Can we harness the mind to reduce side-effects and slash drug costs?
The placebo effect seems to make little sense: get ill, take a dummy pill, and you'll recover in much the same way as someone taking real drugs. While there have been many theories bandied about over the years to explain how it works, new evidence suggests that it may be genetic.
The placebo effect seems to make no sense: get mildly ill, take a dummy pill without knowing it's ineffective, and you'll recover in much the same way as someone taking real drugs. But new evidence suggests that we might have evolved the placebo effect to save energy.
The placebo effect is so strange and mysterious, how can fake pills trick ourselves out into feeling better? This video explains all the interesting properties of a placebo, like how one placebo can be half as effective as aspirin while another placebo can be half as effective as morphine. Watch it. [Laughing Squid]
NixVAX was supposed to be this magical vaccine that helped smokers kick the habit. Awesome, right? Yeah! Too bad it doesn't work. In testing NicVAX, researchers found that it performed no different than a placebo. As in, it did nothing.
Neuroscientists have conducted a study showing spinal-cord neural activity when individuals were convinced that their pain would be alleviated by a cream treatment. This activity shows where the Placebo Effect occurs and how gullible volunteer test subjects can be.