Brain May Be Most Important Factor When Medicating, Study Suggests

Placebo medication may be very effective when it is believed to work

When an individual truly believes the medicine they are taking will work, the medicine is that much more effective.

A new study shows that placebo medications are actually fairly effective as many patients believe the medication will help them.

Experts suggest the mind of the patient to be an extremely powerful tool. In many cases, patients notice almost instant relief when taking certain placebo medications, simply because the belief that the medicine will help them exists.

For the new study, individuals were forced to endure heat and pain on their legs. Researchers provided individuals with a painkiller without notifying the individuals, and most people reported pain relief.

The most interesting part of the study occurred when researchers explained to the individuals that they were to receive the painkiller. While having already taken the drug, just hearing that a painkilling medicine was coming their way, individuals explained additional pain decreases.

Additionally, when continuing medication but explaining to volunteers it would be stopping, pain was said to increase.

Throughout the study, researchers used MRI images to monitor brain function.

Researchers explain that the brain may be the most powerful tool in pain relief, and just maintaining a positive attitude when on medications may drastically influence the outcome.