Gordon Johnson’s response to Barry Blackwell’s reply
Gregory de Moore and Ann Westmore: Finding Sanity: John Cade, Lithium and the Taming of Bipolar Disorder. Reviewed by Barry Blackwell



            We are in agreement on the relevance of the statement by Brian Davies concerning previous experience with Lithium in assessing clinical lithium research.

            In support of your contention that you made the wrong decision for the right reasons you focussed on the research design and the unique culture of the Maudsley.  You rejected the findings and the authors conclusions based on their data. What was unusual and controversial for an assessor was to impugn the scientific credibility of the authors for reasons such as bias based on impressive outcomes in a family member and an enthusiasm that launched all the worlds placebos and panaceas. 

            The title of the report, “Lithium a Therapeutic myth,” expressed your outright dismissal of the research as fictitious. In retrospect, you were wrong for the wrong reasons stemming from the culture of the institution.


February 1, 2018