Parkinson’s patients with gambling problems sue

“An Ontario man who alleges he developed a gambling addiction as a result of using a Parkinson’s drug called Mirapex is the representative claimant in a national class action lawsuit.

The Toronto law firm Thomson, Rogers issued a statement Monday saying that plaintiffs are seeking millions of dollars in compensation from the drug’s Canadian manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., and two American corporations.

Gerard Schick, the plaintiff from Midland, Ont., says he began gambling compulsively after starting to take Mirapex and lost more than $100,000.

‘Some 100 or more Canadians are believed to have suffered a similar experience,’ said a statement from the law firm.

A study by a team at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Centre in Phoenix, Ariz., published in the journal Neurology in 2003, found that of 529 patients who took pramipexole (brand name Mirapex), eight developed serious gambling addictions.” (C-Health)

Bombs Bursting on Air

“If a man-bites-dog story is news and dog-bites-man isn’t, why are journalists still so interested in man-blows-up-self stories?

I realize that we have a duty to report suicide bombings in the Middle East, especially when there’s a spate as bad as in recent weeks. And I know the old rule of television news: if it bleeds, it leads. But I’m still puzzled by our zeal in frantically competing to get gruesome pictures and details for broadcasts and front pages.” — John Tierney (New York Times op-ed)

Celebs to the Slaughter

“Judging from Monday’s horrific debut of the humongously pre-hyped celebrity blog the Huffington Post, the Madonna of the mediapolitic world has undergone one reinvention too many. She has now made an online ass of herself. What her bizarre guru-cult association, 180-degree right-to-left conversion, and failed run in the California gubernatorial-recall race couldn’t accomplish, her blog has now done: She is finally played out publicly. This website venture is the sort of failure that is simply unsurvivable. Her blog is such a bomb that it’s the movie equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar and Heaven’s Gate rolled into one. In magazine terms, it’s the disastrous clone of Tina Brown’s Talk, JFK Jr.’s George or Maer Roshan’s Radar.

No matter what happens to Huffington, it’s clear Hollywood will suffer the consequences. It seems like some sick hoax. Perhaps Huffington is no longer a card-carrying progressive but now a conservative mole. Because she has served up liberal celebs like red meat on a silver platter for the salivating and Hollywood-hating right wing to chew up and spit out. I hear that prominent liberals in L.A. and N.Y. and Washington D.C. are aghast not just that she’s encouraged jejune rants by their liberal brethren, but that she’s also provided yet another forum for select right-wing blowhards. They don’t understand why Arianna has saddled progressives with that ‘Hollywood elitist’ branding.

Only the fawning mainstream media didn’t see this coming. Instead, The New York Times, the New York Observer, the Los Angeles Times et al. were too busy breathlessly reporting Arianna’s big plans and bons mots to bother to do any reporting. ” (LA Weekly)