Julie Rehmeyer's 'Through the Shadowlands'
Writer Never Give Up talks about Julie Rehmeyer's new book "Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand" and shares an interview with Julie ...
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Placebo, Are You There?

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by A.B., Feb 27, 2015.

  1. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  2. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Thanks, it's an interesting article.
    I might need to re-read it another time but in general I didn't find anything particularly surprising.

    It's interesting to discriminate between the natural course of the health problem and the other non-specific effects, but studies targeted at quantifying the placebo-effect have already taken this in consideration.

    I've found the comments about placebo in Parkinson's contradictory:

    But In the next paragraph:
    How is a PET scan not an objective test?

    In general the article seems to be playing a lot with definitions and subtle semantics. Maybe this is important in the medical field in order to establish clear definitions for the observed phenomena but for general understanding I don't find this to be particularly relevant.

    If you check Wikipedia's definition, you'll find a similar definition:

    Meaning that placebo is an umbrella term that includes the whole healing ritual: the setting, the consultation, the relationship with the healer, the "placebo object" etc...

    Given this definition I find it particularly difficult to study the difference between placebo and "doing nothing" (i.e. natural course of the disease), because even the act of participating in a study with no treatment, being examined and having to report subjective parameters could alter the results.
     
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  3. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I would think it's because a PET scan is not diagnostic for certain conditions. In other words, if one were to look at a PET scan would you be able to say definitively that a certain condition caused what you see? What you see may be indicative of several conditions.

    Barb
     
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  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    australia (brisbane)
    i havent read the article yet, but the amount of crap that we all try we should be cured if placebo was high amongst all as mecfsers.
     
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  5. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    This study seems pretty clear about increased dopamine production via placebo expectation:
    http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/gerstman/StatPrimer/delaFeunte-Fernandez.pdf

    cheers
     
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  6. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    LOL :D I thought the same.
    It's my understanding that placebo effect can vary dramatically from subject to subject and it is not applicable to many health issues. Similar to hypnosis which has a range of efficacy and works best on some people, while it has minimal or no effect on others.

    Generalizing is probably not going to give us the full picture.
     
  7. horsebox

    horsebox

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    Lucid dreaming gives you a good intuitive understanding of the placebo effect. If I take drugs in non lucid dreams, I get high. If I take them in lucid dreams, nothing. In dreams you theoretically know you should be able to do anything, but try walking through a wall if you haven't done it before. Its not so simple cuz your subconscious is programmed to make phasing through walls impossible. You have to KNOW 100% that you can do something to overide this self imposed limitation. I usually accidentally overide them when I become lucid in the middle of a non lucid dream where I'm doing something impossible. Pretty hard to doubt you can do something when you're doing it. Its like teaching a kid to cycle a bicycle, the easiest way is to hold them up then let them go without them realising it, by the time they turn around and find out theres nobody holding them, they've overridden their self imposed limitation.

    How do we consciously utilise this principle, thats what I'm trying to figure out.
     
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  8. horsebox

    horsebox

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    I hadn't had any success with hypnosis until I tried being hypnotised while on NMDA antagonists (a strong one, similar to PCP). Alcohol is well known to enhance peoples hypnotisability, my theory is that its dissociative properties are to thank for that. Didn't surprise me that real dissociatives enhance hypnotisability for me. I only tried that experiment once so I can't make any real conclusions from it.
     
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  9. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    It seems to me this could be a reporting bias rather than necessarily a true improvement.
     
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  10. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    I'm not convinced they've proved anything about functional diseases specifically. What they are probably referring to are symptoms which can occur in all sorts of conditions.

    They haven't shown that for example overall level of activity can be improved in functional conditions in this way.
     
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