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« Non-pharmacological and Lifestyle Approaches to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: 5. Exercise, Environment and Sleep | Main | Non-pharmacological and Lifestyle Approaches to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: 6. Biofeedback »

May 16, 2007

Comments

Reg Adkins

Dr. Petty,
That is absolutely astounding,and yet completely plausible. Does the study go so far as to report a causal finding?

Richard Petty

Dear Reg,

I agree with you: astounding.

You make an important point. It is actually very difficult to establish causality in medicine, simply because there are so many systems in the body, some of which obey different laws. As an example, we cannot prove that smoking causes lung cancer, though I doubt that you smoke. There is a powerful association between the two, but proving causality is slippery. We have to so many other factors: genetics, epigenetic factors, other environmental influences and so on.

As in this study, the HPV effect can be exacerbated by smoking.

It is fair to say that in medicine, with the exception of simple gene problems such as inborn errors of metabolism, there is hardly ever one cause for anything.

Kind regards,


RP

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