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MS Toolkit - The Patient's & Caregivers' Guide to Multiple SclerosisMS TOOLKIT - The Patient's & Caregivers' Guide to Multiple Sclerosis Cary Polevoy's personal journey with MS and expert advice on how to deal with a number of important social issues is worth a read for everyone.
  • More Multiple Sclerosis books and DVDs
  • HealthWatcher has an extensive selection of books, videos, and CDs for you and your family. They include theatrical movies and TV coverage of multiple sclerosis as well as scientific and personal stories of others.
    Stop the misinformation of the quacks who prey on MS patients and their families every day.

    Available April 21, 2008
    in the U.K.

    Reserve Your Copy Now

    Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine

    Available August 18th
    in the U.S.
    Trick or Treatment:
    The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine

    by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst

    The ultimate verdict on alternative medicine.

    Welcome to the world of alternative medicine. Prince Charles is a staunch defender and millions of people swear by it; most UK doctors consider it to be little more than superstition and a waste of money. But how do you know which treatments really heal and which are potentially harmful? Now at last you can find out, thanks to the formidable partnership of Professor Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh. Edzard Ernst is the world's first professor of complementary medicine, based at Exeter University, where he has spent over a decade analysing meticulously the evidence for and against alternative therapies.He is supported in his findings by Simon Singh, the well-known and highly respected science writer of several international bestsellers. Together they have written the definitive book on the subject. It is honest, impartial but hard-hitting, and provides a thorough examination and judgement of more than thirty of the most popular treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic and herbal medicine.

    In "Trick or Treatment?" the ultimate verdict on alternative medicine is delivered for the first time with clarity, scientific rigour and absolute authority.

    How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All

    by Rose Shapiro

    Suckers reveals how alternative medicine can jeopardize the health of those it claims to treat, leaches resources from treatments of proven efficacy and is largely unaccountable and unregulated. In short, it is an industry that preys on human vulnerability and makes fools of us all.

  • Review by Steven Poole in The Guardian

  • The Cure Within
    A History of Mind-Body Medicine

    by Anne Harrington

    Reviewed by Dr. Jerome Groopman

    In “The Cure Within,” her splendid history of mind-body medicine, Anne Harrington tries to explain why we draw connections between emotions and illness, and helps trace how today’s myriad alternative and complementary treatments came to be. A professor and chairman of the history of science department at Harvard, Harrington has produced a book that desperately needed to be written.

    The Cure Within
    A History of Mind-Body Medicine

    by Anne Harrington

    Reviewed by Dr. Jerome Groopman

    In “The Cure Within,” her splendid history of mind-body medicine, Anne Harrington tries to explain why we draw connections between emotions and illness, and helps trace how today’s myriad alternative and complementary treatments came to be. A professor and chairman of the history of science department at Harvard, Harrington has produced a book that desperately needed to be written.

    Snake Oil Science:
    The Truth about Complementary
    and Alternative Medicine
    by R. Barker Bausell

    Millions of people worldwide swear by such therapies as acupuncture, herbal cures, and homeopathic remedies. Indeed, complementary and alternative medicine is embraced by a broad spectrum of society, from ordinary people, to scientists and physicians, to celebrities such as Prince Charles and Oprah Winfrey.

    In the tradition of Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things and Robert Parks's Voodoo Science, Barker Bausell provides an engaging look at the scientific evidence for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and at the logical, psychological, and physiological pitfalls that lead otherwise intelligent people--including researchers, physicians, and therapists--to endorse these cures.

    The book's ultimate goal is to reveal not whether these therapies work--as Bausell explains, most do work, although weakly and temporarily--but whether they work for the reasons their proponents believe. Indeed, as Bausell reveals, it is the placebo effect that accounts for most of the positive results.

    He explores this remarkable phenomenon--the biological and chemical evidence for the placebo effect, how it works in the body, and why research on any therapy that does not factor in the placebo effect will inevitably produce false results. By contrast, as Bausell shows in an impressive survey of research from high-quality scientific journals and systematic reviews, studies employing credible placebo controls do not indicate positive effects for CAM therapies over and above those attributable to random chance.

    Here is not only an entertaining critique of the strangely zealous world of CAM belief and practice, but it also a first-rate introduction to how to correctly interpret scientific research of any sort. Readers will come away with a solid understanding of good vs. bad research practice and a healthy skepticism of claims about the latest miracle cure, be it St. John's Wort for depression or acupuncture for chronic pain.

    Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of
    Religion and Medicine

    by Dr. Richard P. Sloan, PhD
    Blockbuster New Book tackling the thorny issues about religion, prayer and medicine. If you've been told that you have an incurable illness, and that prayer will help --- think again.

    This book will open your eyes. Dr. Sloan is a professor at the Columbia University School of Medicine and he introduces us to the major players in this new area of Christian evangelism. The studies purporting to show any health benefits from going to church or "being religious" are all so flawed as to render them useless. Using his epidemiological knowledge, Sloan carefully shows the reader how one should analyze claims from the media and claims in journals that purport to show a connection between religious behavior and improved health.

    Multiple Sclerosis
    Questionable Treatments and Claims

    WANTED - MS Patients
    Have you used Procarin patches?
    Major researcher on MS treatments needs to hear from Canadian patients who have used or are using Procarin patches for multiple sclerosis. In Canada only compounding pharmacists are allowed to make it. Some of them have to pay large royalties to the inventors.

    Ever since the announcement that Procarin was available there have been some speculation that this is just a flim-flam. The company's representatives were in Toronto in April, 2000 and promised a double-blind university study to show how Procarin works. The trouble is, even though the company's principle investigator revealed to me that the protocol was accepted by Bastyr University in Washington State, Bastyr did not do the study because of inadequate funding. At one meeeting comments were made that indicated that the Procarin study would be the first drug study financed by Mastercard. I don't think that made anyone in the room feel comfortable.

    In fact, not one peer reviewed research study has been completed. This has those in the media and in MS organizations very comfortable with the conclusion that this is indeed an unsound treatment at best.

    Recently, it has been reported that some doctors in the Toronto area have demanded an extremely large sum of money to write a prescription for it, even though a prescription is not necessary.



    If you feel your doctor is trying to rip you off, e-mail me at - Healthwatcher

    Procarin and Histamine

    • Pros and Cons on Procarin or --- Are you being Conned? MSOnly Libary Special Report

    • New Pathways writer is a true believer in U.K.Everyone is talking about Procarin, the new treatment for MS from the US. What exactly is it? How does it work? And does it do any good?

    • Goodshape's Histamine scam - This is an archive from 2000. If Procarin is too expensive, this guy wants you to try his treatment. But beware, none of this is sanctioned by anyone but the developer. It's not been tried clinicially, and there is a possibility that it might be harmful.

    • Karan's Corner - Archive from November 2000 - A blow by blow description by a patient who has been convinced that her MS is do to a spirochete and more. She takes colloidal silver, follows the recommendations of Dr. Wallach, uses Procarin and more.

    • What the Procarin folks don't like NMSS statement - The site is not available but here is what they had to say Chapters are receiving information about a "treatment" for multiple sclerosis called Procarin®, which is administered through a skin patch. Reports indicate that use by people with MS is based on a hypothesis about histanine dating from the 1950s, that is generally not accepted by the medical community.

      Claims that Procarin can treat multiple sclerosis appear to be based on anecdotal reports from about ten people. We are aware of no clinical trials of this treatment, which would be necessary to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this agent.

      The Procarin® System is being marketed to pharmacists to compound (create a preparation using several ingredients). Procarin has not been demonstrated through any accepted methods to be of benefit to people with MS, and the Society's medical advisors believe there is no scientific rationale to suggest possible benefit.

    • NMSS Statement on Procarin - July 8, 1999 On July 4th a television station in Washington (KOMO TV 4) carried a story about a "treatment" for multiple sclerosis being promoted by a nurse in the Tacoma region. While specifics of the treatment were not indicated, it appears to involve a substance called "Procarin," administered through a skin patch.

      Details of the composition of Procarin were not provided but the reports indicate that it is apparently based on an hypothesis about histamine, dating from the 1950s, that is not generally accepted.

      The claims that Procarin can treat multiple sclerosis appear to be based on anecdotal stories from about ten people. We are not aware of any controlled clinical trials of this treatment; such trials would be necessary to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.

      The use of procarin for treatment of multiple sclerosis is considered to be an unsubstantiated therapeutic claim. Individuals with multiple sclerosis who are concerned about this approach should consult their personal physicians.


    • Enermed complaint for advertisement in Canada Enermed, a company based in British Columbia, makes unproved claims for device to treat MS and Migraines in the Toronto Star on June 18, 2000. As soon as news reached the internet that HealthWatcher was on top of this story, the lawyers began pounding their keyboards to cry foul. We'd like to see what you think. Is a device just a few centemeters in diameter that generates a miniscule amount of pulsed electromagnetic waves going to revolutionize the treatment of MS, or is it going to take thousands of dollars from those who flock to their temporary offices in a shared office building?

    FTC Cases against Miracle Pills and Machines

    The Case against Kaire International - MLM pycnogenol

    If you needed yet another warning about MLM nutritional scams, this folks is about as bad as it gets. The FTC shut this one down quickly. If you listen to AM radio, or call every toll-free number in the classifieds when the word "pycnogenol" shows up, you better pay attention to this one.:
    • FTC charges against J & R RESEARCH CORPORATION, and DR. GERALD G. MCCARTHY, D.C. (chiropractor)These products have been sold under the names UltraPrime, Maritime Prime, Super Maritime Prime and Maritime Plus ("pycnogenol products"). They based their puffed up claims on the publications of ace quack Richard Passwater. Dr. W. Lamar Rosquist, N.D., D.C, which means that he is both a naturopath and a chiropractor, was part of the promotional team on their tapes. Besides Multiple Sclerosis, the tape claims that their products would help cancer, Parkinson's, and a host of other horrible diseases. This tape is so shameful, they even bring in name of deceased actor Michael Landon, who died of pancreatic cancer. Then they bring in a 77 year old gynecologist to do a testimonial for them. One of the most remarkable was the testimony of a podiatrist who said he has seen remarkable benefits treating patients with all sorts of diseases that he has no business treating. Then if that wasn't enough, the stuff was promoted by medical doctors for ADHD, hyperactivity in children.

    CMO Distribution Centers of America, Inc. and Kalon Samulonis

    • FTC complaint Part of the company's claims say that, "Current studies include CMO as a part of therapeutic protocol for other disorders with autoimmune components including multiple sclerosis, leukemia, lupus, emphysema, certain cancers, begin prostrate hyperplasia, silicon breast disease, and especially asthma."

      A telephone operator says, "CMO is effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, leukemia, lupus, emphysema, cancer, benign prostate hyperplasia, silicone breast disease, asthma, fibromyalgia, and scleroderma"

      Plus, it's not harmful to anyone!!!

      They lied in press releases, they lied about almost everything that they did.

    Magnetic Therapeutics

    • FTC complaint

      If you have ever seen one of those magnetic pads or wraps demonstrated at a shopping mall, or on an infomercial, this one's for you. I don't know about you, but P.T. Barnum never did say "There's a sucker born ever minute", but he could have.

      The trouble is this, mainstream departments stores, Shoppers Drug Mart's Doncaster Home Health Care division and tens of thousands of pharmacists stock magnetic bracelets, pads, splints, and other devices. Award winning radio stations like CHML 900 AM-radio in Hamilton regularly run infomercials from fraudulent scammers who think that they can come up here to Canada to sell their crap. Half of Japan, maybe more the MLMers will tell you, use magnetic mattresses to give them more staying power. It's a wonder that the North Pole hasn't shifted toward Yokahama, eh? What next, magnetic condoms?

      In this case, the magnetic scammers claim benefits for dozens of diseases and conditions:

      A. Magnetic therapy products are effective in treating cancer, including lung and breast cancers, diabetic ulcers, some forms of arthritis, and degenerative joint conditions.

      B. Magnetic therapy products significantly lower high blood pressure.

      C. Magnetic sleep pads stabilize or increase the T-cell count of HIV patients.

      D. Magnetic sleep pads significantly reduce muscle spasms in persons with Multiple Sclerosis.

      E. Magnetic sleep pads significantly reduce nerve spasms associated with diabetic neuropathy.

      F. Magnetic sleep pads significantly increase bone density, immunity, and circulation.

      G. Magnetic therapy products are as effective as prescription pain medicine in alleviating severe pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and chronic back pain.

    Zappers and Mercury amalgams

    We can't figure out why the FTC and the FDA have not gone after Hulda Clark and the incredible ZAPPER and Syncrometer that she uses to defraud the public. I guess magnets and licensed chiropractors are more up their alley. We just can't wait to see what happens in the next few months. We hear that they've got big plans for those who believe that they have the "Cure for All Diseases" and their entourage.

    • Overcoming incurable diseases - the Ultimate Zapper pitchman - Kevin Presner He says that he was struck down by Multiple Sclerosis in 1989 when he was 40 and was bedridden for a number of months.

      "One of the things that has helped me regain my health is an electronic device called The Zapper. It was developed by Hulda Clark, Ph.D., N.D. and she discusses it in her book "The Cure for All Diseases". She asserts that there are parasites involved in many pathological processes, and bacteria and viruses may also be involved. The Zapper produces a wave form, a positive offset square-wave, that can kill these single-celled pathogens. So, it can, for example, help rid the body of shigella bacteria that she says is found in people with MS."
      (Unfortunately for the rest of the world, Presner's claims are pure fantasy. If Hulda Clark says that shigella causes multiple sclerosis, and can prove it, she should be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine. If he is making medical claims for his version of the Zapper, he could be charged by the FDA or FTC. Why hasn't he?)

    • More Hulda Clark nonsense

    Gurus and CAM approaches

    • Ayurvedic spa - Just because it's run by a medical doctor, doesn't mean a thing. "Drying up of nerve tissues occurs due to an increase in the drying influence of a "Vata" imbalance and a decrease in the processes that lubricate nerve tissue. Vata is the division of biological intelligence that creates and maintains the nervous system. When Vata becomes aggravated one of the main effects it has is to start to dry up bodily tissues especially those of the nervous system." O.K. folks, if you don't know where the VATA went, you can flush your good money down the drain. Get real. Maharishi Vedic Medicine is the biggest ripoff since Ayurvedic medicine was founded. There are no cheap miracles here.

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