BYLINE: DAVID IRWIN; VANCOUVER SUN
I was disappointed to read Dr. Carolyn DeMarco's column promoting high
dose vitamin treatments for schizophrenia. At a time of real progress
in treatment of schizophrenia, Dr. DeMarco has written about an approach
which Dr. Abram Hoffer and others developed in the 1950s, but which
by the 1970s was proven to be fruitless. The work of Dr. Hoffer and
others is discussed in detail in the American Psychiatric Association
Task Force Report, July 1973, which points out methodological flaws
in the early work and reviews later studies which failed to show any
benefit for such treatments.
In recent years, new medicines, with improved side-effect profiles
and techniques to overcome problems with social and occupational functioning,
have been well proven advances for the treatment of schizophrenia. Early
intervention programs should prevent some of the serious dysfunction
of the disease.
Serious illnesses like schizophrenia require proven treatments. Vitamin
treatments as "alternative" therapy for schizophrenia should
not be recommended.
David Irwin, MD
Department of Psychiatry
Vancouver General Hospital
Source: The Vancouver Sun, January 23, 1998