Outsmarting the placebo effect

Last Updated on February 13, 2018 by Joseph Gut – thasso

September 22. 2014 – I just found this (scientific) article in the last issue of Science Magazine. I am so fascinated by the probability that maybe I could be cured from my disease just by the expectation to receive a pharmaceutically active drug ingredient, while not really receiving it, but some benign pill filled with sodium chloride (NaCl) instead.  All being predictably in the genes. Wonderful placebo indeed. What do you think  and what is your opinion about this?

Science 19 September 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6203 pp. 1446-1447  DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6203.1446


The placebo effect—real improvement brought on by the expectation of receiving treatment—can offer significant relief for patients. But a strong placebo response is problematic in clinical trials, where it makes it harder to show that a drug is effective. Based on a small study that correlates variants of a certain gene to a person’s level of placebo response, a former biotech executive has formed a company around predicting who will improve most from a placebo. The gene could offer a way to reduce the size and cost of clinical trials by excluding these people. But some veterans of placebo research are skeptical that this gene will be predictive across trials and for a wide range of diseases.

The full article you can read at the link above.

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Ph.D.; Professor in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Senior expert in theragenomic and personalized medicine and individualized drug safety. Senior expert in pharmaco- and toxicogenetics. Senior expert in human safety of drugs, chemicals, environmental pollutants, and dietary ingredients.

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