© 2022 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health

The Placebo Effect

17783209085_4e9378c2c5_z.jpg
Christian Schnettelker
/
Creative Commons

Placebo treatments have been making people feel better for a long time. They've been working since long before Franz Mesmer was run out of 18th-century Vienna for "mesmerizing" a young pianist into regaining her eyesight, after all hope for a medical cure had been lost.  

Doctors have long dismissed the placebo effect as inferior to conventional medical treatments that sometimes fail where placebo works well, including in surgical procedures like arthroscopy, a popular procedure that relieves the pain of arthritic knees. 

The placebo effect is triggered not by a magic pill, but through a combination of expectation, hope, and the strength of the doctor-patient relationship. Placebo is realit's on the rise in America, and technology is allowing researchers to link placebo with physiological and psychological changes and genetic predisposition that could change the way we treat illness.

GUESTS:

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Related Content