Placebo effects and the Royal College of Psychiatrists

This twitter thread from the Royal College of Psychiatrists concerns a presentation called “The placebo effect: insights for translational research and clinical practice”.

The thread includes the following:

  • “… 50 years of drug trials for anxiety disorders. Very few have been successful because we don’t understand the neurobiology and there has been poor validity of pre-clinical trials. But placebo response is also a factor.”
  • “The placebo effect has been increasing in anxiety disorders.”
  • “Placebos can have real, measurable biological effects and this is what is happening in trials. In anxiety disorders we don’t know how much of effects are due to placebo response.”
  • “The placebo effect elicits changes at the level of brain activation. Placebo effects and treatment effects [i.e. from drugs – editor] modulate the same endogenous processes.”
  • “Neuroimaging studies have been used to look at what is happening when patients are given placebos compared to drugs. Placebos have been shown to release dopamine to the brain.”
  • “… data from a [depression] trial … where the placebo group showed almost the same amount of response as the experimental group.”

You can read the entire thread from here.

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