In treatments against depression, the placebo effect is incr

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In treatments against depression, the placebo effect is incr

Postprzez hellojoy12 » 11 mar 2024, o 05:21

Placebos have occupied an increasingly uncomfortable place in the medical landscape over the past few decades. Even as placebo-controlled trials have become accepted as the gold standard for evidence, we have come to appreciate how powerful the placebo effect can be. To confuse matters further, a new study has expanded on an earlier finding: the placebo effect of antidepressant appears to strengthen over time .

Ars Technica

This article was originally published on Ars Technica , a trusted source for tech Phone Number List nology news, technology policy analysis, reviews, and more. Ars is owned by WIRED's parent company, Condé Nast.

Previous work had shown that this happened with placebo pills. The new study shows that this happens with a called transcranial magnetic stimulation . Fortunately, effective seem to be improving in parallel, so this obviously hasn't interfered with any results, yet.

Stimulating magnets (or not)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is, in principle, quite simple. It is possible to use magnetic fields to induce currents in many materials. One of the materials where this works is the brain, where neuronal activity depends on the presence of voltage between a cell and its environment. Thus, by carefully modeling the magnetic field, it is possible to influence the activity in specific areas of the brain . Crucially, this can be done with equipment placed outside the skull and is therefore non-invasive compared to many other interventions .

However, there are a number of limitations to the technique. It's challenging to target deep areas of the brain, and it's somewhat inaccurate. It is difficult to target a region small enough to alter the behavior of neurons involved in a single process . Additionally, there are many options to vary the duration, intensity, and number of magnetic pulses it creates. Discovering the combination that will best target and treat a specific disorder takes a lot of work.

However, clinical trials have been conducted for a wide variety of disorders, one of them being depression. And many of them have had a placebo control; These may involve placing inactive hardware next to the skull or orienting magnetic fields so that any stimulation occurs next to the skull, rather than beneath it.

When it comes to depression, however , placebos have been acting a little strange in recent decades: They've become more potent since at least the 1980s . Several studies have shown this to be the case with pill-based placebos, and some have hinted that it also applies to transcranial magnetic stimulation. The new study is intended to be a comprehensive meta-analysis that is large enough to test whether the improvement really exists and to determine whether it is associated with any specific type of study.


With time it gets better
The researchers started with a set of more than 2,700 individual studies that used transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat depression . After selecting data from high-quality clinical trials that included randomization and blinding, they were left with only 52 trials and a total of 4,500 participants, about half of whom received a placebo.

These placebos always involved hardware , but it might not work, or be misdirected. Non-placebo included a variety of different transcranial magnetic stimulation approaches.

Since you can't really do a placebo control for a placebo, the work simply focused on whether participants reported improvements in their conditions. And in fact, the placebos did, quite consistently, although the actual generally had a larger effect . Using a measure called "magnitude of response," the placebo scored 24%, while the real scored 38%.
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Dołączył(a): 11 mar 2024, o 05:08

Postprzez » 11 mar 2024, o 05:21


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