The placebo effect is a widely known medical intervention that doctors use to prevent the use of medication in patients. It wasn't until early 2002 that researchers first discovered that practicing placebos on their patients may lead to alternative results if they suffer from severe depression. '"People have known for years that if you give placebos to patients with depression or other illnesses, many of them will get better," says Leuchter, director of adult psychiatry and a professor at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital. Participants' decision to seek treatment, hopefulness for the treatment's effectiveness and positive interactions with health-service providers could all contribute to the "placebo effect," says Leuchter. And while the findings do not explain why people respond to placebo treatment, "it does change the way we think about the placebo effect," says Leuchter. "What this study shows, for the first time, is that people who get better on placebo have a change in brain function, just as surely as people who get better on medication."'
Its strange after reading this to think of how much the mind effects our well-being. Just the excitement of a drug working positively can make all the difference in treatment. Big expectations can can also help, giving way for an optimistic outlook. Mix in with a little bit of time and most people will get better. I love that this practice is used. It gives the medical world a sense of humanity, not trying to push drugs on their patients all the time and with such ease. But if side effects begin to surface surrounding the "non-altering" use of placebos, I think someone might need to take a second look to see if what we originally thought was true, is. However, it's effects have been positive thus far. Maybe in the future the use of the placebo effect may have a different purpose. For now, it stays thankfully.