People tend to believe expensive drugs are more effective, even if they are placebos. As indicated by a study distributed in the journal Neurology, even a placebo can be more powerful if it is thought to be a costly medication. Analysts with the American Academy of Neurology found that even if there is no distinction between branded and generic drugs, a person’s priced-based expectations regarding the effects of a drug can significantly impact the drug’s results.
The study was backed by the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, which has created a self-care program for individuals who developed the disease, including some worksheets to be filled at home covering subjects from activity and mind-set to symptoms and hospital visits.
Main study author, Alberto J. Espay, a specialist at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and fellow at the American Academy of Neurology noted:
“Patients’ expectations play an important role in the effectiveness of their treatments, and the placebo effect has been well documented, especially in people with Parkinson’s disease. We wanted to see if the people’s perceptions of the cost of the drug they received would affect the placebo response.”
With this specific end goal, the research group gave patients two doses of a placebo for Parkinson’s. The subjects were not informed that both shots were simply a saline compound. They were informed that they were receiving two separate drugs. One first shot followed by a second one once the initial dose effects had vanished.
Prior to the volunteers being given the drugs, they were informed that each one medication had been tried and both were equally effective. They were additionally informed that the sole difference was that one medication cost $100/shot and the other medication cost $1,500/ shot.
Despite the fact that both purported “medications” were really the same saline compound, the costly placebo was discovered to enhance motion abilities and reduce hand shaking more successfully than the cheap placebo did among the Parkinson’s patients. After the truth had been uncovered, the examination team found that the rate of effectiveness was higher in the subjects who reported they expected better outcomes from the more expensive drug.
The scientists have shown that some individuals unquestionably think that “you get what you pay for”. The group also wants to use this power of perception to enhance future therapies.
Espay resumed by saying that if researchers can find a way to saddle the placebo reaction to improve treatment effectiveness , they could also maximize treatment benefits while dropping drug dosage and potentially decreasing adverse effects.
Another study related to Parkinson was published this week in the same academic journal. In that one, the researchers found that some Parkinson’s symptoms react to low-frequency deep brain stimulation.
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