The Ockham’s Razor of Medical Science

The preimplantation human conceptus would be destroyed by an attack by the mother’s immune system, as half of its contents come from its father. Instead, the conceptus temporarily increases its production of prostaglandin E2, which, when elevated, becomes a powerful immunosuppressant, to ward off the attack. In the absence of this mechanism, reproduction would be impossible. As we shall see, prostaglandin E2 is responsible for both creating lie, and of destroying it, as prostaglandins are inherently paradoxical.

If the biological clocks in enzymes that produce prostaglandin E2 slowly increase its production, we will age slowly, and unlikely to develop the numerous prostaglandin E2- generated disorders, that can shorten our lifespan, including infectious and cardiovascular disorders, cancer, neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders , mood disorders, and others. Researchers at Deaconess’ Hospital in Boston have shown that centenarians are virtually immune to major medical and surgical disorders.  I would add that their prostaglandins are very well behaved.

Prostaglandins determine tolerance or intolerance towards everything with which the body comes into contact, among them temperature fluctuations, venom, emotional stress, shear stress, microgravity, pathogens, oxidative stress, changes in ionic composition, chronotropic agonists, medications, alcohol, allergens, carcinogens including tobacco, and euphoriants, People with well regulated prostaglandin production are relatively immune to stress, people lacking such control hypersensitive, with those with depression at the top of the list.  Virtually every medicine ever invented brushes with prostaglandins during its tour of duty. Aspirin and ibuprofen are among those generally appreciated as inhibiting prostaglandins are aspirin and ibuprofen, lithium and antidepressants virtually unknown.

262 words.   Come on home, William of Occam, we need you now!………………



We have a commercially driven, avalanche of new medical journals and blogs, with trillions of words that do nothing but muddy the waters, curb innovation, and destroy lives and property. In 1994, I submitted a review to Lancet disclosing the remarkable, immunostimulating and antimicrobial properties of lithium and antidepressants.  Richard Horton, then the Deputy Editor, and today the Editor, rejected the article as ‘too long for a hypothesis” when it was a review, not a hypothesis, and if too long, why did he not offer me the opportunity to shorten it?  Later, Lancet launched the journal of Infectious disorders, that would a have had little traction, had the world knew of the availability of immunostimulation.

Prostaglandins are ephemeral, infinitesimal, and powerful molecules regulating every physiological process and microanatomical structure of every cell; when up regulated, physiology becomes pathology, the variations probably determined by genes. Prostaglandins are composed primarily of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, with a configuration resembling a hairpin.  Enter, “prostaglandins” in a biomedical database, and you will find hundreds of thousands of studies revealing their regulation of our physiology, a physiological process not regulated by prostaglandins yet to be identified. Databases contain copious evidence of the role of prostaglandins in many of our diseases, including depression. Antidepressants, which inhibit prostaglandins, are variably effective for among others, psoriasis, plantar warts, arthritis, hives, ciguatera fish poisoning, asthma, peptic ulcers, canker sores, cold sores, migraine, hiccup, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases, shingles and cancer. This panoply can be explained only by down regulation of prostaglandin E2 in the brain. This is a paradigm shift that upon implementation promises to radically improve the quality of care, thus slashing its cost.

David Horrobin

In 1973, David Horrobin showed that lithium and antidepressants inhibit prostaglandins, and in 1977 that prostaglandins regulate nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). Subsequently, others showed that prostaglandins regulate the synthesis, inhibition, and expression of genes, and the growth, differentiation, and replication of cells, when cancer is accelerated replication of abnormal cells. Twenty years ago a paradigm shift was in place to revolutionize the prevention and treatment of cancer.

In the nineteen-seventies-and-eighties, prostaglandins attracted substantial drug company investment, Upjohn referring to them as “Medicine’s New Frontier.”

With new technology that accelerates the production of DNA, venture capitalists, and the U.S patent office, medical schools and the media launched biotechnology, stampeding Upjohn into divesting from prostaglandins into buying biotechnology companies to acquire their patents. In 1980, the first genomics company was launched under the banner of a virtual cure all for disease, plausible to the uninformed but leaving the informed aghast at how genes could be accessed for clinical purposes. Proteinomics and stem cells followed, with prostaglandins missing in action.  Many individuals and institutions purged prostaglandins so thoroughly, that they almost disappeared from sight and mind.

Medical research is largely based on the premise that DNA and RNA in the cell nucleus, and enzymes and proteins in the cell, whose structures are defined by DNA, are of overwhelming importance in disease. While significant, their practical importance has been exaggerated. Membrane lipids, which modulate the behavior of these entities, offer far more opportunities for practical therapeutic interventions. 

When the human genome was shown to have far fewer genes than could explain our diversity, genomics boosters invented “epigenetics,” factors that regulate genes to explain the discrepancy, without acknowledging that Horrobin had shown that prostaglandins perform these functions.

A new challenge for the powers of persuasion of geneticists is the recent discovery that parents transmit far fewer mutations to their children than previously thought. Decades of genomics with little to show for it, and still buying time. 

In “Against Method” Paul Feyerabend noted that suppressing a paradigm in preference to one politically favored could permanently damage society. He cautioned that the guardians of paradigm failures seldom concede to valid newcomers, to the extent that political intervention might hold the only hope of progress. We are amazed at how easily people lost their minds in signing up for the South Seas bubble and the Dutch tulip mania. Posterity may view us as losing ours by purging prostaglandins.

Medical science ala William of Occam
The medieval rule of parsimony, or principle of economy, frequently used by William of Occam, came to be known as Ockham’s razor. The rule, which said that plurality should not be assumed without necessity (or, in modern English, keep it simple, stupid), was used to eliminate many pseudo-explanatory entities. Ockham was a major force of change at the end of the middle Ages. His philosophy was radical in his day, corrupted in ours.  The principle of simplicity, the central theme of Ockham’s philosophy, is  known as “Ockham’s Razor.”




Medical Disclaimer
The information provided here is intended to educate. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, and medical care provided by a qualified and licensed health professional. If you believe that you, your child, or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please consult your health care provider. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else.

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About the Author

Julian Lieb, M.D is a retired Yale medical school professor, and author or coauthor of forty -eight articles and eleven books. With D Jablow Hershman as first author, Dr Lieb coauthored: “Manic Depression and Creativity” and “A Brotherhood of Tyrants: Manic Depression and Absolute Power.” In these volumes, the authors showed that manic- depressive disorder is paradoxical, in gifting society with many creative geniuses, and inflicting many of its great destroyers.

  • Lewdi

    lol "too long for a hypothesis" >_>

    • Anonymous

      I sympathize with the author of the article, it's awful to have something you've worked hard on for a long time to be rejected by a popinjay arse.

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