Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

Head Above Water – Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water (Lyric Video)

Video Created by: Jonah Best
Produced by: Magic Seed Productions

I’ve gotta keep the calm before the storm
I don’t want less
I don’t want more
Must bar the windows and the doors
To keep me safe to keep me warm

Yeah my life is what I’m fighting for
Can’t part the sea
Can’t reach the shore
And my voice becomes the driving force
I won’t let this pull me overboard

God keep my head above water
Don’t let me drown
It gets harder
I’ll meet you there at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don’t let me drown
Don’t let me drown

So pull me up from down below
‘Cause I’m underneath the undertow
Come dry me off and hold me close
I need you now I need you most

God keep my head above water
Don’t let me drown
It gets harder
I’ll meet you there at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don’t let me drown
Don’t let me drown
Don’t let me drown
Keep my head above water above water

And I can’t see in the stormy weather
I can’t seem to keep it all together
And I can’t swim the ocean like this forever
And I can’t breathe

God keep my head above water
I lose my breath at the bottom
Come rescue me
I’ll be waiting
I’m too young to fall asleep

God keep my head above water
Don’t let me drown
It gets harder
I’ll meet you there at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don’t let me drown
Don’t let me drown
Don’t let me drown
Keep my head above water above water

To find resources on Lyme Disease PREVENTION, educate yourself on doctors and TREATMENT, learn more about the most current scientific RESEARCH…and JOIN OUR FIGHT AGAINST LYME,


Evidence-based Medicine Group in Turmoil After Expulsion of Co-Founder

Evidence-based medicine group in turmoil after expulsion of co-founder

By Martin Enserink Sep. 16, 2018

A bitter dispute with one of its co-founders has plunged Cochrane, an international network of scientists promoting evidence-based medicine, into a crisis on the eve of an international gathering that marks its 25th anniversary. Late last week, a narrow majority of the organization’s Governing Board apparently decided to end the Cochrane membership of Peter Gøtzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen and a member of the board himself, for causing “disrepute” to the organization. Four other board members then resigned in protest.

Gøtzsche announced his own expulsion in a three-page statement issued on Friday that said Cochrane was going through a “moral governance crisis.”

In a phone interview with Science, Gøtzsche speculated that some foundations funding the collaboration had pressured it to get rid of him because of his highly critical views about pharma. He says he had become increasingly unhappy with what he describes as a “more commercial and more industry-friendly direction” in the organization. Gøtzsche had also launched a broadside against a favorable Cochrane analysis of vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV), charging it may have overlooked side effects—a position embraced by antivaccine groups.

“As most people know, much of my work is not very favourable to the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry,” Gøtzsche said in his statement. “Because of this Cochrane has faced pressure, criticism, and complaints. My expulsion is one of the results of these campaigns.” Gøtzsche says he does not have “a personal issue” with Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson but says many of the problems have gotten worse since Wilson arrived in 2012.

Wilson did not respond to an interview request today; neither did the Governing Board’s two co-chairs, Martin Burton and Marguerite Koster. Burton referred the inquiry to a Cochrane spokesperson, who did not answer emailed questions today. A short statement from Burton and Koster on Saturday did not mention Gøtzsche by name or the expulsion, but it said the board had “considered … the findings of an independent review and additional complaints related to the conduct of a Member.” They said this was “an ongoing process” and that more details would follow.

Gøtzsche’s expulsion was confirmed by the four resigning board members in a statement sent to Science by one of them, Gerald Gartlehner of Danube University in Krems, Austria.

“We consider the Board’s use of its authority to expel Peter from Cochrane to be disproportionate,” says the statement, which did not explain what Gøtzsche was punished for. “We believe that the expulsion of inconvenient members from the Collaboration goes against Cochrane ethos and neither reflects its founding spirit nor promotes the Collaboration’s best interests.”

The drama unfolded just as almost 1300 scientists from 57 countries were beginning to gather in Edinburgh for the Cochrane Colloquium, an annual scientific meeting that officially opened today. Cochrane, formerly known as the Cochrane Collaboration, is a nonprofit organization that produces literature reviews on medical interventions and diagnostics, which are published in the Cochrane Library to help medical professionals make evidence-based decisions. Gøtzsche helped found the organization in 1993 and started the Nordic Cochrane Center that same year. Today, Cochrane has a network of many thousands of volunteer reviewers as well as independent Cochrane Groups in 43 countries; it does not accept industry money, but it is supported primarily by government agencies, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the U.K. National Institute for Health Research.

“If they can’t tolerate a few disagreements or a few headaches, that is a problem.”
David Hammerstein Mintz, former Cochrane Governing Board member

Both within and outside of Cochrane, Gøtzsche is widely known for his fierce attacks on the pharmaceutical industry and his criticism of medical interventions he deems useless or harmful. He wrote a controversial book about what he says is the overuse of mammography in breast cancer screening,  and, in another book, likened the pharmaceutical industry to “organized crime.”

He has often been critical of Cochrane as well. In a statement written for his 2017 election to the board, Gøtzsche listed a litany of “pretty widespread concerns” he wanted to address, including the concentration of power at the Central Executive Team in London and the fact that “collaboration” had been dropped from the group’s name.

“The Cochrane Collaboration is now run much more as a business with a brand than it was just a few years ago,” he wrote.

Gøtzsche says the co-chairs convinced a majority of Cochrane’s board of the “disrepute” charge during a 6-hour meeting on Thursday that Gøtzsche was asked not to attend. All other 12 board members attended; of those, six supported a decision to remove Gøtzsche, five opposed it, and one abstained, according to the statement by the four departing members. One source with knowledge of the proceedings wrote in an email to Science that co-chairs justified his expulsion “in a very generic, general manner by his ‘behaviour’ that hurt the image of Cochrane.”

Gøtzsche says the decision is likely related to a frontal attack on a Cochrane review about vaccines against HPV, a cancer-causing virus, that he and two co-authors published in July.

The review, published in May in the Cochrane Library by researchers from Belgium and the United Kingdom, supported the mainstream view that such vaccines can prevent precancerous lesions in adolescent girls and young women. In their criticism, published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, Gøtzsche, together with Lars Jørgensen of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and Tom Jefferson of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, argued that the review

missed nearly half of the eligible trials,” “ignored evidence of bias,” and did an incomplete assessment of the vaccine’s side effects. The review didn’t constitute the “trusted evidence” promised in Cochrane’s official motto, they said.

After an investigation, Cochrane Library editors acknowledged in a 30-page response that the review had missed some trials, but said this made little or no difference to the main outcome and that the criticism was wrong on many other points.

“There is already a formidable and growing anti-vaccination lobby. If the result of this controversy is reduced uptake of the vaccine among young women, this has the potential to lead to women suffering and dying unnecessarily from cervical cancer,” they wrote.

In a response published on Friday, the editors of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine defended publishing the trio’s broadside, saying it “provokes healthy debate.”

“Academic freedom means communicating ideas, facts and criticism without being censored, targeted or reprimanded,” they argued.

Within a scientific organization such as Cochrane, discussion and dissent should be possible, says David Hammerstein Mintz, a consumer advocate, former member of the European Parliament from Spain, and one of the four departing board members. “If they can’t tolerate a few disagreements or a few headaches, that is a problem,” he says.

Posted in: Scientific Community



The plot thickens.



PTLD Not Recognized by WHO – Why? It Was Never Validated – the APA Deleted it from the DSM-5…..Oops!




One of the burning questions which desperately needs an answer:  is Lyme and the other tick borne illnesses persistent/chronic?

All the climate data in the world is not going to answer this.

Until this question is settled once and for all, patients WILL NOT get properly diagnosed or treated.  They also will not get any help from their medical insurance which is hiding behind this repudiated PTLDS diagnosis.  

This singular question is what is driving the lack of care along with not being able to effectively test for these pathogens and being honest about all the possible routes of transmission (sexual, congenital, via breastmilk, via other insects, etc)

For more on Lyme persistence: (700 peer-reviewed articles showing persistence) The work of Dr. Elizabeth Burgess DVM PhD in 1990 showed that dogs infected with LD were transmitting and infecting female dogs through sexual transmission, proof in humans is lacking. Pathologist Alan McDonald found B. burgdorferi and B. mayonii in the testicle and brain of a man who had been treated nearly continuously on antibiotics for the last seven years of his life. Grier states the case for sexual transmission is stronger than ever.

And of course, little to nothing has been done on the other tick-borne pathogen infections.  How many of them are persistent?  This question is so crucial because it would explain why thousands and thousands continue to relapse even on appropriate treatment.






Talking Tick Prevention: Ask a UW Veterinarian

Talking Tick Prevention:  Ask a UW Veterinarian

Talking Tick Prevention

The question below was featured in the Summer 2018 issue of On Call, the magazine for friends of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine. This expert response comes from Juliet Caviness DVM’17, primary care veterinarian at UW Veterinary Care and SVM clinical instructor.

Have a question for our veterinary medical experts?
Please send them to our On Call magazine editor at We cannot guarantee responses to all submissions. For any urgent pet health issue, please contact your veterinarian directly.
Question: Are the ingestible tick preventatives okay to use on tiny dogs? My dogs are under five pounds.

–Denise, Barrington, Illinois

Answer: Tick prevention is a key component of preventative medicine to keep your pet free of parasites and reduce the risk of parasite-transmitted diseases. Tick-borne disease (like Lyme disease or Anaplasmosis) is a very common problem in Wisconsin, which makes year-round administration of tick preventative even more important.

There are many options on the market these days for tick preventatives, ranging from topical spot-on products to collars, sprays, and oral medications. Newer oral products (including brands like Simparica, NexGard, and Bravecto) have been shown to be very effective and can avoid the mess sometimes involved with liquid spot-on products (such as Frontline and Advantix), which are applied directly to the skin, usually between the shoulder blades.

Oral products are very convenient for those who might hold their pets often, have small children, or have dogs who love to swim or are bathed frequently due to allergies or other skin conditions, as one concern with topical medications is that they must remain in contact with the skin for long enough to be absorbed before the pet can get wet.

On the other hand, an oral medication may not be well-suited to dogs with sensitive digestion, as some dogs may experience vomiting or diarrhea as a side effect. Other limiting factors would include the age and weight of your pet. Some oral products are not labeled for use in very young dogs (Bravecto and Simparica are for puppies six months and older) and some are only labeled for dogs just under five pounds and up, such as NexGard and Bravecto.For the tiniest of adult dogs or older puppies, Simparica is available in 2.8-to 5.5-pound doses.

As always, we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian in choosing the appropriate medication for your pet.

FREE Webinar: How to Overcome Roadblocks to Lyme Disease Recovery – Dr. Rawls


Join Dr. Bill Rawls on Tuesday, September 18th, at 8pm EDT for a new LIVE Q&A webinar about How to Overcome Roadblocks to Lyme Disease Recovery.

In this interactive webinar, Dr. Rawls will answer questions about your biggest obstacles to moving beyond Lyme disease and feeling like yourself again, including:

  • Herxheimer reactions
  • Common coinfections (Epstein-Barr, bartonella, parasites + more)
  • Gut dysfunction
  • Lack of social and medical support
  • Plus, more questions from the live audience

Submit your top questions after you register, and Dr. Rawls will answer as many as possible.

Reserve Your Seat Now:

If you have any questions about the webinar, call 800-951-2414.




Personal Costs of Lyme Disease to Americans

CIC Tick-borne Illness Preliminary Survey Results

Initial data from the Climate Impact Census contains some striking numbers on the personal costs of Lyme disease to Americans.

Some preliminary findings from our tick-borne illness survey include:

  • More than half reported having spent at least $30,000, and one-third at least $75,000, on medical-related expenditures over the course of their illness. A little over 10% reported spending more than $200,000


  • In addition to these high out-of-pocket medical expenses, the most common hardships from tick-borne illnesses reported were debt (credit card, friends, family or others); liquidated assets (e.g. homes, retirement savings); terminated or interrupted careers; lost relationships; and reliance on public assistance (e.g. disability, unemployment)


  • 60% reported suffering at least two of these hardships; 40% at least three; and 15% at least four.


  • More than half reported becoming in debt as a result of their illness


  • 40% had sold off assets (e.g. homes), liquidated some or all of their retirement savings, or liquidated some or all of their children’s college funds.


  • 45% lost their careers, and over 60% experienced some form of career loss or interruption.


And the press is paying attention. A recent Op-ed in the science publication, Undark, recently used the Climate Impact Census to illustrate the depth of financial harm to individuals caused by Lyme disease, and called for more research funding. You can read the article here:

You can also hear the two directors of the Climate Cost Project interviewed about the project and the importance of getting more data on the personal costs of Lyme disease on WHMP radio here:

If you have any friends or family who have been affected by Lyme disease, please help spread the word by sending them the survey:



This survey has revealed what all of us out here in Lyme land know – Lyme/MSIDS costs us nearly everything we have.  If you have not taken the time to fill out the survey, please do.  The more data, the more accurate the picture.

According to independent tick researcher, John Scott, ticks and Lyme are NOT propelled by climate.

For more on this:

Scott and his wife Kit have been infected for decades and have everything to gain from getting to the bottom of this mess.  The article points out many other factors such as light (photo period) and migrating birds.

He also explains how the climate issue is not innocent.  John explains, “The climate change range expansion model is what the authorities have been using to rationalize how they have done nothing for more than thirty years. It’s a huge cover-up scheme that goes back to the 1980’s. The grandiose scheme was a nefarious plot to let doctors off the hook from having to deal with this debilitating disease. I caught onto it very quickly. Most people have been victims of it ever since.”

“This climate change ‘theory’ is all part of a well-planned scheme. Even the ticks are smarter than the people who’ve concocted this thing,” he says.

“Climate change has nothing to do with tick movement. Blacklegged ticks are ecoadaptive, and tolerate wide temperature fluctuations.




Lyme Testing Problems & Solutions

Lyme testing problems and solutions


Published on

The testing validity measures sensitivity and specificity are both referred to with regard to testing and depending on which you are speaking about what is said about the test may sound very different and confusing. In this case I am talking about the C6 Elisa test and when I speak of the validity of the test I basically mean does the test accomplish what it sets out to do (i.e. is it an accurate test).
Sensitivity is simply a reflection of how many patients with the disease test positive.
So with the C6 Elisa its around 50% sensitive (in the context of the two tiered testing system on its own it has a sensitivity of 75%) because it misses about half of true positive cases. Meaning 50% of the people tested who do have Lyme will test negative. So your odds of testing positive are about 50%. Not great at all, about the same as flipping a coin.
Specificity is a measure of your false positive rate.
So with the C6 Elisa it has a Specificity 98.5%, it is very specific and only comes up with a false positive result 1.5% of the time. Meaning if you do happen to test positive for Lyme it is highly probable that you do in fact have Lyme because the test doesn’t often make a mistake of identification. – Excellent.
So you can see if you are talking about the C6 Elisa Specificity you will say it’s excellent but if you are talking about it’s Sensitivity you could say its terrible and both would be true. Sensitivity and Specificity are relative terms so ideally for a test to be very valid you would want it to have both high Sensitivity and Specificity.
Also keep in mind that these numbers are not taking into consideration the large percent of Sero Negative patients who would have been excluded at the outset of analytical testing making these numbers in reality much lower. These numbers are just to give you an idea of the state of testing but it is important to note that the case definition needs to be changed first to encompass all of us with lyme in order for any change in testing to be of real value. If the samples being used to validate the testing are only from people with the HLA genes (the people who test positive on traditional testing) you can see how this would skew all the results so its paramount that the case definition be changed to include all sero negative cases as well as as describing Neurological Lyme as it truly is first and then to move on to testing).


I find parables helpful so this is an example I made up to help clear it up (Keep in mind this is just an illustration to help you visualize the difference between Specificity and Sensitivity).

So say there are 6 people fishing in a pond full of bug-eyed-brown fish. All 6 fishermen are trying to catch this specific type of fish. They have heard that the bug-eyed brown is very attracted to the flint worm and has great success in getting the bug-eyed-brown to bite. So imagine the flint worm on the hook is the test and we want to know if the test is valid and if it does what it intends to do (in this case lure bug-eyed-browns to bite the worm/hook). After an hour of fishing 3 of the 6 fisherman hooked the right fish the bug-eyed-brown and the 3 others hooked nothing. The specificity is 100% because it only attracted the right kind of fish each time it managed to hook one and never attracted the wrong kind of fish (so 0% false positives) but the sensitivity is only 50% because 3 of the 6 times the flint worm wasn’t able (or sensitive) enough to catch it at all (so missed 50% of true positives).

Problematic areas of Lyme testing

First Tier ELISA:

As stated above the Elisa has terrible sensitivity and misses at least half of true cases of lyme. This is a big problem, and this fact alone should exclude it from being used as a screening test because screening tests are to have 95% accuracy and it is far from that. The fraud comes in when you look at why this validity measure uses 5 standard deviations above baseline noise for a positive when the standard for testing measures is 3. The idea is to capture the lowest level of the analyte in question, not the highest. They have purposely increased the cut off to miss everyone who has neurological lyme (the 85%). This test is only good for people who have an autoimmune HLA link to Lyme disease (approx 15%) as these people are genetically predisposed to produce more antibodies and therefore do not get the immune suppression and neurological symptoms the rest of us get. The people who test positive are ironically the ones who really aren’t sick other than a bad knee (Lyme arthritis). This is how after the Dearborne conference, where the case definition was fraudulently changed to a very narrow set of criteria that lyme came to be associated with arthritis, namely an arthritic knee, when in reality that is the very least of the symptoms most lyme patients encounter. These results suggest that the presence and or lack of production of specific antibody to Bb infection may be associated with particular HLA specificities of the Class II.

Nine out of the 22 seropositive LD patients (40.9%) had HLA-DRB1*0701, *0703, *0704 (HLA-DR7); only 1 out of the 18 seronegative LD patients (5.6%) had HLA-DR7 (odds ratio (OR)=11.8, P=0.0126). HLA-DRB1*01021 and HLA-DRB1*0101, *0104, *0105 (HLA-DR1) contributed negatively to anti-Bb antibody production. Seven of 18 seronegative LD patients had HLA-DR1, only 1 of 22 seropositive LD patients had HLA-DR1 (38.9% vs. 4.5%, OR=13.4, P=0.0138). These results suggest that the presence and or lack of production of specific antibody to Bb infection may be associated with particular HLA specificities of the Class II.

In addition, most doctors give this test right away when someone arrives with a tick bite and the body requires weeks to create the antibodies needed to pop a positive on this test so this is a big problem as well. The rationale they use with the two tiered system for adding in the Western Blot is that it will reduce the false positives (people testing positive who don’t have the disease) as you can see the problem with the Elisa is the opposite, that is has a high rate of false negatives (telling people they don’t have lyme when they in fact do) so this in my opinion is a fraudulent scientific message as well when you consider that there is a 50% chance of a false negative and only 1.5% chance of a false positive.

Second Tier Western Blot:

As you can see the Western Blot also has many problems with sensitivity at all stages but especially within the first month and again later on the more chronic it becomes. If you take the terrible sensitivity of both tests in the two tiered system you will start to see how testing positive consecutively on both is very unlikely, mathematically improbable and biologically almost impossible unless you are in the HLA autoimmune group which is comparatively rare. The other bit of insanity with antibody tests like this is that within 10 days of infection the germinal centres where B cells are assigned an immune duty have been shut down. B cells normally mature into antibody secreting cells, however in the presence of lyme they do not mature properly and therefore are functionally unable to produce the amount of anitbodies required to pop a positive. Quote below taken from Suppression of Long-Lived Humoral Immunity Following Borrelia burgdorferi Infection ttps://

"Germinal centers (GC) are main immune response outcomes that usually develop in secondary lymphoid tissues after infections. They are required for development of long-lived plasma cells, which provide ongoing protection by continuous antibody secretion. They also induce recirculating memory B cells, which respond quickly to reinfection with differentiation and production of high affinity antibodies [23]. Germinal centers do form in Bb-infected lymph nodes at around two week after infection, but then rapidly involute over the next two weeks [22].

Here we tested the functionality of the GC responses to B. burgdorferi. We demonstrate that following infection of mice with Bb, GC are structurally abnormal and long-lived plasma cells and B cell memory, normal outputs of GC responses, fail to develop for months after infection rendering mice susceptible for reinfection with the same strain of Bb. When mice were infected with Bb, vaccination with influenza antigens failed to induce protective anti-viral immunity, revealing that Bb-infection actively inhibits long-term humoral immune response development"

Additionally due to antigenic variation the bands, which are protein antigens, are able to change their outer surface once the immune system is on to their presence, so the bands are always changing in an attempt to elude the immune system, which means western blotting bands will be different at any given period. How can you test someone using a static measurement criteria such as the CDC criteria for something that is constantly in flux? You can’t!

I liken the two tiered testing for lyme to giving a blind person a vision test then telling them they can see – it’s madness!

Other Lyme tests:

Nanotrap Urine Test:

This is a DNA test and is good IF and only if there happens to be DNA in the urine sample which may or may not be the case. So if found then you can say with certainty that the person has lyme but if negative it is quite worthless much like the ELISA.

Blood Culture Testing:

Lyme is notorious for being difficult to culture and as you can see from the image above taken from J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Oct; 43(10): 5080–5084 that the sensitivity of such methods are low. Blood cultures while definitive if positive are really also quite futile if negative, as Lyme once disseminated does not hang out in the blood as much as in tissues, bone, brain etc.

The Solution Band 41 test.

The band 41 test that is patent owned by Yale reserachers is an excellent diagnostic test for Lyme (See patent below)

Band 41 is highly immunogenic meaning even people with a suppressed immune system as in those of us with Neurological lyme can often still produce this band. Band 41 is also not subject to antigenic variation being the flaggelar (tail) region of the Spirochete. Quote below from J Clin Invest. 1986 Oct;78(4):934-9 . The antigens (bands) are always varying even late in the disease which makes it scientifically nonsensical to use a standard criteria for all but band 41. The emphasis in the quote below is on lyme being “alive” throughout the disease, meaning it is always changing in response to threats from the immune system.

The IgG response in these patients appeared in a characteristic sequential pattern over months to years to as many as 11 spirochetal antigens.The appearance of a new IgM response and the expansion of the IgG response late in the ilnness, and the lack of such responses in patients with early disease alone, suggest that B. burgdorferi remains alive throughout the illness.

In early-stage borreliosis, the 41,000-molecular-weight flagellin protein (41K) of Borrelia burgdorferi was the major antigen detected by antibodies in sera, but the specificity of the reaction pattern was dependent on the intensity of the band. The evaluation of different interpretation rules based on a semiquantitative record of band intensities showed the highest specificity (96%) and a corresponding sensitivity of 78% if there was at least one distinct (optical density range, 0.2 to 0.4) immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M reaction with the 41K band.

Consequently there are a few aspects that make it a very good diagnostic test; the fact that band 41 is more immunogenic (causes a more robust immune reaction) and that it isn’t subject to antigenic variation. Additionally, band 41 is one of the first bands to appear and therefore can be used to diagnose earlier in the disease which is an enormous benefit as clearly early disagnosis and treatment is paramount. The sensitivity and specificity are an improvement over current methods and should be utilized. See sensitive and specificity break down from the band 41 test below.

The sensitiv- ity of the two-step process for patients with erythema migrans or with later manifestations of Lyme disease was 64% and 100%, respectively. The specificity for healthy blood donors was 100% and was 90for the aggregate of all persons with illnesses that may cause serologic cross-reactivity(98if the samples from relapsing fever patients were excluded). Test precision was 96% overall,99for Lyme disease case serum samples, 100for specimens from blood donors, and 88for samples from persons with other illnesses.
 In early-stage borreliosis, the 41,000-molecular-weight flagellin protein (41K) of Borrelia burgdorferi was the major antigen detected by a
ntibodies in sera
One has to wonder why Yale didn’t want to use a test that they patented that would capture the vast majority of lyme patients.
However as I see it if they utilized this test to validate their Lyme vaccine the results would show that their so called vaccine was in fact the opposite of a vaccine and induced the very disease it was supposed to protect the person from, as was the case for many people who were injured by the first Lyme vaccine Lymerix which was taken off the shelf.

I can not fathom any other reason why they would not use a test they owned that has 96% accuracy overall and 100% specificity.

The answer can only be fraud.


For more on testing: