Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Article Banner
Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

Improving with Placebos

separator Recent study results help explain the so-called "placebo effect," in which people who take sugar pills during clinical trials often show some improvement. Participants in a recent study showed brain responses both to depression medication and to placebos (sugar pills), but the responses were actually quite different.

In the study, 51 participants took either antidepressant medications or a placebo. They then underwent brain imaging tests, which revealed changes in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain associated with mood regulation.

Interestingly, people taking antidepressants experienced brain changes within 48 hours, and the change related to a decrease in activity in that area. For placebo takers, it took two weeks for the change to become noticeable, and the change was an increase in activity.

At eight weeks, participants experienced improved moods, whether they were taking actual medication or placebo. Than, when participants taking placebos were told they were not actually on medication, most of them experienced a deterioration of mood. Many of these patients ended up taking actual antidepressants.

Study researchers speculate that simply the act of going and getting some kind of treatment may be as important a step as taking the drug itself.

American Journal of Psychiatry, 1 January 2002.
follow us online
facebook youtube

Contact us
Home  |  Sitemap

Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
Copyright ©2016 Mercy. Last modified 9/27/2010