Mystery Of The Placebo Effect, Yet To Be Solved

by Medindia Content Team on  January 12, 2006 at 5:08 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Mystery Of The Placebo Effect, Yet To Be Solved
Placebo is usually given to patients who psychologically feel that they are unwell but are actually hale and healthy .

Some people are always under the notion that they are unwell and ask medicines to be prescribed by their General Practioners. But too much of medicines also lead to various problems in our body.

Hence doctors prescribe placebo instead of medicines. Patients are under the impression that they are given proper medication for the treatment of the disease and get well soon. Hence it is a boon for the patients.

On the other hand the placebo effect is very confusing for the researchers who are trying to point out the exact site of action of the placebo.

Two different experiments were conducted one in which Dagfinn Matre showed that there is an alteration in the spinal processing of the pain due to the placebo effect.

It is seen that this effect has surfaced during the patient reports of initial pain intensity. It is also known to occur during hyperalgesia.

The placebo effect is seen during hyperalgesia because of the sensitization of the spinal nociceptive neurons.

In other the other study Jian Kong made use of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the areas of the brain, which are stimulated due to the placebo effect produced by the sham acupuncture needles.

In conclusion it was observed that many different areas of the brain were activated in comparison to the previous studies (effect of the placebo cream on the skin). This shows that the effect of placebo cannot be pointed out to one location in the brain but is generated from different brain regions.


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