Why Placebos Really Work: the Latest Science – new evidence suggests the fake drugs may cause changes in the body, not just the mind” was published on 7-20-16 by the Wall Street Journal. This article provides an interesting review of recent research that fines that placebos can result in real health benefits, even when the patient knows that they are receiving a placebo.

In fact, a significant number of physicians are prescribing placebos, often active drugs but in such a low dose that there is no therapeutic benefit. These studies are relevant for mental health because brain imaging research has shown that placebos trigger an activation of the brain’s reward system.” This appears to contribute to the positive results from placebos.

mhconcierge’s take: if triggering activation of the brain’ s of its reward system contributes to the effectiveness of medication, even sham medication, then it may be possible for psychologists and mental health professionals to work with patients on increasing their positive state of mind in order to increase their benefit from medication. Of course, it would be helpful if this was supported by research.

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