The placebo effect: mimicking drug action without drugs

Mar 19, 2020




Although placebos have long been considered a nuisance in clinical research, today they represent an excellent model to understand how words and therapeutic rituals may affect the patient’s brain. Placebo effects, and their evil twins, nocebo effects, are today an active and productive field of research and, because of the involvement of many mechanisms, the study of the placebo effect can actually be viewed as a melting pot of concepts and ideas for neuroscience. The most productive models to better understand the neurobiology of the placebo effect are pain and Parkinson’s disease. Overall, what is emerging today is that the mechanisms that are activated by placebos are the same as those activated by drugs. References sur as Benedetti et al. (2004, Nature Neuroscience), Finniss et al. (2010, Lancet), Benedetti et al. (2011, Nature Medicine), Benedetti et al. (2016, Lancet Neurol).

  • Pr. Fabrizio BENEDETTI

    Medicine and Physiology of Hypoxia, Plateau Rosà, Italy/Switzerland, University of Turin Medical School, Neuroscience Dept, Turin, Italy

  • Chair: Gregory NINOT

    University of Montpellier, Montpellier Cancer Institute


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