Assignment #3 - Samantha Chan
When you get sick, it is a natural instinct to search the medicine cabinet for some sort of remedy that will make you feel better. I would normally reach for a dose of Tylenol or Nyquil, depending on how bad I feel at the moment. I am definitely not a biology or health sciences major or anything so sometimes I'm curious as to what exactly is in the medicine that makes me feel better? Is it actually the medication that's helping my massive headache? Or could it just be a way of making me THINK that the medication is making things better? This state of mind is called the placebo effect.
According to an article found on the ABC News site, Dr. J. Alexander Bodkin of Mclean Hospital of Belmont, Mass, a placebo is not just a temporary remedy to curing temporary problems. Psychiatrists from UCLA have done studies where they would record the results of patients who responded to medication, non-medication (placebo), or whether they responded at all. Results showed that many of the placebo participants showed more activity in the prefrontal cortex than those who used actual medication.
In a normal case, placebo responders relapse over a short period of time. Recently, research has shown that these placebos have had long term effects. As of right now, the Food and drug administration has stated that any new psychiatric medication must be proven superior to a placebo in at least two multi-center, double-blind clinical trials.
TrackBack URL: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/163723