Greater response to placebo in children than in adults

August 12, 2008

In a systematic review of antiepileptic drugs, Philippe Ryvlin (of the Hospices Civils de Lyon, France) and colleagues show that children with drug-resistant partial epilepsy enrolled in trials seem to have a greater response to placebo than adults enrolled in such trials. This finding is an important factor to consider when designing drug trials to be carried out in children with epilepsy.

These findings are discussed by Terry Klassen, from the University of Alberta, and his colleagues – who were not involved in the research. Klassen and colleagues comment on the "relatively weak evidence base informing medical care in children compared with adults". They argue that there is a pressing need for more clinical trials research in children, but caution that such studies must be carefully designed and reported in order to provide valid results.

Citation: Rheims S, Cucherat M, Arzimanoglou A, Ryvlin P(2008) Greater response to placebo in children than in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis in drugresistant partial epilepsy. PLoS Med 5(8): e166.

Source: Public Library of Science

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not rated yet Aug 12, 2008
One would presume that placebo testing on children operates within tighter constraints than adults and thus the severity of the patients condition would be to a lesser degree and therefor e more susceptible to voodoo effects.

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