In the efforts to treat the many diseases and illnesses that afflict humanity, medical researchers are constantly seeking more effective techniques and medications. To determine whether a newly developed treatment is more effective than existing treatments, researchers must perform testing. Such tests involve comparing whether use of the treatment benefits patients more than giving a fake treatment. The fake treatment provided is called a placebo.
While we would logically think that patients receiving a fake treatment would obtain no benefit, many decades of research have found that this is not the case. The term “placebo effect” exists because, in many situations, patients receive measurable health benefits during the course of fake treatment. Though medical research has long viewed the existence of the “placebo effect” as an undesirable consequence of measuring treatment effectiveness, research in the past decade has begun to recognize the “placebo effect” itself as a valuable treatment.
View original post 934 more words