About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Placebo Response may be Enhanced by Intranasal Application of Hormone

by Kathy Jones on October 26, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Font : A-A+

 Placebo Response may be Enhanced by Intranasal Application of Hormone

Previous research has shown that the hormone oxytocin may mediate processes such as empathy, trust, and social learning.

These are key elements of the patient-physician relationship, which is an important mediator of placebo responses, according to background information in a Research Letter appearing in the October 23/30 issue of JAMA. Simon Kessner, of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study to test whether oxytocin enhances the placebo response in an experimental placebo analgesia model.

Advertisement

Between January and September 2012, the researchers randomly assigned 80 healthy male volunteers to 40 IU of intranasal oxytocin or saline. The researchers and participants were blinded to study drug identity. After 45 minutes, placebo analgesia was assessed using the following standard technique. Two identical inert ointments were applied to 2 sites on each participant's forearm. The ointments were described as an anesthetic that reduces pain (placebo) and an inert control cream (control). In the 15 minutes following application that the participant expected the anesthetic to take effect, the researchers calibrated the intensity at which a 20-second painful heat stimulus was perceived by each individual to rate as a 60 on a scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 100 (unbearable pain). During the subsequent test phase, a series of 10 of those calibrated stimuli was applied to each of the 2 sites in randomized order. The primary outcome was the placebo analgesic response, defined as the reduction of perceived pain intensity on the placebo site compared with the control site in the oxytocin and saline groups.

Despite identical stimulation on both sites, the difference in pain ratings at the placebo and pain sites were greater in the oxytocin group than in the saline group due to lower pain ratings at the placebo site.
Advertisement

"To our knowledge, our study provides the first experimental evidence that placebo responses can be pharmacologically enhanced by the application of intranasal oxytocin," the authors write. "Further studies are needed to replicate our findings in larger clinical populations, identify the underlying mechanisms, and explore moderating variables such as sex or aspects of patient-physician communication."
(doi:10.l001/jama.2013.277446;m)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.



Source: Newswise
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Placebo Effects: Rare Insights 

Recommended Reading
Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are experiments that yield useful information to clinicians if a particular ......
Clinical Trials - The Past and The Future
Many of the drugs that are used today have been discovered by chance or often by mere serendipity...
Clinical Trials - Different Phases of the trial
Clinical trials serve as a vital component for improving the treatment of medical conditions as ......
Placebo Effects: Rare Insights
Placebo response is now generally well accepted. ‘Placebo response’ is the friend of the clinician a...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use