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Placebo effects are not the “power of positive thinking”

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Snow Leopard, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Even worse if he did it in the placebo group.
  2. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Clear Light
  3. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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  4. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    or my crappy memory
  5. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    links to another potentially interesting one - full text available if anyone has the time ...

    NilaJones likes this.
  6. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    I would be really really really surprised if this turned out to be true, this is a truly novel claim.

    The alternative (and simpler) explanation is what I have been proposing. (that their observations are due to other biases).
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
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  7. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Just started reading it, and it seems well controlled and measured (no self-reports). The experimenters were blinded, as far as I can see, and some of the injections were hidden ...

    Btw here is another one on naltrexone blocking the effects of placebo


    and another one, with similar findings it seems, as well as a review:

    unfortunately all of these are behind a thick paywall


    btw I would expect that placebo effects, if real in a biological sense, are totally different - not only in terms of mechanics but to the point of whether they exist at all or not - in different areas such as various types of pain/analgesia, chronic conditions or cancer etc.
    NilaJones likes this.
  8. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    What!? You, too? ;)
  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I looked into some of the claims from that book. Dodgy and spun data. Don't trust imo.

    Lies, incompetence, foolishness, mystical thinking and maybe an occasional bit of truth imo. Very difficult to know.

    This SBM article had a number of things relevant to PACE imo.

    Hard vs soft measures generally, and also this would seem comparable to the change from bimodal to likert scoring for the Chalder Fatigue Scale:

    Did anyone sport a reference to the claim that pain free is a 'harder' outcome that reductions on a scale of pain?

    Expectation effects are all screwy with PACE, as after they measured patient expectations, they then told those receiving CBT and GET that these treatments had been shown to be effective.

    I often wish SBM posts were more thoroughly referenced so that I could steal their references!
    Valentijn likes this.
  10. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    @natasa778Those studies used Naloxone (not Naltrexone): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naloxone
    I'm guessing that is what you meant to say.

    It does a number of interesting things, not limited to opioid receptor binding.

    What has been shown is that Naloxone can increase pain sensitivity where the opioid system is involved with blocking pain.

    What has not been shown is that the placebo effect in these studies is mediated by a substantial upregulation of endogenous endorphins (compared to no treatment) and that this effect is therefore blocked by blocking these endorphins (with Naloxone).

    There was in fact a study that tested this with a control group:
    http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/65/5/786.short
    Another interesting study that noted the effect of the social context on the measured placebo effect:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16813849

    The placebo effect (on pain) will continue to be an interesting hypothesis (only) so long as the method of action is unknown. I personally wonder why there haven't been more proper controlled studies investigating various levels of endogenous endorphins or other related factors.
    But I guess it is much easier just to do a simply pain threshold study, hand out a few questionnaires and be done with it because no one seems to be asking difficult questions anyway. (sound familiar).
    NilaJones likes this.

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