Latest Issue of Science News

cover 3/7

News

Placebos are dead, long live placebos

By
5:44pm, September 11, 2001

A growing body of research suggests that placebos–inactive substances used as sham medications–can alone improve the health of at least some patients (SN: 2/3/01, p. 74: Medicinal Mimicry). Controversy over that claim intensified after researchers analyzed many past studies and reported in the May 24 New England Journal of Medicine that the so-called placebo effect simply reflects the waxing and waning of disease.

Now, a study provides new evidence for the placebo effect and suggests a mechanism through which placebos might benefit patients with Parkinson's disease.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News