MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

People who have followed this blog for any length of time will have encountered it:

THE DULLMAN SYNDROME

The DULLMAN SYNDROME (DS) is characterized by the compulsion to publish a comment that has certain features:

  • It flies in the face of rationality and contradicts the known facts.
  • It is made triumphantly and without the slightest hesitation, doubt or self-criticism.
  • It contradicts a statement that someone (usually I) has just published.
  • It is aimed at making the opponent (usually me) look uninformed, naive, or stupid.
  • It discloses the author’s lack of understanding of the subject at hand.
  • It is formulated aggressively and does not invite discussion.
  • It usually is something that the author has stated (many times) before.

What happens next in the course of the DS is important:

NOTHING!

After making his point, the DS-afflicted commentator falls silent as though he is proud of his wisdom, satisfied to have made his mark, and sure that he has convinced the rest of the world with his (non-) argument. Meanwhile, other commentators are active posting comment after comment correcting the DS-victim and trying to make him realize his error. Yet, the DS-victim remains silent; he feels that he has done what needed doing. He has made his point and there is no use entering into a discussion about it. That would only dilute his (non-) argument and might even reveal that he cannot defend it.

And that’s the end of it?

No, not exactly.

A few weeks later, our DS-victim is back.

To do what?

To do it all over again: make his nonsensical point, get corrected, and again remain silent.

This cycle repeats itself ad infinitum. There might be slight variations but the essence of the syndrome does not change.

Experts think that the DS might be a form of obsessive-compulsive behaviour. It displays a way of repeating a point that seems to be very precious to the DS-victim, but which he does not dare to debate, presumably because deep down he feels that it is indefensible.

And the cure?

Unfortunately, the prognosis is not good. Experts say the DS is still a therapeutic enigma. Research has as yet not provided any definitive answers. One hypothesis is based on the observation that the victims are often homeopaths. Thus some scientists have looked up what homeopathy has to offer. Here are the options:

Homeopathic Medicines For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Arsenic Album And Calcarea Carb – Best Homeopathic Medicines For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder When Mind Is Obsessed With Thoughts Of Germs

The most common presentation of OCD is constant thoughts of germs and fear of contamination or contracting a contagious disease. In such cases, the most amazing recoveries have been seen with the use of Homeopathic medicines Arsenic Album and Calcarea Carb. The two are rated among the best Homeopathic medicines for obsessive compulsive disorder where the person is obsessed with the idea of every object they touch being contaminated. They believe that they might contract an infection, germs or even a contagious disease from these objects. These thoughts are constant, uncontrollable and get fixated in the mind. Their presence leads to anxiety and restlessness. Arsenic Album and Calcarea Carb are the most effective prescriptions among Homeopathic medicines for obsessive compulsive disorder with the above symptoms.

Medorrhinum And Syphilinum – Top Rated Homeopathic Medicines For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder With Constant Compulsion To Wash Hands

Medorrhinum and Syphilinum are top of the line Homeopathic medicines for obsessive compulsive disorder. They have proved extremely beneficial in OCD cases where compulsive repetitive washing of hands is the main symptom presentation. Persons who wash their hands several times a day for fear every object is carrying germs will benefit greatly from Homeopathic medicines Medorrhinum and Syphilinum. In such cases, the frequency of washing hands is so high that the person starts to neglect his responsibilities towards family and work. Medorrhinum and Syphilinum work wonderfully well in such situations and break the habit. They will prove to be the best choice of Homeopathic medicines for obsessive compulsive disorder of this type.

Iodum And Natrum Mur – Effective Homeopathic Medicines For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder With Compulsion To Check Everything Twice Or More

The most effective Homeopathic medicines for obsessive compulsive disorder where a person feels a compulsion to check everything twice or more are Iodum and Natrum Mur. The guiding symptom is the constant thought that the person is forgetting something. Anxiety, hurriedness, irritability and cross behavior are some accompanying symptoms. Natrum Mur is highly useful in cases where a person checks doors several times for fear of robbers breaking into the house.

Arsenic Album And Carcinosin – Top Grade Homeopathic Medicines For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder With Need For Order

Arsenic Album and Carcinosin are well indicated Homeopathic medicines for obsessive compulsive disorder with the compulsiveness to maintain order. OCD with the compulsive need to maintain order or symmetry in everything can be most effectively dealt with the prescription of Homeopathic medicines Arsenic Album and Carcinosin. A person with these symptoms gets restless if things are not in their proper place and will be constantly seen arranging things in a particular way. Such persons also demand that every place be neat and tidy. They have a kind of cleanliness fetish. They spend much of their useful time in arranging things their way. Family and work suffer.

Psorinum – Best Among Homeopathic Medicines For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Where The Mind Is Obsessed With Thoughts Of Ill-Health Or Death

Psorinum is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for obsessive compulsive disorder where thoughts of being ill and death consume the mind. Here a person constantly feels that he is in ill health and feels that there is no hope for recovery. Thoughts of death also preoccupy the mind. Such persons make their life as well as the lives of those around them intensely miserable. They are full of fears and anxieties. Homeopathic medicine Psorinum offers great help in treating such cases.

It is too early to tell whether any of these remedies are effective. The studies were slow to start and are still not concluded. Personally, I am skeptical about a homeopathic cure of the DS and have suggested several other SCAMs. From what I hear, they might try slapping therapy next.

 

 

PS

Oh, I almost forgot to explain where the term ‘DULLMAN SYNDROME’ comes from. Some suspect that it is called after a famous US homeopath and DS-victim. This hypothesis is, however, erroneous. The name comes from the fact that most skeptics, when reading the DS-victim’s repetitive posts, exclaim: ‘Oh dear, this is so dull, man!’

 

20 Responses to The Dullman Syndrome

  • Is this a Y-linked disorder?

  • The name comes from the fact that most skeptics, when reading the DS-victim’s repetitive posts, exclaim: ‘Oh dear, this is so dull, man!’

    Well, I do not consider myself a skeptic, but nevertheless I have the same thoughts when I read the comments of professional (and non-professional) practioners of SCAM: “Oh dear, this is so dull, man!”

    🙂

  • I believe it is very similiar to the “True Inheritor of Hahnemann” Syndrome.

  • Somehow I doubt that Indian homeopaths will be making a little shrine to Dullman with a picture of him surrounded by a wreath of flowers and some incense.

  • Spot on, professor!

  • The internet was not designed for fools but it is heaven sent for them.

  • Homeopaths do not just use “high potencies” but “low potency” medicines too, as this report published in NATURE’s “Scientific Reports” shows with compelling evidence:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348810682_Low-dose_Drosera_rotundifolia_induces_gene_expression_changes_in_16HBE_human_bronchial_epithelial_cells

    More “dull” stuff from me…good science can be dull, though folks here have a heavy axe to grind against good science and for personal attacks, as the above editorial clearly shows.

    • “whole plant ethanolic extract was 1000-fold diluted in water”
      that’s not homeopathy, is it Dana?
      THEY FORGOT THE SUCCUSSION!

      • Eddie! Whooops…you FORGOT to read the article, OR you are choosing to do one of your many FIBBIES. Which is it: are you lying through your teeth OR did you forget to read the article?

        In the MATERIALS AND METHODS section, it says:

        Preparation of D. rotundifolia samples. The original round leaf sundew plant, identified with the
        botanical name Drosera rotundifolia, was commercially purchased (Monteagle Herbs, ON, Canada; Document
        of Authenticity #42808). To the best of our knowledge, no issues related to the Convention on the Trade in
        Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora have been raised. Drosera rotundifolia (ethanolic extract) was
        prepared by Standard Homeopathic Company, CA, USA. The extract contained 1 g dried whole plant macerated
        in 10 mL of 45% EtOH, which corresponds to D. rotundifolia 1×. Before the experiments, D. rotundifolia
        1× ethanolic extract was serially diluted 1:10 (0.5 mL + 4.5 mL) twice in sterile pyrogen-free water (B-Braun,
        Melsungen, Germany) in a 14-mL clean glass tube, which immediately vigorously shaken (succussed) with a
        Dyna A mechanical shaker that delivered 20 strokes/s for 7.5 s with an 11-mm travel distance. The final solution
        corresponds to a 3× dilution in 0.45% ethanol solution. The control solution was prepared starting from
        45% ethanol (AppliChem, Darmstadt, Germany) fresh solution and succussed as previously described. This was
        considered the 1× control solution. Two serial decimal dilutions/succussions in ultrapure water were applied as
        reported above to obtain the control 3× dilution (Ctrl). No filtration was applied at any step. These solutions were
        used in the culture media at a 1:10 ratio (0.1 mL test solution in 0.9 mL culture medium). Therefore, the final
        dilution of D. rotundifolia was 1000 times greater than that of the ethanolic extract and the ethanol concentration
        was 0.045%.

        WHOOPS!

        • @Dana Ullman
          You forgot to mention that the end result is still 1.2 ug/mL in active ingredients. Which may very well have all sorts of effects, as explained below. The shaking ritual doesn’t magically turn these into ‘homeopathic effects’ – and this of course is no evidence of the efficacy of homeopathy at all. This is not even real homeopathy, it is simple herbal pharmacology, with considerable concentrations of active substances.

          And please correct me if I’m wrong, but I am under the impression that homeopaths tend to increasingly use dilutions like this, with active ingredients still present – probably because the greater public no longer accepts the shaken water fairy tale. One could say that homeopaths are diluting potentising homeopathy itself in order to increase its effects and thus its credibility – and for once, they may actually be right.

          P.S.: How is your homework assignment coming along? So far, no evidence for the viability of the similia-priciple, potentisation or proving has been forthcoming, and this really should be fixed before any further claims about the effects of homeopathy can be made. But take your time, I know it is a difficult (not to say impossible) assignment to fulfil.

          • So glad that YOU now agree that every homeopathic medicine under 24X and 12C have medicinal elements in them and that they can have physiological actions. And because many homeopathic medicines sold in pharmacies are within this range, you now believe that homeopathy is a viable system of medicine.

            According to the FIRST scientist to win a Nobel Prize in medicine (for discovering the tetanus and diphtheria vaccines), von Behring says that HE got the idea for his vaccinations from homeopathy. I would say that vaccine research has confirmed the homeopathic similia concept. Ok…NEXT assisgnment?

          • oh dear, so you don’t understand vaccinations either!

          • So glad that YOU now agree that every homeopathic medicine under 24X and 12C have medicinal elements in them and that they can have physiological actions.

            Why, yes. As soon as molecules of an active substance are present, effects may occur. It depends on the actual substance and its dosage or concentration if anything happens or not. This is basic chemistry (or pharmacology, if you will).

            And because many homeopathic medicines sold in pharmacies are within this range, you now believe that homeopathy is a viable system of medicine.

            Au contraire, mon ami, you have it backwards here. Selling herbal concoctions containing significant amounts of active ingredients as ‘homeopathy’ does not make homeopathy a viable system of medicine. One might just as well paste the label ‘homeopathy’ on a bottle of aspirin and henceforth claim that homeopathy has been proven effective for pain(*).

            Also, homeopathic dilutions with less than roughly 1 ppm active substance (~X6) as a rule will not have any efficacy, as the total dose of active substance will only be in the order of a few micrograms(**). Most pharmaceutical or otherwise active substances have a noticeable effect in dosages of 0.1 mg and upwards.

            For homeopathy to become viable, you still have to supply evidence that its core principles are valid: the similia principle and potentization. And oh, ‘proving’ is best banned altogether, because a healthy person’s reaction to a substance says exactly nothing about its medicinal properties. Trials should be carried out with real patients and real ailments – that is the only way to see if something actually works.

            *: In fact, this is exactly how Chinese suppliers regularly claim efficacy for their ‘Traditional Chinese Medicines’: by adulterating mostly useless herbal ‘medicines’ with actual pharmaceuticals.

            **: There are only a handful of known substances to have an effect in smaller amounts than this, mostly bacterial toxins such as botulin toxin, that can be lethal in doses of 100 nanograms.

          • @Dana Ullman
            And oh:

            According to the FIRST scientist to win a Nobel Prize in medicine (for discovering the tetanus and diphtheria vaccines), von Behring says that HE got the idea for his vaccinations from homeopathy.

            So? Superficially, vaccination indeed seems to have some characteristics of homeopathy, as one takes a little of of a pathogen to prevent full-blown infection with the same pathogen at a later stage.
            BUT
            – Vaccines still contain measurable amounts of the active substance (usually 50-100 micrograms or so). Homeopathic products beyond 12C contain no active substance whatsoever.
            – We know quite well how vaccines work: the active substance triggers an immune response. Homeopathy cannot possibly work, as there is no active substance to do anything.
            – Vaccines prevent disease, regardless of the symptoms they cause in infected persons (if any – e.g. most polio infections are asymptomatic). Homeopathic products by definition are supposed to only treat ailments, based on the symptoms experienced by the patient. No symptoms = no ‘remedy’ = no homeopathic treatment. (And the ritual of proving even posits the exact opposite, i.e that giving a healthy person a homeopathic product should evoke symptoms, not prevent them in the future.)

            So no, vaccines have nothing to do with homeopathy. Behring may have believed otherwise, but we know better now. And even Behring apparently did not equal the two, but merely stated that homeopathy was the inspiration for his work on vaccines.

      • And what is PARTICULARLY remarkable here is that no one of the readers here read the study I linked OR they would have corrected Ernst.

        Do you STILL think that you’re not a cult? Curious minds want to know.

        • So they shook it about a bit.

          Big whoop, Dana.

          It’s still a 1:1000 solution. More than enough to show conventional theraputic effects.

          As we’ve said. It’s not homeopathy.

          Those selective comprehension powers of yours are still a problem.

          And magic shaken water remains as insignificant as ever.

          Run along now, Dana, there’s a good lad.

    • Dana

      That’s not homeopathy.

    • @Dana Ullman
      The article about the effects of common sundew extracts describes an in-vitro trial in which cells are exposed to significant concentrations of active substances: 1.2 ug/ml corresponds to a dose of some 100 mg for an average adult. This is actually quite a high dose, pharmacologically speaking. Many medicines are effective in far smaller dosage. As Dr. Ernst and Lenny already remarked: this has nothing to do with homeopathy. These people only mention homeopathy because they believe in it.

      However, the same authors describe similar results with other plants favoured by homeopaths, and this time in actual homeopathic dilutions: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32311747/ (*)
      “FN1, unlike other candidate genes, was upregulated in cells treated with higher dilutions/dynamisations (3c, 5c, and 15c) of Arnica m.(**)”

      Alas, it would appear that these people have made the all too familiar mistake of ignoring the effects of the ‘inactive’ ingredient in their homeopathic dilutions, i.e. 0.3% ethanol: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2095496417603467 – and yes, ethanol in these concentrations has numerous effects on gene expression in almost all types of cells.

      *: One interesting detail in this trial is the observed effect of increasing ‘potentization’ – clearly showing that all effects but one have disappeared at 15C, thus completely contradicting one of the core principles of homeopathy (which stipulates that effects should become stronger at higher dilutions). Of course the authors completely ignore this as well, fully in line with the delusional principle.

      **: Arnica Montana in undiluted form is unsafe, and should only be used topically, on unbroken skin – and even then it is known to cause irritation and inflammation. Contrary to what the authors suggest in their abstract, there is no evidence for any therapeutic properties.

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