July 13, 2011 |
The placebo effect is alive and well, at least for patients with acute asthma. That's the finding of a pilot study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine -- part of the National Institutes of Health -- and published in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and colleagues decided to test the placebo effect in asthma patients because it's easy to assess their physical improvement (as measured by lung function tests)
September 13, 2012 |
Acupuncture eases some kinds of chronic pain - and it's not just a placebo effect at work, researchers who looked at data from nearly 18,000 patients found. An estimated 3 million American adults get acupuncture treatments annually; still, there “remains considerable controversy as to its value,” the researchers wrote in a study published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine. But they found that for back and neck pain, chronic headache, osteoarthritis and shoulder pain, acupuncture works better than no treatment and better than “sham” acupuncture - done, for example, with needles inserted superficially or with needles that retract into the handles instead of going into the skin.
May 24, 2001 |
Surprising new evidence has called into question the existence of the "placebo effect," the widely accepted principle that people with various illnesses will often improve if given a dummy pill or a sham treatment. For 50 years, doctors have been taught that this phenomenon is partly responsible for drugs' effectiveness. Researchers have taken it into account when testing new medicines. Biologists and psychologists have searched for its cause.
April 15, 1990 |
Deep within the human mind lies a little-known power of extraordinary force. The wise men of ancient civilizations used the power to achieve remarkable feats. And now you, too, can tap into this amazing ability. If that sounds like a pitch for New Age mumbo-jumbo about holistic crystals or some such, don't be put off. It is a pitch for something at least as amazing, and, all the better, a pitch for something quite probably real.
July 12, 1999 |
For eons, doctors have advised patients to take two aspirin and call back in the morning. Now researchers are trying to find out whether the patient would do as well to skip the aspirin but, yes, call back. The placebo effect, the nonspecific reason people respond to treatments that are not proven to work on their disease--treatments as simple as talking to a doctor--has suffered from a bad reputation.
January 14, 2008 |
For decades, research physicians have furrowed their brows at the mysterious powers of a treatment known in many medical circles as Obecalp. In clinical studies, Obecalp has been shown to have occasionally remarkable effects -- and on a remarkable range of maladies. In one 2002 study at UCLA, one-third of patients reported relief from symptoms of depression (and had changes in brain function that reflected that improvement) when treated with Obecalp.