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View Diary: The Golden Age of Placebo (23 comments)

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  •  Tipped and recc'd; thanks for the insight. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Van Buren, BYw, JG in MD, Oh Mary Oh

    When I first heard about the placebo effect, it didn't make sense to me.  How do medical researchers test whether there is a placebo effect?  Do they give the fake placebos to the control group?

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:33:52 PM PDT

    •  That's exactly how they do it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, greengemini

      And if you read the fine print of some of these drug studies, the placebo is more effective with fewer side effects. Big Pharma is as guilty of quackery as are some of the promoters of alternative cures. People could save a lot of money and grief by taking up yoga or meditation.

      The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

      by beltane on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:41:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's a very strange phenomenon (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DustyMathom, houyhnhnm, BYw, greengemini

        I worked for a while for a biotech company that made drugs for extremely serious asthma - the kind of asthma that disables someone, makes them unable to work. And I recall that one of our studies showed a rather stunning placebo effect.  The drug was still more effective, but the size of the placebo effect was considered unusual. This isn't the sort of disorder one would think would be subject to such an effect - but then again, serious asthma is an autoimmune disorder, and perhaps there is a psychological component in the autoimmune process.

        I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

        by decembersue on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:56:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Basically yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw

      though ideally there is "real pill", a "fake pill" and "no pill" group.   You hope that the improvement stacks up in that same order.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:41:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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