Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Brain region central to placebo effect identified

July 19, 2007
Researchers have pinpointed a brain region central to the machinery of the placebo effect-the often controversial phenomenon in which a person's belief in the efficacy of a treatment such as a painkilling drug influences its effect.

The researchers said their findings with human subjects offer the potential of measuring the placebo effect and even modulating it for therapeutic purposes. They also said their findings could enable measurements of brain function that "would help determine dysfunctions in cerebral mechanisms that may impair recovery across a number of conditions."

Jon-Kar Zubieta and colleagues published their findings in the July 19, 2007, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.

Their studies concentrated on a brain area known as the nucleus accumbens (NAC), a region deep in the brain, known to play a role in expectation of reward. Earlier studies had hinted at involvement of the NAC in the placebo effect, but the nature of that role was unknown, said the researchers.

In their experiments, the researchers told volunteers that they were testing the effects of a new pain-killing drug and that the subjects might receive the drug or a placebo. However, in the experiments, the researchers gave only a placebo injection of a salt solution. The experiments involved asking the subjects to rate their expectation of the pain-killing effects of the "drug" and also the level of pain relief with or without the "drug" that they felt from a moderately painful injection of salt solution into their jaw muscle.

In one set of experiments, the researchers used a molecular tracer scanning technique known as Positron Emission Spectroscopy to measure release from the NAC of the neurotransmitter dopamine-a chemical trigger of the brain's reward response. They found that the greater subjects' anticipation of the pain-killing benefit of the placebo, the greater the dopamine release from the NAC. Also, subjects who reported greater relief from the placebo when they did experience pain showed greater NAC activity when they received the placebo before the pain.

In separate experiments, the researchers studied whether activation of subjects' NAC during reward processing correlated with the magnitude of their placebo effect. They told subjects to expect monetary rewards of different amounts, as their brains were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The researchers found that the people who showed greater activation of the NAC during this reward-expectation task also showed a greater anticipation of effectiveness of a placebo.

The researchers concluded that "These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that this system is involved in the encoding of the 'incentive value' of the placebo, possibly acting as a gate or permissive system for the formation of placebo effects."

They wrote that "The placebo effect then emerges as a resiliency mechanism with broad implications that, given its activation of specific circuits and mechanisms, can be both examined and modulated for therapeutic purposes."

Cell Press


Related Placebo Current Events and Placebo News Articles


New study reveals Montmorency tart cherry juice accelerated recovery after intense cycling
Cyclists who are preparing for race day may have a new sports drink to give them an edge in recovery: tart cherry juice. A new study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that Montmorency tart cherry juice helped accelerate recovery, maintain muscle function and reduce certain markers of exercise-induced inflammation among a group of cyclists participating in a simulated road race.

New evidence reveals tamoxifen reduces breast cancer rates by nearly a third for 20 years
The preventive effect of breast cancer drug 'tamoxifen' remains virtually constant for at least 20 years - with rates reduced by around 30 per cent - new analysis published in The Lancet Oncology reveals.

Progesterone offers no significant benefit in traumatic brain injury clinical trial
Treatment of acute traumatic brain injury with the hormone progesterone provides no significant benefit to patients when compared with placebo, a NIH-funded phase III clinical trial has concluded.

Study concludes that progesterone administered to severe TBI patients, showed no benefit
A study concluded that after five days of treatment with a novel formulation of progesterone acutely administered to patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), showed no clinical benefits.

Laughing gas studied as depression treatment
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, has shown early promise as a potential treatment for severe depression in patients whose symptoms don't respond to standard therapies.

Simeprevir-Based Therapy Offers Patients in Developing Countries a Cost-Effective Alternative in Treatment of Hepatitis C
Researchers at Penn Medicine, in collaboration with a multi-center international team, have shown that a protease inhibitor, simeprevir, a once a day pill, along with interferon and ribavirin has proven as effective in treating chronic Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) as telaprevir with interferon and ribavirin, the standard of care in developing countries.

Vitamin C may help people who suffer from respiratory symptoms after exercise
Physical activity increases oxidative stress, and therefore, as an antioxidant vitamin C might have particularly evident effects on people who are participating in vigorous exercise.

Stroke: Promising results of an important study published in the scientific journal Brain
Neuro-rehabilitation (physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.) helps hemaparetic stroke patients confronted with loss of motor skills on one side of their body, to recover some of their motor functions after a cerebrovascular accident.

Propranolol in proliferating infantile haemangioma: indication of major added benefit in certain patients
The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) investigated in a dossier assessment whether propranolol offers an added benefit in comparison with the appropriate comparator therapy in infants with proliferating infantile haemangioma (sometimes called "strawberry mark").

Positive study data could improve standard of care for Hodgkin lymphoma patients
In a late-stage clinical trial, Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients who received brentuximab vedotin (BV) post-transplant lived longer without disease progression than patients who received only supportive care.
More Placebo Current Events and Placebo News Articles

You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter

You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter
by Dr. Joe Dispenza (Author)


     Is it possible to heal by thought alone—without drugs or surgery? The truth is that it happens more often than you might expect. In You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo. Similarly, Dr. Joe tells of how others have gotten sick and even died the victims of a hex or voodoo curse—or after being misdiagnosed with a fatal illness. Belief can be so strong that pharmaceutical companies use double- and triple-blind randomized studies to try to exclude the power of the mind over the body when evaluating new drugs.     Dr. Joe does more than simply explore the history and the physiology of the placebo...

Placebo: A Jevin Banks Novel (The Jevin Banks Experience)

Placebo: A Jevin Banks Novel (The Jevin Banks Experience)
by Steven James (Author)


While covertly investigating a controversial neurological research program, exposé filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms. After giving up his career as an escape artist and illusionist in the wake of his wife and sons' tragic death, Jevin is seeking not only answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program, but also answers to why his family suffered as they did.

Rooted in ground-breaking science and inspired by actual research, Placebo explores the far reaches of science, consciousness, and faith. Readers will love this taut, intelligent, and emotionally gripping new thriller from master storyteller Steven James.

Placebo

Placebo
by Howard O. Pittman (Author)


Webster's dictionary defines "placebo" as a "medication prescribed more for the mental relief of a patient than for the actual effect on his disorder, or something tending to sooth." The doctors tell us that if we know we are being treated with a placebo, it does not work. In our minds we must think that it is a real medication and has the strength or power to heal. If the patient believes this, then the treatment has been known to work wonders in many cases that otherwise could not have been treated. Placebo treatment is, in fact, nothing of substance, but in the mind of the patient it is real. In order for this kind of treatment to work, the doctor must convince the patient of the work of the medication. My friend, I declare unto you that this is exact "treatment" that most...

Placebo Effects: Understanding the mechanisms in health and disease

Placebo Effects: Understanding the mechanisms in health and disease
by Fabrizio Benedetti (Author)


One of the most widespread words in medicine is placebo and placebo effect, although it is not always clear what it means exactly. Recent progress in biomedical research has allowed a better clarification of the placebo effect. We know that this is an active psychobiological phenomenon which takes place in the patient's brain and that is capable of influencing both the course of a disease and the response to a therapy.

Since publication of the first edition of this book in 2008, there has been an explosion of placebo research, and this new edition brings the topic fully up to date. Throughout, the book emphasizes that there are many placebo effects and critically reviews them in different medical conditions, such as neurological and psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular and...

You Are the Placebo Meditation 1: Changing Two Beliefs and Perceptions

You Are the Placebo Meditation 1: Changing Two Beliefs and Perceptions
by Dr. Joe Dispenza (Author)


     Dr. Joe Dispenza has created two meditation CDs—featuring different music—to accompany his book You Are the Placebo.     On this longer 56-minutedisc, Dr. Joe walks you through Meditation 1: Changing Two Beliefs and Perceptions. After introducing the open-focus technique, he then moves you into the practice of finding the present moment. When you discover the sweet spot of the present moment and you forget about yourself as the personality you have always been, you have access to other possibilities that already exist in the quantum field. That’s because you are no longer connected to the same body-mind, to the same identification with the environment, and to the same predictable timeline. In the present moment, the familiar past and the future literally no longer...

Placebo: Mind over Matter in Modern Medicine

Placebo: Mind over Matter in Modern Medicine
by Dylan Evans (Author)


Can we really cure ourselves of disease by the power of thought alone? Faith healers and alternative therapists are convinced that we can, but what does science say?

Contrary to public perception, orthodox medical opinion is remarkably confident about the healing powers of the mind. For the past fifty years, doctors have been taught that placebos such as sugar pills and water injections can relieve virtually any kind of medical condition. Yet placebos only work if you believe they work, so the medical confidence in the power of the placebo effect has provided scientific legitimacy to popular claims about the healing power of the mind.

In this intriguing exploration, Dylan Evans exposes the flaws in the scientific research into the placebo effect and reveals the limits...

Placebo Effects: Understanding the mechanisms in health and disease

Placebo Effects: Understanding the mechanisms in health and disease
by Fabrizio Benedetti (Author)


The placebo effect is one of the most widely used and familiar terms within science and medicine, yet it is not always clear just what we mean by a placebo effect.Though we might describe a placebo effect as being 'all in the mind', we now know that there is a genuine neurobiological basis to this phenomenon.
In recent years our knowledge of the neural bases of the placebo effect has developed markedly, and we now have a far better understanding of how it can influence both the course of a disease and the response to therapy. This is the first book to critically review the mechanisms of placebo and placebo-related effects across all medical conditions, diseases, and therapeutic interventions. It describes the main psychological and biological mechanisms of placebo responsiveness...

Placebo

Placebo


On August 3, 1979, Howard Pittman, a Baptist minister, suffered physical death as the result of a massive internal hemorrhage. His spirit was lifted from his body by guardian angels who led him through the Second Heaven, where he was shown the secrets of Satan’s dominion. He appeared before our Lord in the Third Heaven where he pleaded for an extension of his physical life. There God showed him what kind of life of worship and service he had really led, and Howard Pittman was graciously transformed from a Laodicean-type Christian to a Philadelphian-type Christian. (See Revelation chapter 3) He was miraculously healed and sent back to this world with a five-point message from Heaven – The Greatest News Since Pentecost!



You Are the Placebo Meditation 2: Changing One Belief and Perception

You Are the Placebo Meditation 2: Changing One Belief and Perception
by Dr. Joe Dispenza (Author)


     Dr. Joe Dispenza has created two meditation CDs—featuring different music—to accompany his book You Are the Placebo.     On this shorter 48-minutedisc, Dr.Joe walks you through Meditation 2: Changing One Belief and Perception. After introducing the open-focus technique, he then moves you into the practice of finding the present moment. When you discover the sweet spot of the present moment and you forget about yourself as the personality you have always been, you have access to other possibilities that already exist in the quantum field. That’s because you are no longer connected to the same body-mind, to the same identification with the environment, and to the same predictable timeline. In the present moment, the familiar past and the future literally no longer exist,...

El placebo eres tu (Spanish Edition)

El placebo eres tu (Spanish Edition)
by Joe Dispenza (Author)


La mente posee unas capacidades asombrosas. No solo es capaz de transformar la experiencia sino tambien de influir en la materia: tomando el control del pensamiento y las emociones podemos reprogramar nuestras celulas; poseemos la maquinaria biologica y neurologica necesaria para hacerlo. Esta es la premisa del nuevo libro de Joe Dispenza, el cientifico que salto a la fama con el impactante documental Y tu que sabes? Un placebo es una sustancia sin ningun poder farmacologico que, sin embargo, provoca un efecto positivo en el paciente. Que pasaria, pregunta Joe Dispenza, si las personas creyeran en si mismas en vez de confiar en algo externo? Apoyandose en los ultimos hallazgos cientificos, Dispenza nos ofrece infinidad de ejemplos de las posibilidades de la mente para provocar cambios. Lo...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com