Main > Articles about health> Effect of placebo: 6 interesting facts

Effect of placebo: 6 interesting facts

The phenomenon of improvement of a condition of the patients at administration of drugs who are not containing active agents, so-called effect of placebo is known long ago. At the end of the 18th century the American doctor Perkins began to treat people the "miracle" sticks made of alloy of steel and brass. Was for several minutes to press such subject enough to a sore point that it became much easier for the patient. Having suspected Perkins of charlatanism, his colleagues tried to repeat "miracle" by means of the sticks made of a tree, a bone and other materials. To their surprise, the effect was analogous: the general condition of patients improved, the pain syndrome disappeared. Doctors drew a conclusion that the reason of therapeutic action consisted not in sticks, and in psychology of patients who expected relief of the sufferings and trusted doctors. Since then the effect of placebo was repeatedly investigated. The mechanism of its work is found not up to the end out also today, but scientists saved up a lot of interesting information on this phenomenon.

Эффект плацебо: что это и как действует?

1. Action at the physical level

Initially was considered that the effect of placebo is purely psychological: hoping for improvement of the state, the patient just begins to transfer unpleasant symptoms of an illness easier. The researches conducted on volunteers showed that the situation is not absolutely so. Certainly, to stop inflammatory process or to splice a change, accepting only baby's dummies, it is impossible, but it is quite capable to kill the pain caused by the objective reasons (for example, administration of special drugs) placebo-drug. It turned out that reception of such "medicine" by the person who considers that this present soothing, causes the increased development by a brain of the endorphines weakening pain.

2. Placebo injection and similar tablets

Many people are convinced that treatment by means of injections is much more effective, than reception of tablets of similar structure (by the way, it is right not always). Such opinion is brightly shown also at placebo use. It is proved that people to whom the empty drug is administered in the form of pricks lighten much quicker, than the patients accepting placebo tablet or capsules.

3. Converse effect

Investigating a placebo phenomenon, scientists assumed that also the opposite effect is possible: at the patients accepting the real drugs, but convinced that they are given a baby's dummy, weakening of symptoms of an illness should not occur. It completely was confirmed. Means, the psychological spirit and degree of trust of the patient to the doctor play the main role in operation of placebo.

4. Effect placebo and "branded" drugs

It is known that most of people trust widely advertized drugs of the famous producers more, than to their analogs made by less promoted firms. With placebo the situation is in the same way: patients feel relief of symptoms quicker if they are given the empty tablets laid in packagings with markings of the well-known brands.

Similarly the phenomenon of placebo is shown when the patient is convinced that it accepts very expensive drug, unlike the neighbor who is "treated" cheap means of the same structure.

5. Success of placebo operations

Surprisingly, but not only placebo medicine, but also the surgeries imitating the real intervention possess medical action. The Finnish doctors moved such researches on patients for whom the help in recovery of the injured cartilaginous tissues was required. Did to a half of patients only cuts of blankets of skin under a local anesthesia, and did not even touch the broken-off cartilages. Nevertheless, healing of damages happened almost to the same intensity, as well as at really operated patients. The similar experiment was made with participation of people for whom operation on reconstruction of sites of a backbone was required, and the phenomenon was shown in the same degree.

Успех плацебо-операций

6. Effect of placebo on condition of awareness of the patient

As it is not strange, it turned out that the effect of placebo works even when the patient knows that actually he is not treated. It became clear during the next experiment: chose two groups of the patients suffering from a syndrome of the angry intestines. In one of them did not appoint any medicines, and to participants another was given by empty tablets on which packagings the word "placebo" was written. Explained to people that just check psychological influence of the harmless substance which does not have any medicinal properties for them. Despite it, at patients from the second group unpleasant symptoms decreased, and validly it became easier for them.

Studying of effect of placebo continues. It is possible to think that scientists true curiosity, but it not so moves. If the mystery of a phenomenon is solved, physicians will have powerful tools of impact on the potential of self-healing of an organism which will help to replace many existing treatment methods on more effective and safe.

Whether you know that:

During life the average person develops neither more nor less two big pools of saliva.