Dr Embry has written an open letter to Freedman see thread:
Here an extract of that letter:
December 7, 2010
I was recently forwarded a copy of an email which you had sent to one of your patients regarding the CCSVI issue. I was not surprised by your unwavering belief that CCSVI is nonsense but was slightly taken aback by your over-the-top view that all those who think that CCSVI treatment may be of value are nothing more than frenzied, cult members. I was also somewhat surprised that you mentioned me but was glad you asked an important question ”who am I to question the word of the many self-acclaimed experts who feed this frenzy like the rock doctor Embry whose lifelong study of lifeless objects has given him the wisdom to comment on such complex issues?”
You are correct that my primary scientific research activity for the past 42 years has revolved around inanimate rocks, mainly those in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. I’ll be glad to send you some of my published geological papers if you have an interest in such things.
I must point out that it has not been my geological studies which have “given me the wisdom” to comment on complex issues associated with multiple sclerosis. My knowledge on MS comes from reading thousands of scientific papers and countless abstracts on MS and related subjects (e.g. nutrition, autoimmunity in general, and more recently vascular issues). My pursuit of scientific knowledge in regards to MS has been driven by a desire to ensure my son is doing everything he can to prevent the progression of his MS.
I would emphasize that I try hard to make sure any written comments I make on MS, especially recommendations on how to help control disease progression, are backed by solid science, including both empirical data and critical, rational reasoning. I suppose you could say that many years of geological research have instilled this hard-core, scientific approach so perhaps you are not entirely wrong with your statement that the source of my MS “wisdom” is my geological research.
I thought it might be useful if I discussed how we sharply differ on three important scientific issues which dominate decisions regarding the treatment of MS. These issues are CCSVI, vitamin D and the CRAB drugs. These differences show how we significantly vary when it comes to doing science and to using science to guide actions. Following this, I will wrap-up with a few possibilities on why such differences between us exist, despite the fact we both would claim we are scientists wanting to understand MS so as to allow us to make recommendations on how to treat it.
...Since my initial immersion into the CCSVI literature, I have closely followed CCSVI research and this has included visiting with some of the researchers themselves. I have been most impressed with the CCSVI research being done at the University of Buffalo and their work, involving 500 subjects, has robustly confirmed the high association of CCSVI with MS. Such a high association, the plausible biological mechanisms which link CCSVI to the MS disease process, and the established nature of the venous problems associated with CCSVI, establish beyond a reasonable scientific doubt that CCSVI plays a role in the MS disease process.
I have also kept a close watch on the results of worldwide CCSVI treatments because such results, due to their high numbers, are important scientific data that cannot be ignored. Currently, there are at least 75 centres worldwide doing CCSVI treatment and between 100 and 200 procedures are now being done each day. These treatments involve the use of venography which is the gold standard for the identification of CCSVI and, of the 12,000+ patients treated so far, over 90% have had undoubted CCSVI. Furthermore, there have been thousands of well documented cases of substantial improvement of a variety of MS symptoms following CCSVI treatment.
As a scientist, I cannot ignore the CCSVI treatment data and to do so would be bordering on scientific incompetence/fraud. To sum up, the published scientific data on CCSVI and the many thousands of clinical procedures which have identified and treated CCSVI leave no reasonable doubt as to the existence of CCSVI and that it plays a role in the MS disease process.
I would contrast my objective, scientific appraisal of CCSVI with your emotional and non-scientific approach. I assume the first time you were exposed to the science of CCSVI was through the CTV documentary and that you had failed to read the papers which had been published on this topic before that time. Your public response to a group of MS patients that the Zamboni work was a hoax before you had read his papers, reveals a complete lack of scientific method and objectivity by you on this subject. Furthermore, your insistence on ignoring the results of many thousands of CCSVI procedures also underscores your inability to take an unbiased, scientific approach when it comes to CCSVI. I will discuss possible reasons for such a failure later.
The bottom line is that you have not spent time with the CCSVI researchers, you have not read most of the 200+ scientific papers which bear directly on the CCSVI question, and you have not taken the time to evaluate the results of the huge number of CCSVI procedures which have been done. Any claim that your comments regarding CCSVI are science-based is not supportable. Thus, when it comes to CCSVI my comments on the subject are given much more weight than yours simply because I know far more about the subject than you do and most importantly, I have taken an objective, scientific approach to CCSVI and MS, not an emotional, highly prejudiced one like you have. I can only encourage you to try to be more objective and scientific when it comes to CCSVI.
Finally we are left with the question of why I have chosen an unbiased scientific path whereas you have gone in the opposite direction. My only hypothesis to explain this is that your financial ties to the drug companies have prejudiced you against any non-drug therapy such as adequate vitamin D and CCSVI treatment and made you blind to the robust data which demonstrate the drugs do not slow MS progression. On the other hand, with my son having MS, I have all to lose and nothing to gain by not ensuring that I carefully examine all scientific hypotheses for MS in a rigorous and unbiased manner. Perhaps also the fact I was trained as a scientist (PhD) whereas you were trained as an MD (ie engineer) might also come into play when it comes to the great difference in our application of science for helping persons with MS.
I hope this answers your question of why persons with MS trust what I have to say about various proposed therapies for MS far more than they trust you. They can tell the difference between an objective, science-based analysis and a self-serving, unscientific opinion every time.
Full letter at:
Diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in December 2008. Inflammatory demyelination of the spinal cord (c3-c5). No MS, but still CCSVI.