Friday, February 3, 2017

Betsy DeVos and Neurocore: Profiting from Quack Medicine? | janresseger

Betsy DeVos and Neurocore: Profiting from Quack Medicine? | janresseger:

Betsy DeVos and Neurocore: Profiting from Quack Medicine?


The NY Times editorialized this morning against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos: Wanted: One Republican with Integrity to Defeat Betsy DeVos. The final confirmation vote by the Senate is currently scheduled for Monday, and unless one more Republican Senator makes a decision of conscience, Vice President Mike Pence will break the tie. All Democrats have pledged to vote “no,” along with Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski.
But whatever happens on Monday, there is something that bears watching in upcoming months—DeVos’s refusal to divest from Neurocore, a medically questionable brain therapy company in which she and her husband Dick DeVos, the Amway heir, have reported an investment of between $5 and $25 million.  They have invested in Neurocore through their family company, Windquest Group.
This blog commented on DeVos’s huge investment in Neurocore last week, based on blog reports from Mitchell Robinson and Jennifer Berkshire. Then earlier this week—lost in the coverage of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee vote to report the DeVos nomination to the full Senate—reporters for the New York Times explored the problem of Neurocore.
The NY Times reports that while Neurocore’s results are trumpeted by the company as astonishing, this is very likely a story of marketing and quack science: “A group of brain performance centers backed by Betsy DeVos, the nominee for education secretary, promotes results that are nothing short of stunning: improvements reported by 91 percent of patients with depression, 90 percent with attention deficit disorder, 90 percent with anxiety. The treatment offered by Neurocore, a business in which Ms. DeVos and her husband, Dick, are the chief investors, consists of showing movies to patients and interrupting them when the viewers become distracted, in an effort to retrain their brains. With eight centers in Michigan and Florida and plans to expand, Neurocore says it has assessed about 10,000 people for health problems that often require medication… But a review of Neurocore’s claims and Betsy DeVos and Neurocore: Profiting from Quack Medicine? | janresseger:


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