities and QOL

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