The 'placebo effect' is studied

Nov 22, 2005

University of Michigan researchers say they are investigating the "placebo effect," in which pills with no medicinal value work in some people.

Placebos are used in studies to demonstrate whether a specific treatment is of value. Usually some patients in the research are given the medication being studied and others, a placebo.

But little is known about the types of people who tend to respond positively to placebos.

The University of Michigan Health System study involved people suffering from fibromyalgia -- a type of chronic pain typically involving tenderness, stiffness and fatigue.

"There is substantial evidence that the placebo effect has strong biological underpinnings, and that some individuals are more likely than others to demonstrate this effect," said Dr. Daniel Clauw, director of the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.

"This study suggests individuals with greater hour-to-hour and day-to-day variability in their pain may be more likely to be placebo responders," said Clauw, senior author of the paper.

It is not clear if the findings are only present in fibromyalgia, or may also be seen in other chronic pain conditions, the researchers said.

The study appears in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Apartment dwellers more likely to fear crime in their neighbourhood but feel safer at home than those in detached homes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New material puts a twist in light

1 hour ago

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have uncovered the secret to twisting light at will. It is the latest step in the development of photonics, the faster, more compact and less carbon-hungry ...

Controversial Alaska mine project wins one in Congress

2 hours ago

Supporters of the embattled Pebble Mine project in Alaska are making a desperate effort in Congress and the courts to keep it alive in the face of warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency that it could devastate ...

Recommended for you

Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

5 hours ago

(AP)—For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are preparing excavate a sinkhole-type cave in northern Wyoming that contains the ancient remains of tens of thousands of animals.

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

16 hours ago

(AP)—Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

User comments : 0