Placebo’s Effect May Depend on Your Genes
2012 11 01

From: Deskarati





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







Related Articles
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

Tiny Micro Robots Build Things in ‘Microfactory’
2014 04 17
The teenie-weeniest robot uprising ever might be sooner rather than later due to the work of research institute SRI. Don’t let these microbots’ size fool you, there is power in numbers and thousands of the robots can work together to perform tasks at dizzying speed. From ReCode.net: SRI International has developed a new generation of ant-like robots that can work as ...
’We are not dead yet’: Heartbreaking text messages sent from schoolchildren trapped aboard South Korean ferry
2014 04 17
Passengers on board the South Korean ferry sent heartbreaking messages to their family members just moments before it sank. Children waiting to be rescued frantically reached for their phones as the boat began to list in a bid to communicate with their loved ones a final time. Twenty-four people, including five students and two teachers, have been found dead, but 272 are ...
"A world of pure imagination": How Occupy turned to "anarchy"
2014 04 17
In the closing ceremonies of London’s 2012 Summer Olympics, comedian Russell Brand, perched atop the Beatles’ "Magical Mystery Tour" bus, opened his performance by singing the first lines of "Pure Imagination" from the movie Willy Wonka: Come with me And you’ll be In a world of Pure imagination ...
Artists ’have structurally different brains’
2014 04 17
Artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists, a study has found. Participants’ brain scans revealed that artists had increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery. The research, published in NeuroImage, suggests that an artist’s talent could be innate. But training and environmental upbringing also play crucial roles in their ability, the authors report. As in many areas ...
NSA-proof email service goes online
2014 04 17
A new email service that protects its users from the prying eyes of the NSA and other spy agencies has gone online. The service’s creators say it will make encrypted messaging accessible to all and curtail internet snooping. Germany-based Lavaboom was inspired by Lavabit, the encrypted email service that was believed to have been used by whistleblower Edward Snowden before it ...
More News »