Auto-brewery syndrome: Name it and claim it

Snippet via Google News tells me about a new diagnosis, ‘Auto-brewery Syndrome’ in which a man intoxicated himself without drinking any alcohol. This is an interesting story to me, a non-alcohol-drinking person, for several reasons. 1. The authors implicate medical terminology, thus making themselves subject to comment on my blog, by stating that this syndrome is “difficult to research since it goes by several other names.” Well, yes, but for heaven’s sake, that’s no excuse. Most things in medicine have dozens of other names. This is why we needed a Unified Medical Language System. 2. This article appeared in an open access and fancy-sounding journal from “Scientific Research Publishing” which itself appears on Jeffrey Bealls’ important Predatory Publishers list. SRP certainly looks problematic to me. They claim to be indexed in several “world-class” databases, including Web of Knowledge and PubMed, but the WOK “indexing” is in fact citations appearing in other journals — the journal itself is not indexed — and PubMed reports exactly one record from this journal which is an author submission to PubMed Central. PubMed Central would accept author submissions from an 8th grade Zumba class if the Zumba teacher had federal funding. Not the same as indexing, folks! 3. The additional names are kinda fun, I have to admit. “Auto-brewery syndrome” is also called “Drunkenness Disease” and “Endogenous Ethanol Fermentation.” But the authors’ frank admission that “Most of the articles published on this syndrome are anecdotal” makes me distrust their work. I like my articles to have actual data in them. Panola Community College needs to support its faculty better, or, conversely, give them more to do.

Author: cat

Associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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