Archive for May 2020

The Powerful Placebo

13 Unexplained mysteries OLALLA CERNUDA the absence or presence of methane on Mars is one of the unknowns. Read additional details here: Mark Stevens. (Photo: NASA) NEWS related MADRID.-for millennia man trying to use technology and scientific advances to respond to some of the unknowns of this planet and the space that surrounds us. New Scientist magazine has compiled the 13 mysteries which, today, are still causing headaches to the international scientific community. 1. The placebo effect.

Say a fictional case of patient x. several times a day, for several days, it causes pain, which is controlled by doses of morphine. Until the last day of the experiment. Those 24 hours, without knowing the Lord X, morphine is replaced with a saline solution absolutely inocua. It seems incredible, but such a solution has the same effect as morphine and the pain goes away.

It is what is known as the placebo effect. Before the arrival of the drugs in the 20th century, it was the most powerful weapon of medicine against the disease. Excrement of crocodile, oil of worm, lizard blood and to be touched by the King were used medicines between the 16th and 19th century. Since the publication, in 1955, of the book The Powerful Placebo of H.K. Beecher, acknowledged that 35% of patients with a wide variety of diseases could be treated only with placebo. In later studies, has been that it can operate at 70% and, even, 100% of the cases. No one knows yet what mechanisms are involved in the placebo effect. Some studies on pain suggest that it reduces anxiety and facilitates the release of endorphins (natural chemicals similar to narcotics) in the brain, although they are not yet confirmed hypothesis. 2. The problem of the horizon.