Further evidence for individual differences in placebo responding: an interactionist perspective.
ABSTRACT A prior investigation found that individuals low in optimism are more likely to follow a negative placebo (nocebo) expectation. The present study tested the hypothesis that individuals high in optimism are more likely to follow a positive placebo expectation.
Individuals (N=56) varying in their level of optimism were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. In the first condition, participants were given the expectation that a placebo sleep treatment would improve their sleep quality (placebo expectation condition). In the second condition, participants engaged in the same sleep treatment activity but were not given the positive placebo expectation (treatment control condition). Finally, a third group did not receive the positive placebo expectation and also did not engage in the placebo sleep treatment (no-placebo control condition).
Optimism was positively associated with better sleep quality in the placebo expectation condition (r=.48, P<.05). Optimism scores were not associated with better sleep quality in either the treatment control condition (r=-.17, P=.46) or the no-placebo control condition (r=-.24, P=.35).
Dispositional optimism relates to placebo responding. This relationship, however, is not manifested in a simple increase or decrease in all types of placebo responding. Rather, it appears that, as optimism increases, response to the positive placebo expectation increases, whereas response to nocebo expectation decreases. It is recommended that future research on personality and placebo effects consider the interaction between situational and dispositional variables.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer pain is one kind of the most common and severe kinds of chronic pain. No breakthrough regarding the mechanisms and therapeutics of cancer pains has yet been achieved. Based on the well established involvement of the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor containing NR2B in inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain and the effective pain relief obtained with ketamine in cancer patients with intractable pain, we supposed that NR2B in the spinal cord was an important factor for cancer pain. In this study, we investigated the possible role of NR2B in the spinal cord using a murine model of bone cancer pain. C3H/HeJ mice were inoculated into the intramedullary space of the right femur with Osteosarcoma NCTC 2472 cells to induce ongoing bone cancer-related pain behaviors. At day 14 after operation, the expression of NR2B mRNA and NR2B protein in the spinal cord were higher in tumor-bearing mice compared to the sham mice. Intrathecal administration of 5 and 10 microg of NR2B subunit-specific NMDA receptor antagonist ifenprodil attenuated cancer-evoked spontaneous pain, thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia. These results suggest that NR2B in the spinal cord may participate in bone cancer pain in mice, and ifenprodil may be a useful alternative or adjunct therapy for bone cancer pain. The findings may lead to novel strategies for the treatment of bone cancer pain.European journal of pain (London, England) 10/2009; 14(5):496-502. · 3.37 Impact Factor
Article: Mechanisms and clinical implications of the placebo effect: is there a potential for the elderly? A mini-review.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In recent years, the placebo effect has been a topic of considerable interest both in the scientific and the clinical community. In this time, the placebo effect has evolved from being considered a nuisance in clinical and pharmacological research to becoming a neurobiological phenomenon worthy of scientific investigation in its own right. Recent research shows that placebo effects are genuine psychobiological events attributable to the overall therapeutic context, and that these effects can be robust in both laboratory and clinical settings. These psychosocially induced biochemical changes in a patient's brain and body may in turn affect the course of a disease and the response to a therapy. Here we summarize and discuss the current insights into placebo mechanisms and discuss the potentially widespread implications for research and clinical practice. Even though a systematic knowledge of placebo effects across the lifespan is lacking, we aim at highlighting specific aspects related to the care of elderly patients and those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.Gerontology 10/2010; 57(4):354-63. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Empirical findings have identified spirituality as a potential health resource. Whereas older research has associated such effects with the social component of religion, newer conceptualizations propose that spiritual experiences and the intrapersonal effects that are facilitated by regular spiritual practice might be pivotal to understanding potential salutogenesis. Ongoing studies suggest that spiritual experiences and practices involve a variety of neural systems that may facilitate neural 'top-down' effects that are comparable if not identical to those engaged in placebo responses. As meaningfulness seems to be both a hallmark of spirituality and placebo reactions, it may be regarded as an overarching psychological concept that is important to engaging and facilitating psychophysiological mechanisms that are involved in health-related effects. Empirical evidence suggests that spirituality may under certain conditions be a predictor of placebo response and effects. Assessment of patients' spirituality and making use of various resources to accommodate patients' spiritual needs reflect our most current understanding of the physiological, psychological and socio-cultural aspects of spirituality, and may also increase the likelihood of eliciting self-healing processes. We advocate the position that a research agenda addressing responses and effects of both placebo and spirituality could therefore be (i) synergistic, (ii) valuable to each phenomenon on its own, and (iii) contributory to an extended placebo paradigm that is centred around the concept of meaningfulness.Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 06/2011; 366(1572):1838-48. · 6.40 Impact Factor