Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Psychiatric research folly

A perspective in Science by Thomas Insel & Bruce Cuthbert should make american psychiatry fearful about the scientific credibility of its NIMH director. He's gone completely 'over the top' in his speculation about RDoC and precision medicine (see previous post). He thinks there's been a "tectonic shift" to now considering mental disorders as brain disorders. Following his lead, this folie à plusieurs has apparently led to "nearly 1000 papers addressing various aspects of RDoC over the past year". 

I've made fun of Daniel Amen suggesting there are 7 types of ADD (see previous post). However, Insel believes three subtypes of ADHD have been discovered with different responses to stimulant medication. He suggests biologically meaningful subgroups of psychotic or mood disorders are being discovered. He does admit these are "preliminary reports" and the "results will need replication". RDoC domains are supposed to be better at predicting length of hospital stay or hospital readmission than symptom-based diagnoses. 

Even though Insel accepts that "many challenges must be faced", I'm sorry but I'm not part of what he calls the "emerging consensus that such new approaches are necessary to move the field forward". Psychiatry's going 'off beam'. People may appear to be going along with Insel because he holds the research funding purse strings. His speculation builds on his 'brain circuitry disorders' concept of mental illness (see previous post). Science demeans its name by publishing such phantasy.


Chrys Muirhead said...

Yes it appears that Thomas Insel has taken a daft turn, gone a bit bonkers, veered off the head and round the bend.

Looking for the meaning of life in brain circuitry is similar to looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Neverending. Unattainable. A mirage. And a right waste of time. In my opinion.

Anonymous said...

No comments? Irrelevant post.Its Dr.Insel-and you are...who?

Anonymous said...

Read Bruce Perry.