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Placebo effect

Articles (1 - 6 of 6)

How much of an ice bath is a placebo? Andreas Nilsson/Flickr

Ice bath after exercise? The benefits might be in your head

Whether an athlete has endured the repeated joint stresses of a marathon run, or the relentless battery of hits during a football match, many will opt for a post-activity polar plunge into an ice-cold…
Vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea are common chemotherapy side effects that can be so severe that patients may refuse further treatment. Emergency Brake/Flickr

Why placebos for chemotherapy side effects are hard to swallow

It’s unthinkable to give a placebo to someone to treat their cancer, but could we use one to treat chemotherapy’s well-known side effects? Unfortunately, we may never be able to answer this question because…
A growing body of research suggests placebos may be as good as real drugs for treating depression. Victor/Flickr

Antidepressants may be no better than a placebo, so why take them?

Seventeenth-century Oxford scholar Robert Burton’s lifework, The Anatomy of Melancholy, weighs in at a door-stopping 1,400 pages. But his cure for the “Black Choler” of depression came down to just six…
Placebos have played an important part in medicine for two centuries. jared/ flickr

To understand placebo, first take it out of medicine’s black box

Placebos have a longer history than medicine as we know it, and have a huge effect on all kinds of diseases and health conditions. But it may now be time to rethink their role. The placebo made its debut…
Placebo treatments can be effective in treating some conditions by the “self-healing” capabilities of the brain. melancolie en velours/Flickr

Mind over matter? The ethics of using the placebo effect

There’s good evidence showing expectations to get better have significant effects on how patients suffering a variety of ailments feel. This is called the placebo effect from the original meaning in Latin…
Despite placebos’ reputation as worthless therapy, many medical practitioners still use them. FML/Wikimedia Commons

Not just smoke and mirrors: placebo’s place in modern medicine

Belief is a powerful medicine but the term “placebo” has negative connotations. In modern evidence-based medicine, treatments considered worthless are described as no better than placebos. But this description…

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