Does Placebo Still Work?

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A placebo is an 'imposter' medical treatment (often in the form of a pill or other substance) that looks just like the treatment that the patient would normally receive except that the imposter has no medical benefits whatsoever. The placebo effect is where the condition of the subject who unknowingly receives a sham treatment improves due to the expectancy of the actual treatments benefits. Placebos often take the form of sugar pills or salt water solutions injected into patients. A negative placebo response, or nacebo effect, occurs when the mere suggestion of the negative effects of a treatment leads to actual negative response. For example, in some cases a patient who has been told by a surgeon that a procedure will be extremely painful report more pain than patients who underwent the same procedure but were not told about the pain they would potentially endure.
After reading about placebo and nacebo effect I immediately asked myself a question. If an individual is aware of the existence placebo pills in the medical profession, is it still possible for a placebo effect to take place? Would our knowledge of the placebo effect our expectations about treatment?


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