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Placebo Effect May Work in Reverse
Date:2/17/2011

of neurology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, said the study shows that patient expectation can have an impact on outcomes.

"What this teaches doctors is that you have to do a great job of educating patients about their treatments, and also limit false or negative expectations," he said. "If we do that our outcomes would be much better and, I think, patients would be more satisfied with the treatments they are getting."

The findings may also point to ways of harnessing the brain to improve treatments.

"People have talked about bottling the placebo response," Nahab said. "This is our first indication of how we might bottle that placebo response. If we could go into some of these regions and figure out if we could change them, we might be able to enhance the efficacy of any medication or any treatment, and that's really the huge part of this work."

More information

For more information on pain management, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Ulrike Bingel, M.D., department of neurology, University of Hamburg Medical Center, Germany; Fatta B. Nahab, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami; Feb. 16, 2011, Science Translational Medicine


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