Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Placebo Phenomenon


The Placebo Phenomenon:

Sometimes even when people know they are receiving a placebo, they get better.

Excerpts from a fascinating article about the research of  Ted Kaptchuk. Neuroscience research studies are showing that actual changes in brain chemicals similar to medication effects, take place from placebo treatments.

a repost from

"Researchers have found that placebo treatments—interventions with no active drug ingredients—can stimulate real physiological responses, from changes in heart rate and blood pressure to chemical activity in the brain, in cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and even some symptoms of Parkinson’s."

"The results were not surprising: the patients who experienced the greatest relief were those who received the most care. But in an age of rushed doctor’s visits and packed waiting rooms, it was the first study to show a “dose-dependent response” for a placebo: the more care people got—even if it was fake—the better they tended to fare."

"The study’s results shocked the investigators themselves: even patients who knew they were taking placebos described real improvement, reporting twice as much symptom relief as the no-treatment group."

Read the entire article at:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great post, Dr. Ron. I'll definitely share this information with patients. It just goes to show how important frequent connection, a smile, and some caring conversation can be to us as humans.
Dr. Pam Garcy