ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help

|
|
|
|

Trending News

New Lyme guidelines promote options and informed choice

Phases of clinical depression could affect treatment

“Worm pill” could ease autoimmune disease symptoms

Eating Baked or Broiled Fish Weekly Boosts Brain Health, Pitt Study Says

Preserving Cognitive Function with Aging

Scientists Look for Biomarkers to Improve Treatment of Painful Bladder Condition

New culprit identified in metabolic syndrome

9 Health Benefits of Cucumbers

Low vitamin D levels linked to increased risks after noncardiac surgery

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unlocking the Secrets of Peppermint, Acacia and Fennel

 
Print Page
Email Article

High-tech imaging demonstrates placebo effect can really cut pain - involves an 'old brain' override system

  [ 28 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • August 28, 2009


A new study reveals that when it comes to pain control, the placebo effect involves evolutionarily old pain control pathways in the human brainstem, which is continuous with the spinal cord. Known as the 'old brain', the brainstem takes input from the 'feeling' and 'thinking' brains and makes all decisions about nervous system control.

Published Aug 27 in the journal Neuron(1), the research provides fascinating mechanistic insight into how and why simply expecting that a treatment will reduce pain can act as an effective analgesic.

Placebo analgesia refers to an individual's relief from pain following administration of a chemically inert substance and is thought to be due to a person's belief that a potent pain medication was administered. Endogenous opioids, which are naturally produced by the brain in small amounts and play a key role in the relief of pain and anxiety, have been implicated in placebo analgesia. Brain imaging studies have shown that placebo analgesia stimulates release of endogenous opioids from higher brain regions associated with pain modulation and is associated with a decrease in signals from pain-sensitive areas.

"It has been hypothesized that placebo analgesia also recruits the opioidergic descending pain control system, which inhibits pain processing in the spinal cord and, therefore, subsequently reduces pain-related responses in the brain, leading to a decreased pain experience," explains lead study author Falk Eippert from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. However, thus far this has not been demonstrated experimentally.

Eippert and colleagues employed sophisticated brain imaging techniques to examine both higher cortical and lower brainstem responses in two groups of subjects: one receiving a drug called naloxone, which blocks opioid signaling, and one group with a natural opioid state. Expectations of pain relief were induced in both groups using an established placebo analgesia paradigm.

The researchers found that naloxone reduced behavioral placebo effects as well as placebo-induced decreases in pain-related brain responses. Most importantly, they also observed that, under placebo, cortical areas interacted with brainstem structures implicated in pain control and that these interactions were dependent on endogenous opioids and were related to the strength of experienced placebo effects.

"Taken together, our findings show that opioid signaling in pain-modulating areas and the projections to downstream effectors of the descending pain control system are crucially important for placebo analgesia," concludes Eippert.

"It will be interesting to see whether opioid-dependent activation of the descending pain control system is a common feature of different forms of pain modulation, such as hypnosis and attentional distraction, which share some common neuroanatomical features."
___
1. Article cited: “Activation of the Opioidergic Descending Pain Control System Underlies Placebo Analgesia,” Cell, Aug 27, 2009. [To read the full text of this paper free online, click here.]

Source: Cell Press news release, Aug 26, 2009



Please Discuss This Article:   Post a Comment 



[ Be the first to comment on this article ]




 
Free Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Newsletters
Subscribe to
Our FREE
Newsletter
Subscribe Now!
Receive up-to-date ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia treatment and research news
 Privacy Guaranteed  |  View Archives

Save on Your Next Order

Featured Products

Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ by ProHealth Vitamin D3 Extreme™ by ProHealth
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® by ProHealth Optimized Curcumin Longvida® by ProHealth
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
FibroSleep™ by ProHealth FibroSleep™ by ProHealth
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid

Natural Remedies

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry
Itching to Find Dry Skin Relief? Itching to Find Dry Skin Relief?
Dreaming of a Good Night's Sleep? Dreaming of a Good Night's Sleep?
Magnesium + Malic Acid: One-Two Punch for Pain & Fatigue Magnesium + Malic Acid: One-Two Punch for Pain & Fatigue
Sleep Like a Baby in Nature's Cradle Sleep Like a Baby in Nature's Cradle

FIBROMYALGIA RESOURCES
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia 101
Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fibromyalgia Treatments
| CFS RESOURCES
What is CFS?
ME/CFS 101
ME/CFS Symptoms
ME/CFS Treatments
| FORUMS
Fibromyalgia
ME/CFS
ADVANCED MEDICAL LABS
WHOLESALE  |  AFFILIATES
GUARANTEE
CONTACT US
PRIVACY
RSS
SITE MAP
ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus
Credit Card Processing