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Why does the placebo effect work better than prayer? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Tirumalai Kamala, Immunologist, Ph.D. Mycobacteriology, on Quora:

There is the placebo and there are placebo effects or responses. The placebo, the prototypical sugar pill for example, is an inert treatment with no medicinal value whatsoever that is nevertheless consistently found capable of alleviating medical symptoms such as pain or inflammation in at least a third of patients or even more on average.

However, recent research shows placebos are merely one part of the much larger placebo effects or responses, which span an entire gamut of procedures, substances and rituals ranging from sham surgeries, acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic, massage, homeopathy to specific diets, dietary supplements, herbs to doctor-patient interactions and yes, even prayers.

A 2008 case report ( 1 ) on a Huntington’s disease patient is a modern example of the placebo effects of prayer. Huntington’s is one of most devastating and as-yet incurable of conditions. Upon visiting Lourdes in the French Pyrenees, this patient perceived that the Virgin Mary herself spoke to her and told her she was cured. Even as she continued taking her medicines (bromocriptine and sertraline), this patient now resolutely believed she was cured.

In fact, these two neurologists had examined her several times prior to and after her pilgrimage. They found a near complete elimination of dystonia and chorea (involuntary movement) as well as a 40% improvement using a standardized score 1 week and 3 months later, even though there was no genetic cure whatsoever ( 1 ). In short, symptom alleviation, not cure. They concluded that this patient’s intense religious conviction mediated its placebo effect on the intensity of some of her movement disorder symptoms by influencing and reducing her anxiety, which is known to increase these symptoms.

Doctors the world over and throughout history have likely experienced at least one such instance of miraculous improvement that couldn’t be explained by the science of the day. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are truly miraculous. Rather, that’s simply an indication of the glaring gap in our knowledge of human biology since placebo effects are now known to influence biochemistry in physiological systems as varied as neurobiology, endocrinology and immunology, the trifecta some now study under the rubric Psychoneuroimmunology.

Placebos and their effects have various definitions (2). A common link among them is the patient’s expectation and perception of some health benefit.

The handful of reasonably well-designed studies on the placebo effects of prayer cautiously conclude it could mediate analgesia (pain relief), working its way perhaps partly through a stronger social support network among the religious or maybe even through the direct influence of specific religious prayers and symbols (3, 4, 5, 6). Exactly how remains an open question.

It sounds reasonable to conclude that patients would engage in prayer with the expectation of health benefit. Thus, rather than placebo versus prayer, prayer itself could be expected to and indeed appears able to mediate the placebo effect in some disease symptoms in some people in some circumstances.

Some symptoms, some people, some circumstances, and therein lies the proverbial elephant-sized problem because we currently lack a thorough biological understanding of how prayer or anything else for that matter mediates placebo effects.

When do placebo effects work? When do they not work? How do they work when they do work? What are their predictable elements? For example, genetic polymorphisms predictive of either adaptive/beneficial placebo responses or maladaptive/harmful nocebo responses. After all, the effect is Janus-faced; as likely to benefit as harm.

Though modern medicine considers placebos and placebo effects or responses an encumbrance or obstacle, an unfortunately short-sighted and counter-productive stance, the reality is that cracking the biochemical and molecular underpinnings of myriad placebos and placebo effects or responses would yield some of the biggest bonanzas in biomedicine, in terms of both knowledge and fortune. After all, they appear to somehow catalyze the body’s self-healing capacity in diverse ailments, anything from chronic inflammatory disorders to even cancers. Figuring out how to trigger this capacity predictably and safely in a personalized manner could, at a minimum, enable dose-sparing of otherwise toxic drugs.

Bibliography

1. Moreno, Jose Luis López‐Sendón, and Justo Garcia de Yebenes. “The impact of an intense religious experience on motor symptoms in Huntington’s disease.” Movement Disorders 24.3 (2009): 473-474.

2. Trimmer, Pete C., and Alasdair I. Houston. “The Ups and Downs of Placebos.” Evolutionary Thinking in Medicine. Springer, Cham,2016 357-369. The Ups and Downs of Placebos

3. Wiech, Katja, et al. “An fMRI study measuring analgesia enhanced by religion as a belief system.” Pain 139.2 (2008): 467-476. http://www2.selu.edu/Academics/F…

4. Kohls, Nikola, et al. “Spirituality: an overlooked predictor of placebo effects?.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 366.1572 (2011): 1838-1848. Spirituality: an overlooked predictor of placebo effects?

5. Hyland, Michael E. “Motivation and placebos: do different mechanisms occur in different contexts?.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 366.1572 (2011): 1828-1837. Motivation and placebos: do different mechanisms occur in different contexts?

6. Jegindø, Else-Marie Elmholdt, et al. “Expectations contribute to reduced pain levels during prayer in highly religious participants.” Journal of behavioral medicine 36.4 (2013): 413-426. Expectations contribute to reduced pain levels during prayer in highly religious participants

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

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Why does the placebo impact work much better than prayer?(*************** )initially appeared on Quora: the location to get and share understanding, empowering individuals to gain from others and much better comprehend the world

(****************** ) Response(***************
) by
Tirumalai Kamala, Immunologist, Ph.D. Mycobacteriology, on Quora:

There is the placebo (************************ )and there are(*********************** ) placebo impacts or reactions(************************** ). The placebo, the prototypical sugar tablet for instance, is an inert treatment without any medical worth whatsoever that is however regularly discovered efficient in minimizing medical signs such as discomfort or swelling in a minimum of a 3rd of clients and even

more typically.

(********************** )Nevertheless, current research study reveals placebos are simply one part of the much bigger placebo impacts or reactions, which cover a whole range of treatments, compounds and routines varying from sham surgical treatments, acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic, massage, homeopathy to particular diet plans, dietary supplements, herbs to doctor-patient interactions and yes, even prayers

A 2008 case report (1) on a Huntington’s illness client is a modern-day example of the placebo impacts of prayer. Huntington’s is among many destructive and as-yet incurable of conditions. Upon going to Lourdes in the French Pyrenees, this client viewed that the Virgin Mary herself talked to her and informed her she was treated. Even as she continued taking her medications (bromocriptine and sertraline), this client now resolutely thought she was treated.

(********************** )In truth, these 2 neurologists had actually analyzed her a number of times prior to and after her expedition. They discovered a near total removal of dystonia and chorea (uncontrolled motion) along with a 40% enhancement utilizing a standardized rating 1 week and 3 months later on, despite the fact that there was no hereditary remedy whatsoever (1 ). Simply put, sign reduction, not remedy. They concluded that this client’s extreme spiritual conviction moderated its placebo impact on the strength of a few of her motion condition signs by affecting and lowering her stress and anxiety, which is understood to increase these signs.

Medical professionals the world over and throughout history have actually most likely experienced a minimum of one such circumstances of amazing enhancement that could not be discussed by the science of the day. That does not always indicate they are genuinely amazing. Rather, that’s just an indicator of the glaring space in our understanding of human biology considering that placebo impacts are now understood to affect biochemistry in physiological systems as differed as neurobiology, endocrinology and immunology, the trifecta some now research study under the rubric Psychoneuroimmunology

Placebos and their impacts have numerous meanings ( 2). A typical link amongst them is the client’s expectation and understanding of some health advantage

The handful of fairly properly designed research studies on the placebo impacts of prayer very carefully conclude it might moderate analgesia (discomfort relief), working its method possibly partially through a more powerful social assistance network amongst the spiritual or perhaps even through the direct impact of particular spiritual prayers and signs ( 3, 4, 5, 6). Precisely how stays an open concern.

It sounds sensible to conclude that clients would participate in prayer with the expectation of health advantage. Hence, instead of placebo versus prayer, prayer itself might be anticipated to and certainly appears able to moderate the placebo impact in some illness signs in some individuals in some situations.

Some signs, some individuals, some situations, and therein lies the proverbial elephant-sized issue since we presently do not have an extensive biological understanding of how prayer or anything else for that matter moderates placebo impacts.

When do placebo impacts work? When do they not work? How do they work when they do work? What are their foreseeable components? For instance, hereditary polymorphisms predictive of either adaptive/beneficial placebo reactions or maladaptive/harmful nocebo reactions. After all, the impact is Janus-faced; as most likely to benefit as damage.

Though modern-day medication thinks about placebos and placebo impacts or reactions an encumbrance or challenge, a sadly short-sighted and counter-productive position, the truth is that breaking the biochemical and molecular foundations of myriad placebos and placebo impacts or reactions would yield a few of the most significant treasure troves in biomedicine, in regards to both understanding and fortune. After all, they appear to in some way catalyze the body’s self-healing capability in varied disorders, anything from persistent inflammatory conditions to even cancers. Finding out how to activate this capability naturally and securely in a customized way could, at a minimum, allow dose-sparing of otherwise hazardous drugs.

Bibliography

1. Moreno, Jose Luis López‐Sendón, and Justo Garcia de Yebenes. “The effect of an extreme spiritual experience on motor signs in Huntington’s illness.” Motion Disorders 24.3 (2009): 473-474

2. Trimmer, Pete C., and Alasdair I. Houston. “The Ups and Downs of Placebos.” Evolutionary Believing in Medication. Springer, Cham,2016 357-369 The Ups and Downs of Placebos

3. Wiech, Katja, et al. “An fMRI research study determining analgesia boosted by faith as a belief system.” Discomfort 139.2 (2008): 467-476 http://www2.selu.edu/Academics/F …

4. Kohls, Nikola, et al. “Spirituality: a neglected predictor of placebo impacts?.” Philosophical Deals of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 366.1572(2011): 1838-1848 Spirituality: a neglected predictor of placebo impacts?

5. Hyland, Michael E. “Inspiration and placebos: do various systems happen in various contexts?.” Philosophical Deals of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 366.1572(2011): 1828-1837 Inspiration and placebos: do various systems happen in various contexts?

6. Jegindø, Else-Marie Elmholdt, et al. “Expectations add to lowered discomfort levels throughout prayer in extremely spiritual individuals.” Journal of behavioral medication 36.4 (2013): 413-426 Expectations add to lowered discomfort levels throughout prayer in extremely spiritual individuals

This concern initially appeared on Quora – the location to get and share understanding, empowering individuals to gain from others and much better comprehend the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ More concerns:

” readability =”131
23041825095″ >

Why does the placebo impact work much better than prayer? initially appeared on Quora : the location to get and share understanding, empowering individuals to gain from others and much better comprehend the world

.

Response by Tirumalai Kamala , Immunologist, Ph.D. Mycobacteriology, on Quora :

There is the placebo and there are placebo impacts or reactions The placebo, the prototypical sugar tablet for instance, is an inert treatment without any medical worth whatsoever that is however regularly discovered efficient in minimizing medical signs such as discomfort or swelling in a minimum of a 3rd of clients and even more typically.

Nevertheless, current research study reveals placebos are simply one part of the much bigger placebo impacts or reactions, which cover a whole range of treatments , compounds and routines varying from sham surgical treatments, acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic, massage, homeopathy to particular diet plans, dietary supplements, herbs to doctor-patient interactions and yes, even prayers

.

A 2008 case report (1) on a Huntington’s illness client is a modern-day example of the placebo impacts of prayer. Huntington’s is among many destructive and as-yet incurable of conditions. Upon going to Lourdes in the French Pyrenees, this client viewed that the Virgin Mary herself talked to her and informed her she was treated. Even as she continued taking her medications (bromocriptine and sertraline), this client now resolutely thought she was treated.

In truth, these 2 neurologists had actually analyzed her a number of times prior to and after her expedition. They discovered a near total removal of dystonia and chorea (uncontrolled motion) along with a 40 % enhancement utilizing a standardized rating 1 week and 3 months later on, despite the fact that there was no hereditary remedy whatsoever (1). Simply put, sign reduction, not remedy. They concluded that this client’s extreme spiritual conviction moderated its placebo impact on the strength of a few of her motion condition signs by affecting and lowering her stress and anxiety, which is understood to increase these signs.

Medical professionals the world over and throughout history have actually most likely experienced a minimum of one such circumstances of amazing enhancement that could not be discussed by the science of the day. That does not always indicate they are genuinely amazing. Rather, that’s just an indicator of the glaring space in our understanding of human biology considering that placebo impacts are now understood to affect biochemistry in physiological systems as differed as neurobiology, endocrinology and immunology, the trifecta some now research study under the rubric Psychoneuroimmunology

.

Placebos and their impacts have numerous meanings ( 2 ). A typical link amongst them is the client’s expectation and understanding of some health advantage

.

The handful of fairly properly designed research studies on the placebo impacts of prayer very carefully conclude it might moderate analgesia (discomfort relief), working its method possibly partially through a more powerful social assistance network amongst the spiritual or perhaps even through the direct impact of particular spiritual prayers and signs ( 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ). Precisely how stays an open concern.

It sounds sensible to conclude that clients would participate in prayer with the expectation of health advantage. Hence, instead of placebo versus prayer, prayer itself might be anticipated to and certainly appears able to moderate the placebo impact in some illness signs in some individuals in some situations.

Some signs, some individuals, some situations, and therein lies the proverbial elephant-sized issue since we presently do not have an extensive biological understanding of how prayer or anything else for that matter moderates placebo impacts.

When do placebo impacts work? When do they not work? How do they work when they do work? What are their foreseeable components? For instance, hereditary polymorphisms predictive of either adaptive/beneficial placebo reactions or maladaptive/harmful nocebo reactions. After all, the impact is Janus-faced; as most likely to benefit as damage.

Though modern-day medication thinks about placebos and placebo impacts or reactions an encumbrance or challenge, a sadly short-sighted and counter-productive position, the truth is that breaking the biochemical and molecular foundations of myriad placebos and placebo impacts or reactions would yield a few of the most significant treasure troves in biomedicine, in regards to both understanding and fortune. After all, they appear to in some way catalyze the body’s self-healing capability in varied disorders, anything from persistent inflammatory conditions to even cancers. Finding out how to activate this capability naturally and securely in a customized way could, at a minimum, allow dose-sparing of otherwise hazardous drugs.

Bibliography

1. Moreno, Jose Luis López‐Sendón, and Justo Garcia de Yebenes. “The effect of an extreme spiritual experience on motor signs in Huntington’s illness.” Motion Disorders 24.3 (2009): 473 -474

.

2. Trimmer, Pete C., and Alasdair I. Houston. “The Ups and Downs of Placebos.” Evolutionary Believing in Medication. Springer, Cham,2016 357 -369 The Ups and Downs of Placebos

3. Wiech, Katja, et al. “An fMRI research study determining analgesia boosted by faith as a belief system.” Discomfort 139.2 (2008): 467 -476 http://www2.selu.edu/Academics/F …

4. Kohls, Nikola, et al. “Spirituality: a neglected predictor of placebo impacts?.” Philosophical Deals of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences366 1572 (2011): 1838 -1848 Spirituality: a neglected predictor of placebo impacts?

5. Hyland, Michael E. “Inspiration and placebos: do various systems happen in various contexts?.” Philosophical Deals of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences366 1572 (2011): 1828 -1837 Inspiration and placebos: do various systems happen in various contexts?

6. Jegindø, Else-Marie Elmholdt, et al. “Expectations add to lowered discomfort levels throughout prayer in extremely spiritual individuals.” Journal of behavioral medication 36.4 (2013): 413 -426 Expectations add to lowered discomfort levels throughout prayer in extremely spiritual individuals

This concern initially appeared on Quora – the location to get and share understanding, empowering individuals to gain from others and much better comprehend the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter , Facebook , and Google + More concerns:

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