One of the most widespread words in medicine is placebo and placebo effect, although it is not always clear what it means exactly. Recent progress in biomedical research has allowed a better clarification of the placebo effect. We know that this is an active psychobiological phenomenon which takes place in the patient's brain and that is capable of influencing both the course of a disease and the response to a therapy.
Since publication of the first edition of this book in 2008, there has been an explosion of placebo research, and this new edition brings the topic fully up to date. Throughout, the book emphasizes that there are many placebo effects and critically reviews them in different medical conditions, such as neurological and psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, immune and hormonal responses, as well as oncology, surgery, sports medicine and acupuncture. The psychosocial
context around the patient is crucial to the placebo effect, for example the doctor's words and attitudes, and throughout this is considered.
Exhaustive in its coverage, and written by a world authority in the field, this is the definitive reference text to the placebo effect - one that is essential for researchers and clinicians across a wide range of medical specialities.
He received the Medical Doctor (MD) degree in 1981 from the University of Turin Medical School. In 1984, he received a Silbert International Award from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). In the 1980s and 1990s, he worked in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA and was a visiting professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas in Dallas. He has been Professor of Neurophysiology and Human Physiology at the University of Turin Medical School since 1999. He has been a member of the six-strong group on placebo of the Mind-Brain-Behavior Initiative at Harvard University, and a consultant for the Placebo Project at the US National Institute of Health. He has been nominated a member of the Academy of Europe and of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. His current scientific interests are the placebo effect across diseases, pain in dementia, and intraoperative neurophysiology for mapping the human brain.
PART 1: GENERAL CONCEPTS AND MECHANISMS ; 1. The traditional concept of placebo ; 2. A modern view of placebo and placebo-related effects ; 3. Placing placebo effects within the context of the doctor-patient relationship ; PART 2: DISEASE-BASED CLASSIFICATION OF PLACEBO EFFECTS - MOST STUDIED CONDITIONS ; 4. Pain ; 5. Diseases of the nervous system ; 6. Mental and behavioural disorders ; 7. Immune and endocrine systems ; PART 3: DISEASE-BASED CLASSIFICATION OF PLACEBO EFFECTS - LESS STUDIED CONDITIONS ; 8. Cardiovascular and respiratory system ; 9. Gastrointestinal and genitourinary disorders ; 10. Special medical conditions and therapeutic interventions ; PART 4: CLINICAL, ETHICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS ; 11. Clinical-ethical implications and applications ; 12. How to run a placebo study: A closer look into complex experimental designs ; PART 5: BEYOND THE HEALING CONTEXT ; 13. Physical and cognitive performance ; 14. Halo effects