Monday, September 10, 2012

Study Shows That Placebo Response Occurs at Nonconscious Level

New findings demonstrate an important role for the unconscious mind in pain perception

With the discovery that the unconscious mind plays a key role in the placebo effect, researchers have identified a novel mechanism that helps explain the power of placebos and nocebos.

Described in the September 10 on-line issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the new findings demonstrate that the placebo effect can be activated outside of conscious awareness, and provide an explanation for how patients can show clinical improvement even when they receive treatments devoid of active ingredients or of known therapeutic efficacy.

Link to full Beth Israel/Deaconess release on study led by BI Deaconess/MGH investigator Karin Jensen.

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