Aspirin from tuberculosis
In the XVI century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne wrote: “There are people for whom only the attention from the medicine right effective”. Of course, in the time of Montaigne to the placebo effect (from the Latin. placebo — “like”) were not documented and somehow studied, but about the power of suggestion people knew long before the birth of the philosopher. For example, there are cases of death from “false” of execution. The prisoner said, that the executioner cut his throat or wrists, then the unfortunate blindfolded, carried a sharp object in the neck or wrists and poured hot water to simulate the current blood. Believing in the inevitability of death, a sentenced is really dying, and flour, which they felt was similar to the symptoms of blood loss.
The healing power of suggestion. What is the placebo effect?
More or less detailed description of the placebo effect appeared in the XVIII century. In one of the German clinics, where he treated patients with tuberculosis, patients were told about the newest medication, which will help to cope with illness. During the month patients were waiting for doctors to appear a miracle drug, and then enthusiastically started the “treatment”. After some time, 80% of patients felt better, and some completely cured. However, none of the patients knew as “superlegerra” were regular aspirin.
In XVIII–XIX centuries doctors have adopted this method. Often patients were given a harmless “dummy”, calling such “treatment” is “necessary for the recovery of a lie.”
The power of thought
To understand the mechanism of the placebo effect tried modern scientists. In multiple studies it was found that under the influence of faith in the effectiveness of the proposed medicine the brain causes the cells of our body to produce substances corresponding to the action of the drug. In this case, scientists were able to measure the time during which the brain triggers this mechanism. To believe in the strength of the medicine, we need only 12 milliseconds. However, the longer the familiarization with the therapeutic action of the “dummy”, the stronger the placebo effect.
The placebo effect, or is it Possible to recover without the help of pills
It would seem that nothing could be simpler: one only has to stuff patients with “fake” pills and to convince them of the effectiveness of the proposed funds, and about all the ailments of mankind can be forgotten. Alas, on different people placebo works differently. For example, it is seen that extroverts are more prone to placebo effect. How much will manifest therapeutic effect of the “dummy” depends on the nationality of the patient and from what disease he suffers from. So, scientists found out that in Germany a placebo positively affects 59% of patients with gastric ulcer, whereas in other countries, “dummy” help an average of 36% of ulcer, and, for example, in Brazil, the placebo effect only 7% of patients with ulcer. One would assume that the Germans are very gullible. But it is not. Pill-“dummy”, ostensibly to help reduce blood pressure on the residents of Germany are much worse than for residents of other countries. Besides, it turned out that some people are genetically predisposed to test the placebo effect. For example, holders of certain group of genes most often I feel better after taking a placebo in the irritable bowel syndrome. While another group of genes enhances the effects of the pseudo-medicine in social phobia. But since such studies were conducted a bit, figure out how is the genotype of a person with a placebo effect for a particular disease, to the end failed.
Treatment without harm. What you need to know about drugs and their use?
Great tablet and your mouth happy
It turned out that the power of the placebo effect depends not only on the individual characteristics of the patient, and the “medicine”. It is proved that the expensive “dummy” are better cheaper, larger pills stronger and smaller injections more effective than pills. Matters, and even the color of the “medicine.” Yellow pills are better than others help with depression, gastric ulcer require white pills, and the green faster eliminate anxiety disorders. Thus the more often a patient takes a placebo, the result will be the effect.
On the strength of the action of pseudo-medicine affects not only the faith of the patient, but also the conviction of the doctor. In cases when doctors know that their patients take a placebo, and sincerely believe that a person gets the real medicine, improvement in health is observed more often than in cases when the medics know what to give his players a “dummy”.
Like real drugs, placebo there are side effects, when instead of improving the well-being patients experience a deterioration of health after taking a harmless “dummy”. This effect is called “nocebo” (from lat. nocebo — “harm”). Like placebo, it is based on the belief of the patient in the presence of negative effects of treatment.
In addition, patients in long placebo often experience withdrawal symptoms after they stop taking the pill, their condition is much worse.