Daily Mail Insulting Article?


In the Mail today there is an article by Tom Utley in which he refers to some research by the University of Cincinnati which shows that people with Parkinson's responded better to a treatment with an 'expensive' placebo than a 'cheap' placebo.  He has a dig at us before going on to criticise the NHS in general.

A few seconds research shows that the U of Cincinnati experiment was flawed and in any case the results produced by the 12 (yes only 12) people in the trial show that the improvements fell short of what would be clinically meaningful. Also it noted that the investigator responsible for collecting some of the data knew the nature of the experiment and "may have introduced a positive expectation bias (i.e., anticipation of improvement)." In any case some of the tests showed no difference in the improvements caused by either placebo.

I'm trying to add my comment but the Daily Mail site is playing up.

Am i just being 'touchy' or does anyone else feel insulted by Mr Utley?


I wasn't offended at all by the two small paragraphs of Tom Uttley's article where he mentioned Parkinsons. 

 I always find his writing amusing and felt that his main point was, that many believe that something that costs  more is better than a less expensive equivalent; the Parkinsons placebo research, (flawed or not), his handbag and fine wine examples, all serve to illustrate this.

However, don't get me on my hobby horse with regard to another journalist in the same publication; Ephraim Hardcastle, who some time ago wrote about people dying from Parkinsons. I did not even have the courtesy of a reply to my e mail to him pointing out his error.


Yet another new thread on this topic. Perhaps Admin can combine the two? Very few responses on both threads which I thought to be a topic worthy of discussion............. never mind!




      I agree with you benji it would be better if there where less threads.Maybe then when you respond  it is held and then placed in an  appropriate  place/topic, why don't you do the Digital survey at the top of this page ? I have



Done BW.


Should I be insulted by the existence of something in an paper I don't read only because it appears somewhere else I do read.  Life's too short but thanks for raising the placebo issue.

Everyone should know by now the brain cells producing dopamine are dying off in PWP.  What no-one seems to have mentioned is that perhaps the Placebo effect is just the body being tricked into using up resources to perform at a level the brain cannot sustain and had rightly put on rations for the long term survival of the cells.  I'm beginning wonder if there should be a study of the long term effect of giving a PWP a placebo at all.   What is the true cost of 'shining bright' in a trial.