Now nearly 20 years later, Dr Schwartz has a second cure! ;-) I am just wondering why he bothered to come up with a cure. Is one cure, the airflow technique, no enough?
HIS "National" Center for Stuttering has a recent press release: Breaking News: A Possible Cure For Stuttering. He claimed that Thiamine "cures" stuttering in 30% of people who stutter. I feel pretty miserable, because I have a ready post for a Crackpot Award, but I never posted it because he is not quite a crackpot. He is just a very bad scientist with excellent marketing and sales skills. If I include those, 50% of researchers would be crackpots!
So I am going to post the text here, and I leave it to my readers to rip apart the methodology. To all students,
this is a good exercise for you. Please post your criticism. I'll do mine in a later post.
Here is the description:
"Thirty-eight male stutterers between 21 and 37 years of age were randomly divided into two groups. One group received 300 milligrams of Thiamin and the other, a placebo. To avoid bias, neither the investigators nor the subjects knew whether the subjects were taking the vitamin or the placebo.
The experiment lasted for two weeks.
The subjects were given a standardized test for stuttering that measured the average percent syllables stuttered from three different speaking situations: face-to-face conversation, reading and telephone conversation. The test was given twice: once prior to the experiment and again at its conclusion.
The data were analyzed statistically.
As expected, the difference in the average score between the placebo and the vitamin groups at the beginning of the study was not significant. Simply put, the two groups were essentially identical to begin with.
Similarly, for the placebo group, the average percent syllables stuttered prior to and after the experiment was also not significant. Thus, no placebo effect occurred for the placebo group.
Finally, the findings for the vitamin group were highly significant, with a before and after difference of such magnitude that the likelihood of it occurring by chance was less than one in a hundred.
A closer examination of the data from the vitamin group revealed something interesting and unexpected. There were really two groups: one group whose stuttering had largely been eliminated by the vitamin and a second whose stuttering had not changed at all.
Six of the 19 subjects showed the dramatic effect. For the remaining 13, application of the statistical test revealed no significant difference from the pre-experiment scores. All of the significance had come from this small subgroup."
It was decided to follow these six individuals to see if the effect persisted. They continued to take what was now openly acknowledged to be the vitamin.
"It has been more than 7 months and their speech has remained essentially free of stuttering," said Dr. Schwartz
"But that's not all. A new effect has been observed: the subjects now report that their habit of scanning (looking ahead for feared sounds, words and speaking situations as they speak) has disappeared. In other words, they no longer think about their speech. The anticipatory stresses associated with their stuttering are gone.