HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Brain scans show how placebo eases pain

ANN ARBOR, MI - Researchers have produced the strongest evidence yet that placebo--or the mere expectation of relief, with no real treatment--causes physical changes in how the brain responds to pain. Their report appears in the Feb. 20 issue of Science.

In two related studies at the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System, University of Michigan and Princeton University, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map changes in blood flow in the brains of volunteers. The volunteers were subjected to harmless but occasionally painful electric shocks or heat. When they believed an anti-pain cream had been applied to their arm, they rated the pain as less intense--and the pain circuits in their brain showed less activity.

Doctors have long recognized the power of placebo to make patients feel better. But scientists are unsure why it works, and whether nerve pathways are actually affected. The new studies provide the first scans documenting the changes induced by placebo in the brain's pain pathways.

"We've shown what the old family doctor knew very well--that his interaction with the patient made a great difference in the effectiveness of whatever treatment he was giving," said one of the researchers, Kenneth L. Casey, MD, who has studied pain for three decades. Casey is a neurology consultant for VA and a professor at the University of Michigan. Lead author was Tor D. Wager, MD, a graduate student at the University of Michigan when the research was conducted.

Researchers have performed brain experiments with fMRI since the early 1990s. It uses the technology of MRI--radio waves and a strong magnetic field--to show regions of the brain where blood vessels are widening, extra oxygen is being delivered, or other chemical changes are occurring. These are signs that an area of the brain is busy at work. By taking fMRI images as patients perform different tasks, researchers learn which areas of the brain
'"/>

Contact: Bonnie Johnson
bonnie.johnson3@med.va.gov
734-761-7910
VA Research Communications Service
19-Feb-2004


Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Brain activity prior to treatment flags vulnerability to antidepressant side effects
2. Brain imaging study may hold clues to onset of schizophrenia in people at high risk
3. Brain imaging reveals secrets of love, fear and betrayal
4. Brain imaging studies investigate pain reduction by hypnosis
5. Brain tumor with dismal prognosis in infants can be cured in older children
6. Brain-scanning technologies need standards, according to Stanford researcher
7. Brain activity of men and women during hostile or impulsive acts differs less on nicotine
8. Brain synapse formation linked to proteins, Stanford study finds
9. Brain tumor treatment can vary greatly, according to new JAMA study
10. Brain region identified that controls collecting behavior
11. Brain imaging reveals new language circuits

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/7/2020)... ... , ... Dr. Louis M. DeJoseph is proud to announce that ... It is now possible to receive Keravive treatments from HydraFacial at the Premier Image ... is able to provide clients with the best services to help them look and ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... ... memory impairment, has announced the Best Memory Care Facilities in Charleston, South Carolina. ... facility features and amenities. , According to the Alzheimer’s Association , ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 02, 2020 , ... ... dental offices for non-emergency work. In conjunction with the American Dental Association and ... dental practices in mid-May. , Due to safety concerns, the announcement sparked ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... that it has been selected by Codiak BioSciences to support its cleanroom build ... provide the cleanroom infrastructure for the drug substance and product manufacturing for its ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... 2020 , ... The Coronavirus pandemic created shortages in Personal ... of top-quality masks, sanitizers and thermometers, Trusted PPE is a woman and minority-owned ... “All of our masks are manufactured to medical standards in FDA-certified factories, which ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... ... To support those on the front-lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Las ... the employees of Southern Nevada Health District. WGC Las Vegas will be feeding front-line ... , When asked why the Women of Global Change felt it was so important ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 07, 2020 , ... Halifax-based startup, ... as a hair service provider. Now called Bright, the company has launched a ... offering includes beauty amenities as well as an array of well-being services that ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... 02, 2020 , ... AllenComm, the leader in transformative learning experiences , ... visually compelling compliance training , onboarding , brand training , and ... industry expectations as a digital transformation partner for learning and development experts. , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: