Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 6/21/07
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Letters 6/21/07

- June 21st, 2007
The facts on drugs
I applaud the Express for raising important questions about excessive drug use. I would like to correct some misconceptions from the two articles.
The 875 “mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants” prescribed for children under four were probably to control seizures, which are far more common than bipolar disorder in toddlers. Similarly, the “dyskinetic” agents prescribed for small children are likely for cerebral palsy, not antipsychotic side effects. Investigative journalism, not innuendo, would be more informative.
As an inpatient psychiatrist for 30 years, I have seen refractory cases in which doctors add on multiple drugs, but I have never seen patients on a dozen simultaneous psychotropic drugs.
The Department of Mental Health uses data from Medicaid prescriptions to notify prescribers if they are prescribing in a deviant fashion, e.g., five or more drugs, unusual doses, or two atypical antipsychotics.
Mr. Hansen refers to the ”requisite agreement to take prescription drugs for the remainder of his life.” Involuntary treatment is ordered by the Probate court typically for 90 days of combined inpatient and outpatient treatment.
The statement: “If there’s a chemical imbalance, then why is the list of side effects so long?” reflects a misunderstanding. A wealth of biochemical, genetic, and CNS imaging data confirm models of neurophysiologic imbalalnce in major mental illnesses.
Psychotropic drugs do not treat these imbalances in the straightforward way that a vitamin B12 shot corrects a vitamin deficiency. Rather, psychiatric drugs, much like anticonvulsant drugs, modify the “downstream” results of neurochemical imbalances closer to the symptomatic level. Psychiatric drugs, like drugs for seizures and high blood pressure (another biochemical imbalance), have many potential side effects.
All prescription drugs are approved by the FDA only after extensive studies show them to outperform placebo in a statistically and clinically significant fashion, and to be reasonably safe.

Bob Fawcett, MD
• Petoskey

Racist scheme?
This new immigration scheme is racist. There are six billion people in the world, living in almost two hundred countries. This proposal grants special treatment to thirty-million Mexicans and Central Americans, plus their relatives, while penalizing all other nationalities who remain in their home countries dreaming of United States citizenship. The Haitians and Africans, Poles and Latvians, Indians and Pakistanis... are they not also worthy human beings? They have been promised a legal and orderly application process. Ordinary citizens - Republicans and Democrats - are not anti-immigrant. Our politicians are. Once again, they are selfishly responding solely to business interests and to potential new Latino votes.
Americans unite!

Joseph Pasulka • Southport N.C.

Living with MS
“MS Unplugged“ (6/7) is a bit erroneous. Nausea with Multiple Sclerosis, I’ve never heard this and my husband has lived with this disease over 20 years. Flu-like symptoms are a side effect of the injectable drugs used to treat MS. This is the only connection of nausea and MS to my knowledge.
The injectable medications are actually the front line defense treatment for MS today. They are not used just for extreme cases. Doctors recommend early treatment to reduce the occurence of exacerbations and advancement of the disease process.
Carry on; it may take a week, a month or even a year to face the reality of MS. Sounds good but in reality this disease will affect you and your family the rest of your life. The mere 500,000 people with MS seems so small. This disease effects parents, children, spouses, friends, co-workers, employeers basically the community at large. You can live well with this disease.
Attitude, a good support system and taking excellent care of yourself will make management easier and the changes that occur more livable.
I urge every person with MS to seek out a neurologist who is passionate about the disease. This will ensure the best care possible today.

Cindy Rydahl • Cedar

(Nausea is a frequently reported symptom of MS in the medical literature and the author of “MS Unplugged“ has personal experience with the disorder and knows whereof he speaks. -- ed.)


Corrections
-- Credit for the photo with last week‘s article on nude beaches belongs to Alex Bramwell.
-- Also, Peg Muzzall took the photos in last week‘s article on Feast Market, but did not receive proper credit.
-- The title of a new CD by Marc and Dede Alderman is “Introducing,“ not “Introducting,“ which was a typo in the 6/8 Hot Dates column.
-- Last week‘s article about new shops at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons opening this summer should have included the Silver Tree Deli. Also, Salone de Capelli, a hair salon, was spelled incorrectly.
 
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