Dore releases news of groundbreaking autism treatment in the prestigious medical journal The Leamington Courier

A quick break from your usual Holford coverage, to note how excited I was when I saw Wynford Dore claiming a number of breakthroughs in understanding and treating of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). However, when I followed the link he gave – expecting to find an article in a journal like Nature Neuroscience or The Lancet – I found an article in, um, that well-known medical journal The Leamington Courier. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with local papers – but they’re not peer-reviewed, and not exactly where one expects to break the news of one’s great research achievements.

Naturally, an article in a local paper doesn’t give the detail that one would want about methodology etc. However, among other things, The Leamington Courier notes that only 56 children with diagnoses of ASD (or, as The Courier tactfully puts it “diagnosed as suffering from autism”) have been through the programme. If n=56 children, that’s not enough to make confident clinical recommendations (and, assuming Dore used a control group – necessary for good quality research in this area – there would have only been 23 children diagnosed with ASDs having gone through the programme).

Of course, Dore shouldn’t make us guess like this. As BrainDuck puts it

publishing science by press-release to local papers first is Not On, particularly when said science could influence desparate people to hand over a lot of money to you in the hope of a ‘cure’…It’s not OK to say ‘The Dore Clinic has achieved massive successes while working with 1,000 patients suffering from the symptoms of high-functioning autism’, when the article goes on to say ‘In addition 56 people who had been formally diagnosed as suffering from autism have now completed the programme’.

A member of Dore staff informs BrainDuck that “The date for the release of this research has not been set yet – so like you I also wait with anticipation.” Wynford Dore states that “if we could start a major research project now I believe there would be some very worthwhile results within a year or two.” This is shocking: good practice is to do the research and then decide on treatment recommendations, not recommend a certain treatments while hope that – if you could carry out some decent research – it would generate ‘worthwhile’ results.

Wynford Dore, however, offers some helpful alternate advice to those trying to assess the Dore programmes efficacy based on their prestigious Courier publication: “Keep your fingers crossed!”

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7 Comments

Filed under autism, autistic spectrum disorders, Dore

7 responses to “Dore releases news of groundbreaking autism treatment in the prestigious medical journal The Leamington Courier

  1. brainduck

    Many thanks!

    I’m guessing this is going to be another cohort study, rather than having any control / comparison group.
    This is to some extent fair enough for an experimental treatment – but 1000 people, & recruiting more, has gone a long way beyond the sort of ‘lab bench’ stuff you might do to try out an interesting hunch.

    I wonder if the difference between the 56 and the 1000 is a screening test as opposed to a full diagnosis?

    Apart from looking at the methodology & data analysis, what not getting the full paper doesn’t tell you is what they were actually measuring. ‘Expressing Emotions’ sounds good, but it does not say what they were measuring or what the changes were. Again, this doesn’t give people a fair basis to make a decision on.

  2. Pingback: Are Dore in deep finanical doo doo? « gimpy’s blog

  3. Claire

    CAM ‘breakthroughs’ seem to be standard fodder for local newspapers and seem often to be little more than advertorial, e.g. this piece from the Worcester News http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/misc/print.php?artid=1034050 . As far as I’m aware, this kind of thing doesn’t come under the ASA’s remit, though I gather it’s an effective form of publicity/advertising. IIRC there was something recently in the news about more households taking local papers than national ones.

  4. Pingback: Autism Blog » Dore offers treatment for ASDs - but where is their evidence? And what about the ethics? : » Autism news and opinion

  5. Pingback: Links about Dore « gimpy’s blog

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