The placebo effect

Knox & Kely. Placebo power. Tech Vasc Interv Radiol. 2012;15:150-2.

A variable placebo response has been previously described in the multiple sclerosis (MS) literature and in sham surgical trials involving other patient populations. Conditioning and expectancy models are proposed to explain the biological mechanisms of a placebo response. Possibly, when neuroimmune mechanisms are involved in the disease process, placebo and treatment responses interact. The measurement of a placebo response related to endovascular procedures in MS may be scientifically and ethically challenging. Based on the factors associated with larger placebo responses, it is estimated that a significant placebo response may be associated with these procedures. The factors and mechanisms associated with marked placebo responses should be considered in the design of future studies related to the investigation of endovascular procedures for MS.

The placebo effect reduces the disease element by 15-45% in many studies. This study discusses the placebo effect in relation to CCSVI. Based on talking to some CCSVIers it may be difficult too truly blind studies as one can feel the balloon inflate, and so it makes it more likely that a placebo effect will occur. We shall see when the trial data comes in.

Other posts of interest:

Multiple Sclerosis Research: What is the placebo effect? 10 Oct 2011; A placebo is a sham or simulated medical intervention. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, this phenomenon is called the placebo effect.

Multiple Sclerosis Research: Survey results: placebo effect 03 Nov 2011; "I am surprised by this result; this means that the respondents of this survey accept that the placebo effect can explain the perceived benefits of unlicensed therapies." "This is exactly the reason why we (clinical scientists) need ...

Multiple Sclerosis Research: New survey: the placebo effect 13 Oct 2011; Re: "Prof G, what would be your answer to this question:Do you think the placebo effect accounts for all the self-reported benefits of open-label or non-blinded therapies?" I would say possibly; the point I am trying to make is ...