"Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital"

Richard Wilkenson cost of inequality:

Kathryn Edin, a professor of public policy and management at Harvard’s Kennedy School, said in a phone interview and in a series of emails that a major problem with all three attempts to measure poverty ‘is that the poverty level has no real empirical basis — it is not a good measure of how much it takes to survive nor is it a relative measure meant to reflect what is required for social inclusion in the society. The poverty level is most certainly too low. Most people can’t actually live on incomes that hover around the poverty threshold.'”

The second quote was from Aaron Levenstein saying, “Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”
Speaking of suggestive statistics and studies, on Patientslikeme.com, I ran across a reference to a study suggesting antidepressants may be useful in warding off or curing PML, a major risk of taking Tysabri as I have been for the past 6 years.  http://www.jns-journal.com/article

Given that Tysabri remains very popular for many making the same calculations my wife and I have on the value of continuing usage despite the risks, it would seem dealing with any signs of depression should be deemed very important.  According to one meta study done a couple decades ago, between 25 and 50% of MS patients become clinically depressed.  Granted, in the past 20 years treatments have come a long way, but everything I read suggests depression is still quite common.  

I guess I now have one more way to guilt trip those who give me a hard time, or at least those who wouldn’t recognize true clinical depression as opposed to situational sadness.  “You’re going to kill me! Don’t you know depression makes me more likely to get PML and die?”  I shouldn’t joke, but… 

In family notes, we have been battling to get K out of hospital and keep her out as she battles a stomache virus for the past 5 days.  I’ve never seen so much come out of someone so small.  Sometimes one has to smile even in the face of gross:

 I have no idea why this post has such a funky presentation as it was written in word and copied over the same as the past 100 posts. 
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3 thoughts on “"Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital"”

  1. I have been on tysabri for 74 infusions thus far. Before it, I was flaring constantly with losses like the ability to swallow and sense of balance to the point where the only exercises I could do were climbing stairs with railings and the rowing machine where if I fell it was 4 inches. It sucked, and my previous drug (Copaxone) didn’t work for me. Now I can run and exercise normally, at least when my calf heals. I can swallow and think for the most part. Thus far, Biogen should want me to be in any stats they use to suggest their drug works. Of course, all of that information will hide the slow increase in nerve pains.

    I look at Tysabri as a slight risk of brain disease which lets me continue to function. I look at the stats for the other drugs, and only Tysabri and soon to be released BG12 impact symptom/disability progression. Campath seems to as well. I just look at the stats for the other drugs used to get FDA approval as misleading. They show a reduction in flares as seen on an MRI, but is that what we care about?

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