Placebo’s Effect May Depend on Your Genes
2012 11 01
Your response to placebos, or dummy medicine, may depend on your genes, according to a new study. People with a gene variant that codes for higher levels of the brain chemical dopamine respond better to placebos than those with the low-dopamine version. The findings, reported online Oct. 23 in the journal PLoS One, could help researchers design medical studies that distinguish the placebo response from the underlying effect of a medicine — the real aim of drug trials.
“This is a possible way to discern who is going to be a placebo responder or nonresponder in a clinical trial,” said study co-author Kathryn Hall of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Brookline, Mass.
People report feeling better after receiving a placebo, such as a sugar pill or fake treatment, for conditions ranging from chronic pain to Parkinson’s disease. But only some patients respond strongly, and there’s no way to predict who will improve on a placebo. A few studies have provided clues. Differences in versions of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which determines levels of dopamine in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, are linked to differences in reward-seeking and pain perception. People with the high-dopamine version, or allele, of the COMT gene feel pain more acutely and seek rewards more strongly than those who have the low-dopamine copy.
That led the researchers to wonder whether the gene modulates placebo response. To find out, Hall and her colleagues analyzed DNA from 104 patients with irritable bowel syndrome who were randomized to one of three groups: One was told they were on the waiting list for treatment, another received a placebo in the form of seemingly real, curt acupuncture, and the third group received fake acupuncture from a caring, warm practitioner who looked patients in the eye, asked about their progress, and even touched them lightly, Hall told LiveScience.
Patients with the high-dopamine version of the gene felt slightly better after seeing the curt, all-business health-care provider that gave placebo acupuncture. But they were six times as likely to say their symptoms improved with a caring practitioner as those with the low-dopamine gene, who didn’t improve much in any group. The findings suggest that medical studies called clinical trials could identify treatment versus placebo effect by grouping patients by gene variant, Hall said. Knowing up front the level of placebo effect for a clinical trial could reduce the cost of the trial significantly by using fewer participants, for instance, she said.
People with the high-dopamine allele of the gene may do well on the placebo with the nurturing treatment because they are generally more attuned to their environments, said University of Michigan psychiatrist Jon-Kar Zubieta, who was not involved in the study.
“It speaks about an interaction between the environment and the gene,” Zubieta said. “It’s very possible that individuals with this allele are more able to process those positive environmental cues.”
Article from: deskarati.com
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Bruce Lipton - The Biology of Belief
David Crowe - Rethinking AIDS
Anthony Peake & Tom Campbell - Consciousness Creates Reality
Michael Sharp - Consciousness & The Ascension Process
Lloyd Pye - Human Design & Properties of Annunaki Genes
Nick Begich - Hour 1 - Controlling the Human Mind
Dr David Hamilton: Placcebo Effect & Quantum Healing
Dr David Hamilton ’The Science Of Belief’
Biology of Belief - by Bruce Lipton (Documentary)
Marmosets can meditate (and are immune to the placebo effect)
Placebo Effect’s Neural Activity Photographed for First Time
The Placebo Effect - The Triumph of Mind over Body
Latest News from our Front Page
Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm.
The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation"
The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola.
The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head
TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills.
I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science.
One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
|More News » |