19 April 2011

Placebo Effect Works in Reverse Too

Belief is powerful, and a bit of new research concludes that what you expect on a drug could affect just how well the drug works for you. It seems that the placebo effect works in the opposite direction also.Participating in the study who take a substance inert (pill sugar, distilled water, saline solution), believing a drug and to benefit, have experienced what the researchers call "placebo effect". More you believe that you will receive, the better are the chances that you will actually see a tangible benefit.A new study finds that the reverse might also be the case - your level of pain might be influenced by the belief that you are given more (or less) of a drug powerful, even when the dose has not changed.For research, researchers give 22 volunteers in good health, an opioid analgesic and then tested the effect of the drug by changing beliefs of the patient in the outcome of the treatment. Subjects were placed in scanners MRI, an IV began, and then the heat applied to their legs, causing pain. The heat was set at a level that has the rating of the levels of pain in approximately 70% of subjects possible. At this time volunteers have given the medication analgesics, but nothing learned.At this stage, pain has dropped from 66 to 55 on this 100 level rating system. Researchers then informed the subjects that the drug had just started (even though they had already received the drug), and as you'd, pain levels fell slightly, for only 39 points. Interesting that the levels of pain for the subjects went up when they were informed that the pain had been interrupted ("nocebo" effect).To learn more about the effect nocebo, neurologists said then the subjects that they were ceasing to administer the drug, and they may begin to experience higher levels of pain, even if the drug was still administered. At this stage in the experience, the level of pain of the subject has increased to an average score of 64 out of 100. If the pain was right back up in place, it is before any drug that had been given.MRI at each point of the experiment showed different levels of brain activity according to the expectations of the subject of pain or relief of pain. To those who have been informed that they were receiving the analgesic drugs, sections of the brain which were incurred make it more difficult for the pain signals reach the brain or spinal cord.This suggests that a physician must be aware of the beliefs of a patient on a drug - both positive and negative - according to researchers. It is from this work that the expectations of the affect of the drug, an influence on its therapeutic effectiveness. If after positive expectancy has doubled the analgesic effects of the drugs used. While negative expectancy completely abolished the analgesic effect.Fascinating that this scheme was discovered in the initiation of the areas of the brain identified as being involved in the sensation of pain intensity.The work to open a new field of research - linking drug and patient personalities and expectations. The reverse effect of placebo findings also have an impact on clinical practice - beliefs, expectations and past experiences with the treatments of patients should be evaluated and integrated into the plan of treatment for any condition.