a beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.(Source – Google)
Placebo effect is taken into account in every drugs trial procedure that aims to see how effective a substance can improve the health of a patient. This usually take the form of a control, a substance which in itself has no proven effect on the subject that would be similar to the effects of the drug, however neither the patient or the doctors in some cases are aware of which of the substances is the placebo, it is usually quite amazing how much of an effect the placebo can have.
However it can be said that although drug trials that usually include the presents of many people in many groups have proven the validity of the placebo effect, this shows nothing about how the effect has a relevance in the individual case of a patient or the exact physical or physiological effects.
It is thought that the placebo effect occurs by encouraging the release of naturally synthesised drugs by the body, these include substances such as dopamine. This was first studied when the power of the placebo effect was investigated in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The findings of the study were published in a paper entitled Expectation and Dopamine release mechanism of the placebo effect in Parkinson’s disease’ showed that “the placebo effect in PD is powerful and is mediated through activation of the damaged nigrostriatal dopamine system”.
Weather or not we ever actually find out how this phenomenon work one thing we can know it that its effects have been proven and therefore can and should be used in every part of medicine to improve the recovery of patients.
Thanks for reading!