Michael Jorrin, "Doc Gumshoe"

Author Bio

I have been a medical writer for about 25 years; before that I was a documentary film maker, and some of my films were about medical subjects. I am not a physician, but I have a pretty good scientific background. I wouldn’t dream of recommending any kind of treatment to anyone, and I cannot give medical advice. However, I understand the medical literature and the data and evidence behind it, and I have an inquiring and skeptical turn of mind. I scrutinize and question and, sometimes, challenge the positions of some of the established health-care organizations as well as the marketers of health information. Eternal vigilance is a small price to pay for health. — Michael Jorrin (aka DocGumshoe) Michael Jorrin is a paid contributor to Stock Gumshoe, he has agreed to our trading restrictions but he chooses his own topics and his words and opinions are his own.

Author Archives

My previous posting on Alzheimer’s focused on ways to avoid the most dire consequences of the disease in the absence of proven pharmaceutical interventions. The common assumption about disease management is that treatment begins when we develop symptoms. Then we go to the doctor, who most likely prescribes a course of treatment which probably includes […]

The last time Doc Gumshoe surveyed the Alzheimer’s landscape, the most prominent feature was the FDA’s approval – misguided, I thought – of Biogen’s Aduhelm (aducanumab) and the consequences this would have for everybody’s Medicare B premium. Sure enough, on November 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed the prediction that […]

In past times, what surgeons did was basically removing infected body parts and things that didn’t belong in our bodies, like tumors and foreign bodies. For most of the history of the practice of medicine, surgeons were admired for their manual dexterity rather than for their skill and intelligence in diagnosing and treating disease. The […]

On balance, these bits tend more to the positive than the negative, including a few positive items about COVID-19. (But then, it seems that most of the news about COVID-19 is on the positive side these days.) We’ll get to COVID at the end of this piece, but first I will report on a recent […]

This is not going to be a sermon in which Doc Gumshoe once again attempts to convert the vaccine skeptics. Instead, we’ll be considering the evolution of vaccines, dating from the time when they weren’t called vaccines, and what the evolutionary process of vaccines points to, which, in the opinion of many eminent scientists, is […]

Most of this Doc Gumshoe posting was ready to go a couple of days before Thanksgiving. But then, you know what happened: the new variant (now named Omicron) surfaced in South Africa. So I finished up another Doc Gumshoe epistle that I had been working on and quickly got it to Travis so I could […]

This edition of the epistles of Doc Gumshoe won’t be entirely about Alzheimer’s, but there are Alzheimer’s-related news items that jump to the top, based on timeliness, if nothing more. When Doc Gumshoe last wrote about what was happening on the Alzheimer’s front, a big chunk of the piece was the FDA’s surprising – and […]

I recently came across a couple of interesting threads that suggested the possibility of entirely new techniques in the management of epilepsy. One of these came by way of a suggestion from a very helpful Gumshoe denizen, and the other was incorporated in a compelling story about the potential benefits and also potential hazards of […]

A friend of ours on the Maine island where we spent our vacation told us that her husband’s surgery had been cancelled at the last minute because the hospital in Portland was swamped with COVID cases, and all elective surgery was cancelled. This notification came at the last possible minute, as they were getting ready […]

I was hoping to keep COVID-19 out of this piece, but new things keep flooding in, and I can’t totally ignore them. However, I’ll save them to the end of the story. They are both “good news,” more or less, and I like to leave you with a bit of cheer, when possible. Sleep and […]

This will be the thirteenth Doc Gumshoe pronouncement on the COVID-19 pandemic. Lucky or unlucky, I have no idea, but let’s get on with it. To the question “Where are we now?” the answer depends enormously on exactly where, geographically, we are. The differences in the new case and fatality rates in among the different […]

What started me down this path was a promotional piece for a new drug that was purported to suppress pain through a novel mechanism that prevented the nerve signal that conveyed to the brain a sensation that would usually be experienced as painful from actually being painful. In other words, while mincing an onion, you […]

Before I launch into the topics of the day, I am going to share with you an opinion piece about the recent CDC guidelines. I find myself in complete concurrence with this piece, which was posted a few weeks ago on MedPage Today, a medical website that is a very helpful source of information for […]

I’m happy to report that despite the huge quantity of COVID-related news items that flood my in-box (as well as all news media), the tsunami has not drowned other health and medicine-related releases. Now, with the pandemic retreating – and, yes, it really is retreating – let’s use this as an opportunity to bring a […]

Aside from the tiny minority of people who can actually say what each of those initials stand for, we can divide the populace into two groups – those who specifically know that CRISPR is a tool used in gene editing and those who know (or figure) that it’s a highly promising but exceedingly complex technique […]

This piece was going to be titled “COVID Continued.” Then I thought, “what a depressing title. Nobody wants to read about the continuation of the pandemic. A much more attractive title would be “COVID Terminated.” That’s the headline we want to see. Or, better, that’s the headline we want to believe. How close are we […]

Recent Author Comments

On Alzheimer’s Disease June 2022 – Possible Signs of Progress

Many recent developments are being touted as "the future of medicine." I don't know of a Nobel committee getting into that. Tell me little more and I may be able to come up with something.[...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease June 2022 – Possible Signs of Progress

Correct! Thanks very nuch.[...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease June 2022 – Possible Signs of Progress

I had never heard of Zhittya, but from a tiny bit of poking around it seems that their focus is on Parkinson's rather than Alzheimer's. Even though these two diseases have some symptoms in common, the pathogenesis of the two differs a good deal. As far[...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease June 2022 – Possible Signs of Progress

I should have said a second second opinion. Maybe a third second opinion. Best, MJ[...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease June 2022 – Possible Signs of Progress

I have noted the questions about specific pharmaceutical outfits & will try to address them in the next post. Thanks for all comments & questions![...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease June 2022 – Possible Signs of Progress

I have never specifically written about multiple myeloma, although I have certainly discussed multiple myeloma in the context of cancer drugs. Please understand that I am not a physician. I read journal papers about a range of diseases and about clinic[...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease June 2022 – Possible Signs of Progress

My guess - and it's just a guess - is that men who routinely take Viagra/sildenafil are in better physical condition than the men who don't take it. This second cohort is composed not just of men who don't need Viagra to deal with their erectile dysfunc[...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease May 2022 – Is There Anything New?

Regarding simufilam, blarcamesine, TauRX, AVXL & other such matters, I have talked about these in previous sermons & will try to bring matters up to date in my next piece, which will cover such matters as new strategies to predict who’s at elevated risk [...]

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On Alzheimer’s Disease May 2022 – Is There Anything New?

Just yesterday, May 9th, JAMA Neurology posted a paper confirming that eight modifiable risk factors were linked to more than a third of all Alzheimer’s cases. The most prominently associated with AD and dementia were obesity, physical inactivity, and [...]

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On Medical Devices: An Eye on Safety

My blushes! Thanks & be well![...]

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On Medical Devices: An Eye on Safety

Thanks very much for the kind words & information. Good luck and long life![...]

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On Medical Devices: An Eye on Safety

Not my strong suit. I leave that to Travis.[...]

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On Medical Devices: An Eye on Safety

Sounds interesting. My opinions about investing aren't worth much, as I said above. I'm nervous about robotic surgery. But I'll take a look.[...]

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On Medical Devices: An Eye on Safety

Heart muscle cells respond to ions, which are the positively-charge nuclei of atoms minus the electron shells. When a calcium ion enters the muscle cell, the muscle contracts and the heart executes its pumping action. The same mechanism powers the con[...]

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On What's Oxford's "The Next Ten-Bagger: Handheld Ultrasound" Stock?

It takes more than a nifty device to arrive at a diagnosis. Most MDs don't have the experience necessary to understand what the image is showing. AI helps a little, no question. But the whole proposition looks iffy from where I sit.[...]

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On March 2022 Bulletins -- Brief, but Relevant

Next time I'm in Kent I'll check in! When you sing "When the felon's not engaged in his employment..." do you tinker with the words? As for a quick test to determine whether the cootie is drug-resistant, I'm not holding my breath,[...]

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On March 2022 Bulletins -- Brief, but Relevant

Tell me more![...]

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On March 2022 Bulletins -- Brief, but Relevant

It would be terrific if the doc could quickly determine whether the pathogen infecting the patient was resistant, but my guess is that such a test would require growing out a culture of the pathogen and then challenging it with the drug. There are many p[...]

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On March 2022 Bulletins -- Brief, but Relevant

Thanks - I'll put in on my checklist.[...]

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On March 2022 Bulletins -- Brief, but Relevant

I'll do a quick check on Aviptadil. But I do have an opinion on Frontline Doctors, and it is not favorable. I have discussed their views in several COVID-related pieces.[...]

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