Saturday, September 5, 2015

#1454: Stephanie Cave

Given the vast numbers of MDs and medical researchers in the US, it isn’t really hard to find a few who have lost their shit and gone over to the dark side of delusional conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. The existence of these few lend absolutely no genuine authority to e.g. antivaccine views, but antivaxxers always pull out the same couple of people and their writings; not actual research – these people are generally not researchers – but conspiracy drivel in blog or book format aimed at non-specialists, those who lack the background necessary to actually evaluate the claims.

Stephanie Cave is board certified in Family Medicine, but currently practices integrative medicine and “specializes in treating autism” with “alternative therapies”, diet and nutritional supplements (guess what the cause autism may be), therapies that “seem to work with many of our children.” Cave, who runs Cypress Integrative Medicine in Louisiana, believes that using drugs is only a last resort, working instead to “achieve a balance through nutritional supplements and dietary interventions.” The idea that autism represents a nutritional imbalance or can be treated by diet is ludicrous and offensive. Cave is also a board member of Unlocking Autism, and organization founded by Shelley H. Reynolds, whose son has autism, was treated by Cave, and brought some fame to the anti-vaccine crusaders in 1999 through a sensationalist Cable News Network program about the purported link between vaccines and autism.

Cave is the author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Vaccinations (no less) and has developed her own, alternative immunization schedule. She even appeared as an “expert witness” in some of the cases in the OmnibusAutism Proceeding – it’s a relatively small world among antivaxxers with genuine (though not research-related) credentials.

Diagnosis: Yeah, there’s a reason why most doctors won’t tell you what Stephanie Cave willingly tells you about vaccination. Stay well away from this one. She has undeniably had some influence, but that doesn’t make her claims any less crackpotty.

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