BY THE WAY

Science Illustrated - - SCIENCE UPDATE -

NEWS FLASH!

The placebo e ect works, even if pa­tients know about it, ac­cord­ing to a new study of peo­ple with chronic con­di­tions. They felt bet­ter af­ter con­sum­ing placebo, though they knew it was a "fake drug".

And talk­ing of placebo ...

The placebo ef­fect has been doc­u­mented to reg­u­late a se­ries of bod­ily func­tions. Pa­tients have ex­pe­ri­enced that fake drugs have re­lieved heart trou­ble and asthma.

Doc­tors also per­form placebo surgery. Sur­geons cut into the pa­tient, as if they are about to carry out tra­di­tional surgery – but they leave out the most im­por­tant in­ci­sion.

The ef­fect of placebo pills re­mains a mys­tery to sci­en­tists. Ac­cord­ing to one the­ory, a pa­tient, who ex­pects a spe­cific ef­fect of a pill, will change his be­hav­iour to achieve the ef­fect.

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