The power of the placebo effect – Emma Bryce
09
October

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


In 1996, 56 volunteers took part
in a study to test a new painkiller called
Trivaricaine. On each subject, one index finger
was covered in the new painkiller while the other remained untouched. Then, both were squeezed
in painful clamps. The subjects reported that the treated
finger hurt less than the untreated one. This shouldn’t be surprising, except Trivaricaine wasn’t actually
a painkiller, just a fake concotion
with no pain-easing properties at all. What made the students so sure
this dummy drug had worked? The answer lies in the placebo effect, an unexplained phenomenon wherein drugs, treatments, and therapies
that aren’t supposed to have an effect, and are often fake, miraculously make people feel better. Doctors have used the term placebo
since the 1700s when they realized the power of
fake drugs to improve people’s symptoms. These were administered when proper drugs
weren’t available, or if someone imagined they were ill. In fact, the word placebo
means “I shall please” in Latin, hinting at a history of placating
troubled patients. Placebos had to mimic the real treatments
in order to be convincing, so they took the form of sugar pills, water-filled injections, and even sham surgeries. Soon, doctors realized that duping people
in this way had another use: in clinical trials. By the 1950s, researchers were using
placebos as a standard tool to test new treatments. To evaluate a new drug, for instance, half the patients in a trial might receive
the real pill. The other half would get a placebo
that looked the same. Since patients wouldn’t know whether
they’d received the real thing or a dud, the results wouldn’t be biased, researchers believed. Then, if the new drug showed a significant
benefit compared to the placebo, it was proved effective. Nowadays, it’s less common to use placebos
this way because of ethical concerns. If it’s possible to compare a new drug
against an older version, or another existing drug, that’s preferable to simply giving
someone no treatment at all, especially if they have a serious ailment. In these cases, placebos are often used
as a control to fine-tune the trial so that the effects of the new versus
the old or alternative drug can be precisely compared. But of course, we know the placebos
exert their own influence, too. Thanks to the placebo effect, patients have experienced relief
from a range of ailments, including heart problems, asthma, and severe pain, even though all they’d received
was a fake drug or sham surgery. We’re still trying to understand how. Some believe that instead of being real, the placebo effect is merely confused
with other factors, like patients trying to please doctors
by falsely reporting improvements. On the other hand, researchers think that if a person
believes a fake treatment is real, their expectations of recovery actually
do trigger physiological factors that improve their symptoms. Placebos seem to be capable of causing
measurable change in blood pressure, heart rate, and the release of pain-reducing
chemicals, like endorphins. That explains why subjects in pain studies
often say placebos ease their discomfort. Placebos may even reduce levels
of stress hormones, like adrenaline, which can slow the harmful effects
of an ailment. So shouldn’t we celebrate
the placebo’s bizarre benefits? Not necessarily. If somebody believes a fake treatment
has cured them, they may miss out on drugs
or therapies that are proven to work. Plus, the positive effects
may fade over time, and often do. Placebos also cloud clinical results, making scientists even
more motivated to discover how they wield such power over us. Despite everything we know about
the human body, there are still some strange
and enduring mysteries, like the placebo effect. So what other undiscovered marvels
might we contain? It’s easy to investigate the world
around us and forget that one of its most
fascinating subjects lies right behind our eyes.


100 thoughts on “The power of the placebo effect – Emma Bryce

  1. I was at a restaurant and it was late and my mom was like if you drink a bit of my Coke and your Dr.Pepper you should feel better I did, and i felt better. Then she's like lol i placebo effected u because r/thathappened

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  3. Placebo effect = the law of attraction
    The law of attraction is a universal law where what you think or want will affect what happens
    For more info, get the book The Secret it talks about this law

  4. (I'm not so religious, but I believe in this one)
    "Jesus once said, you can move a mountain with just only the power of your mind, if you believe enough about it."
    Since I don't believe in that I can (move a mountain with just my mind), I can't.

  5. Brain: ok I took a drug
    Subconscious: Let me get that for ya

    Brain: I took a drug that won't work

    Subconscious: Well that's less work for me then

  6. It's just controlling our unconscious mind with our conscious one to act physically but it's still too weak some people can stop there hearts with there consciousness imagen what we could do if we could fully control our minds we could dream while awake we could build anything in our body we could remove pain in some cases pain is important we will be imortal

  7. Q: I wonder why when we say we want to buy new car for example, the old car will started to broke down/ have problem with it as it's sulk with the owner. It is placebo effect?

  8. And so to unravel the process I began the project years back. And it's time to realize how powerful the brain is!!!

  9. Everybody I know this is self promoting but if you feel nice can you drop a sub on my channel don't even watch the vids I just need the subs. 🙂

  10. This reminded me of an episode in Disastrous Life of Saiki K., wherein Mera beg him and Nendou to participate in such experiment.

  11. this is why i believe i can be what i need to be. now you know it may trigger " secret ability ". it's not just placebo . i give you clue here to see what happen next . you know cause i'm curious if you actually tried to trigger something "secret".because you know maybe worth it just ahem don't ahem touch the ahem ahem memory .

  12. I'm depressed af but I say I'm fine to everyone and yet I don't feel any "fine" in me, it worse, it's killing me

  13. As a child, i used to believe my saliva has a healing power. I put it on insect bites and scratches. I sometimes have a lick when no one is looking.

  14. First time i heard about the word 'dud' was in T.V show named "Fargo", where this female character was confused about the authenticity of medication for cancer.

  15. Someone told me to help them pick up a heavy plant and all I did was lift it with my finger so I wouldn't tip over and was surprised because they couldn't even lift it up at first

  16. I'm pretty sure the placebo dffect is slightly to do with habit. As in, we get better because previously we would get better when given this treatment, and so our body is "used to" getting some sort of boost when given an injection, etc.

    I think doing a trial to see if how many injections and treatments (BEFOREHAND, not during, we know that more pills taken means they get more better) affects how well the patient reacts to the placebo would be good.

  17. They should give drug addicts placebos so they don’t have any harm done and they don’t have any withdrawal circumstances

  18. I've known this effect from when I was like 10. I've always had my own theory of this. If you act and tell yourself you're having fun whilst smiling over and over you just 'trick' yourself onto believing your having a fun time. But your atmosphere has got to suit what you're trying to achieve though. (I'm 12)

  19. I hv severe chronic pain, I LOVE the placebo effect!!! Just wish i could figure out a way to take full advantage of it!

  20. So basically we can just say that a burn doesn’t hurt instead of thinking it is…..

    Why is human nature like this?

  21. So when I pretend I’m sick and just fake throw up and fake a fever the placebo effect is why my mother believes me?

  22. ''Illusion is half the disease, reassurance is half the medicine, and patience is the first healing steps''
    ibn sinna (year 990.AD)

  23. The cells obey the brain. So when we think that we can be healed even without medicine, our cells will automatically heal ourselves. Patients are being fooled that the medicine they are drinking will heal them. Without knowing that it is not true, they still believe that a particular type of medicine that they are taking will make them healed. That's the placebo effect.

  24. Anti vaxxers be like "weeellll essential oils are keeping me and my family healthy from those disease so there is no use for vaccines. Plus VaCciNeS GiVe yOu ThE DiSeASe"

  25. First of all, you got the VCR text at the wrong place (It goes top left, Not bottom right), Second, VCR text is all white, Third, There aren't icons next to VCR text!!

  26. If you tell yourself you slept well and you have lots of energy enough times till you believe it you will in fact have more energy

  27. In my school lots of kids tried to skip pe classes saying that they were hurt/have a headache/ had something, so the nurse would take a very strong and bad tasting tea, put some drops of blue/red/green colored water and tell us to take it, if we were better after that she would just laugh and send ya back to classes. The tea was so bad that it was believable that there was medicine in it

  28. This video is either from the stone age or the publisher of this video is working for a pharma company. . . The placebo effect works on all that "BELIEVE " . . . BELIEF has worked like with kids get hurt n they dont believe it will last n broken bones don't become life long handicaps or some go for god, jesus, chi, buda, or carma they all seem to work depending upon the level of BELIEF One . Its crazy to think we're magical beings. . Ill tell u what angles being jealous that we were given this power is more believable than after billions of years his most beloved and loyal, loving and faithful angels denounced god cause "how dear u also love humans too" well so the book of half truths mind u the Vatican is holding #12__ 2-6 inch thick books of the bible not to be seen by the public for fear of us all just killing OURSELVES cause its just to much. . .. . But thats what the book says

  29. it's all about belief changing matter . if you truly believe you can fly YOU CAN ! you have to do if from the top of a tall building though , come on show some faith ….

  30. A hospital near my house did the exact same thing but they only did so once someone claimed to have been possessed by supernatural entities

  31. If placebo does not exist, than "witch doctor" and "supernatural" would not be a thing.. Hear me right though, I'm saying they exist but they are not real. People be cray cray.
    1.Cray Cray Good = as long as you don't hurt anyone, who cares.

    2. Cray Cray Bad = Mental Hospital with huge metal bars is that way —->

  32. "it's easy to investigate the world around us and forget that one of its most fascinating subjects lies right behind our eyes." 👌💙

  33. This video es very interesting because they placebo efect is very common since people get suggested too much therefore a psychological disease is created for those people I believe it's good place a place to calm your non-existent ownership and do not treat them with real medicine and damage some kind of organ.

  34. Probably the use of drugs that have no biological action is more common because today we have to reduce the administration of some antibiotics and we can compense this with a better and strict care. Is not only psychological but yes you have to believe

  35. The use of the antibiotics can be reaplace sometimes for placebos because our maind influences in our body.
    A healthy maind is a healthy body.

    However the placebo effect is not enough and is neccesary the use of the drugs.

  36. I learned how to placebo myself when I was younger by telling myself "I don't need to feel pain" over and over if I scraped my knee or something until I didn't feel any more pain. I had no clue what the placebo effect was.

  37. I appreciate that the animators went out of their way to hammer home that yes, the experiment was definitely conducted in the 90s.

  38. This is like subliminal videos. Subliminals can have the power to actually like make your nose straighter, make you skinnier, etc. It’s all of the messages behind the music that only your subconscious should hear that’s doing that. It’s basically like if someone keeps hearing that their sooo pretty even though their not, they’ll still think they are

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