Keyword: placebo

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  • Think yourself better: Alternative medical treatments rarely work. But the placebo effect they...

    05/22/2011 6:42:04 PM PDT · by neverdem · 60 replies
    The Economist ^ | May 19th 2011 | NA
    Alternative medical treatments rarely work. But the placebo effect they induce sometimes does ON MAY 29th Edzard Ernst, the world’s first professor of complementary medicine, will step down after 18 years in his post at the Peninsula Medical School, in south-west England. Despite his job title (and the initial hopes of some purveyors of non-mainstream treatments), Dr Ernst is no breathless promoter of snake oil. Instead, he and his research group have pioneered the rigorous study of everything from acupuncture and crystal healing to Reiki channelling and herbal remedies. Alternative medicine is big business. Since it is largely unregulated, reliable...
  • Man tried voodoo, black magic against prosecutor and investigators, authorities allege (CA)

    06/05/2010 12:51:12 PM PDT · by ulster · 21 replies · 635+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 6-2-10 | Richard Winton
    “The star attractions were these three effigy dolls dunked upside down in this brown liquid. One of them had my name, and the other two had the names of investigators.” Each doll had pins in its eyes, he said. Attached to the dolls was the case number in the criminal charges. Hanrahan said that inside the home on Thorndike Road investigators also found their names wrapped around a baseball bat. “Even the U.S. marshals were spooked,” he said. Officials decided to find out the background of the shrine, with help of a UCLA professor.
  • Enhancing the Placebo

    05/09/2010 2:19:14 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies · 336+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 4, 2010 | OLIVIA JUDSON
    Op-Ed Columnist The placebo effect is, potentially, one of the most powerful forces in medicine. The challenge is to harness that power in a reliable and systematic way. First, what is the placebo effect? It’s the improvement in health that some patients experience because of the feeling that they are receiving medical care. A classic example comes from drug trials. Suppose patients are randomly divided into three groups: those who get no treatment, those who get the drug that’s being tested, and those who get the placebo treatment — typically a pill that looks and tastes like the drug, but...
  • The Nothing Cure (Placebos are good )

    03/28/2010 6:29:53 AM PDT · by bert · 8 replies · 300+ views
    Forbes ^ | March 29, 2010 | Matthew Herper and Robert Langreth
    Instead of ignoring the placebo effect, doctors should try to enhance it, says a Harvard Medical School professor. Though recurring tummy aches from irritable bowel syndrome are among patients' most common complaints, drugmakers have had trouble coming up with a safe and effective treatment. But in 2008 Harvard's Ted J. Kaptchuk devised a safe remedy that helps far more people than any designer drug ever did. His magic cure: fake acupuncture delivered with lots of warm talk from a sympathetic acupuncturist--but no needles. In a trial of 262 patients with severe IBS, 62% of those who received the fake treatment...
  • Popular Drugs May Help Only Severe Depression

    01/24/2010 1:28:55 AM PST · by PghBaldy · 11 replies · 672+ views
    New York Times ^ | January 5 | BENEDICT CAREY
    Some widely prescribed drugs for depression provide relief in extreme cases but are no more effective than placebo pills for most patients, according to a new analysis released Tuesday. The latest study may settle a debate about drugs like Prozac. The findings could help settle a longstanding debate about antidepressants. While the study does not imply that the drugs are worthless for anyone with moderate to serious depression — many such people do seem to benefit — it does provide one likely explanation for the sharp disagreement among experts about the drugs’ overall effectiveness.
  • Placebo Effects: Part 1 (market & economy)

    08/09/2009 9:09:07 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 3 replies · 261+ views
    Euro Intelligence ^ | 07/20/9 | Satyajit Das
    Placebo Effects: Part 1 By: Satyajit Das Mixed Metaphors… Botanical commentators are finding ‘green shoots’. The astronomically minded have seen ‘glimmers’. The meteorologically minded have spoken about the storms ‘abating’. Strong rallies in equity and debt markets have confirmed the recovery for the ‘true believers’. The Global Financial Crisis ("GFC") crisis is over! It is useful to remember Winston Churchill’s observation after the British expeditionary force’s escape from Dunkirk: "[Britain] must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory". There may be confusion between ‘stabilisation’ and ‘recovery’. The ‘green shoots’ theory is based on...
  • 13 things that do not make sense

    05/14/2009 2:03:46 PM PDT · by Hawthorn · 36 replies · 1,712+ views
    New Scientist ^ | April 14, 2009 | Michael Brooks
    Don't try this at home. Several times a day, for several days, you induce pain in someone. You control the pain with morphine until the final day of the experiment, when you replace the morphine with saline solution. Guess what? The saline takes the pain away.
  • The Stimulus Placebo Effect

    02/01/2009 11:37:12 PM PST · by Choose Ye This Day · 5 replies · 461+ views
    SmartMoney ^ | January 30, 2009 | Donald Luskin
    Will the almost $1 trillion stimulus plan being rushed through Congress help revive the economy? Right now that's all my institutional clients want to know. So when I meet with them, I have a page in my presentation book headed “What do we think of the stimulus plan?” Other than that heading, the page is blank. That's what I think about stimulus. Nothing. How can anyone seriously think that government rushing to commit all that money for a hodge-podge of projects, programs and that other thing that begins with “P”—pork—could possibly be of any particular help to the economy? Yet...
  • Adult Women Play House With Fake Babies

    01/05/2009 3:12:00 PM PST · by Marechal · 22 replies · 745+ views
    ABC 7 (WJLA, Washington DC) ^ | 2 January 2009 | ABC 7 (WJLA, Washington DC)
    WASHINGTON - Many people like to stop and play with newborn babies, but now some adult women are playing house with fake babies. Some women are even going as far as taking day trips with the fake babies to the park, out to eat, and even hosting birthday parties for them. Forty-nine-year-old Linda is married with no children of her own. Now, she says she feels like a mother because she has Reborns -- dolls made to look and feel like the real thing. "It's not a crazy habit, like, you know, drinking, or some sort of, something that's going...
  • Military tries 'battlefield' acupuncture to ease pain

    12/18/2008 8:40:36 PM PST · by CE2949BB · 14 replies · 614+ views
    Baltimore Sun ^ | December 11, 2008 | David Wood
    ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE - Using ancient Chinese medical techniques, a small team of military doctors here has begun treating wounded troops suffering from severe or chronic pain with acupuncture. The technique is proving so successful that the Air Force will begin teaching "battlefield acupuncture" early next year to physicians deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, senior officials will announce tomorrow.
  • The Placebo Effect: Not All in Your Head

    12/03/2008 6:50:35 PM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies · 741+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 2 December 2008 | Rachel Zelkowitz
    Enlarge ImageReal effect. Patients with a certain copy of a serotonin gene showed less amygdala activity (left), indicating reduced anxiety, after treatment with placebos. Credit: T. Furmark et al., Journal of Neuroscience To get a drug to market, pharmaceutical companies have to show that it works better than a placebo. But sometimes the placebo is just as powerful as the real thing. Just why our bodies respond so strongly to fake medicine has long been a mystery, but researchers are a step closer to solving that riddle, having picked out a particular gene that may be responsible for one...
  • Against Depression, a Sugar Pill Is Hard to Beat

    08/15/2008 3:56:28 PM PDT · by grundle · 26 replies · 176+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | May 7, 2002 | Shankar Vedantam
    Against Depression, a Sugar Pill Is Hard to Beat Placebos Improve Mood, Change Brain Chemistry in Majority of Trials of Antidepressants By Shankar Vedantam Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, May 7, 2002; Page A01 A new analysis has found that in the majority of trials conducted by drug companies in recent decades, sugar pills have done as well as -- or better than -- antidepressants.Companies have had to conduct numerous trials to get two that show a positive result, which is the Food and Drug Administration's minimum for approval. What's more, the sugar pills, or placebos, cause profound changes in...
  • Experts Question Placebo Pill for Children

    05/27/2008 12:18:47 AM PDT · by neverdem · 37 replies · 234+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 27, 2008 | CHRISTIE ASCHWANDEN
    Jennifer Buettner was taking care of her young niece when the idea struck her. The child had a nagging case of hypochondria, and Ms. Buettner’s mother-in-law, a nurse, instructed her to give the girl a Motrin tablet. “She told me it was the most benign thing I could give,” Ms. Buettner said. “I thought, why give her any drug? Why not give her a placebo?” Studies have repeatedly shown that placebos can produce improvements for many problems like depression, pain and high blood pressure, and Ms. Buettner reasoned that she could harness the placebo effect to help her niece. She...
  • You Get What You Pay For? Costly Placebo Works Better Than Cheap One

    03/05/2008 2:28:24 PM PST · by blam · 4 replies · 116+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-5-2008 | Duke University
    You Get What You Pay For? Costly Placebo Works Better Than Cheap One ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2008) — A 10-cent pill doesn't kill pain as well as a $2.50 pill, even when they are identical placebos, according to a provocative study by Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University. "Physicians want to think it's the medicine and not their enthusiasm about a particular drug that makes a drug more therapeutically effective, but now we really have to worry about the nuances of interaction between patients and physicians," said Ariely, whose findings appear as a letter in the March 5...
  • Placebo Showdown

    02/04/2006 12:26:37 AM PST · by neverdem · 14 replies · 352+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 2 February 2006 | Greg Miller
    Not all placebos are created equal, according to a new study. In a rare trial pitting two fake treatments against each other, researchers have found that a sham acupuncture technique provided more pain relief than a dummy pill. The two nontreatments also caused different "side effects." Placebo effects have been reported with pills, injections, and even surgery. Previous research hinted that some treatments might elicit stronger placebo effects than others, but the idea hadn't been rigorously tested, says Ted Kaptchuk, the researcher at Harvard Medical School in Boston who led the current study. Kaptchuk and colleagues recruited 270 people with...
  • Antidepressant Makers Withhold Data on Children

    01/29/2004 9:43:31 AM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies · 314+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | January 29, 2004 | Shankar Vedantam
    Makers of popular antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor have refused to disclose the details of most clinical trials involving depressed children, denying doctors and parents crucial evidence as they weigh fresh fears that such medicines may cause some children to become suicidal. The companies say the studies are trade secrets. Researchers familiar with the unpublished data said the majority of secret trials show that children taking the medicines did not get any better than children taking dummy pills. Although the drug industry's practice of suppressing data unfavorable to its products is legal, doctors and advocates say such secrecy...
  • Antidepressant Makers Withhold Data on Children

    01/28/2004 9:48:25 PM PST · by neverdem · 44 replies · 719+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | January 29, 2004 | Shankar Vedantam
    Makers of popular antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor have refused to disclose the details of most clinical trials involving depressed children, denying doctors and parents crucial evidence as they weigh fresh fears that such medicines may cause some children to become suicidal. The companies say the studies are trade secrets. Researchers familiar with the unpublished data said the majority of secret trials show that children taking the medicines did not get any better than children taking dummy pills. Although the drug industry's practice of suppressing data unfavorable to its products is legal, doctors and advocates say such secrecy...