Monday, April 13, 2015

What's in a disease name?

Writing in Medical News Today, James McIntosh riffed off at considerable length on whether the names of various diseases and disorders influenced how they were treated.

For instance, he says Alzheimer's is so feared, some docs will not utter it as a diagnosis for fear of devastating people.

Last month, the Institute of Medicine proposed a new name for chronic fatigue syndrome.

The name? "Systemic exertion intolerance disease." SEID! Or usually: CFS/SEID.

Of course, it will be a while before we see what affect this has.

How about schizophrenia? First, despite popular perceptions, this does not always manifest as split personality. Also 61% of Americans in one study thought schizophrenics were violent.

In Japan, the term was mind-split-disease, but psychiatrists did not like to use it.

A new term--"integration disorder" was introduced in Japan in 2002. This replaced the old term in 78% of cases. There have been movements to replace the mind-split thing in other countries, also.

In Britain, the disturbing "evacuation of retained products of conception" was changed to "surgical management of miscarriage."

Watch for these changes to creep in. The researchers say they will positively influence funding, too.

Now if we could replace "obesity." How about over-served syndrome?


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