Activate Now
ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Repair Damaged Mitochondria and Reduce Fatigue Up to 45%

How One LLND Treats Lyme disease and Co-infections Using Natural Medicine

SURVEY RESULTS: Has Your Illness Affected What You Eat?

New depression diagnosis and treatment

Surprising Benefits of Cinnamon

Specific vitamin D levels linked to heart problems

A Sleep Intervention For Children With Autism: A Pilot Study

Higher vitamin D levels may be protective against acute rhinosinusitis

Real Life as a Mom with Chronic Illness

Saffron reduces oxidative stress in metabolic syndrome patients

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 ] • 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

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Optimized Curcumin Longvida® FibroSleep™

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

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

Repair Damaged Mitochondria and Reduce Fatigue Up to 45%

Featured Products

Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium

Natural Remedies

How Glutathione Can Save Your Life How Glutathione Can Save Your Life
Sunshine Vitamin Has D-lightful Health Benefits Sunshine Vitamin Has D-lightful Health Benefits
Ubiquinol - A More Advanced Form of the Energy Producing Nutrient CoQ-10 Ubiquinol - A More Advanced Form of the Energy Producing Nutrient CoQ-10
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry
Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth

What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis
Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fibromyalgia Causes
Fibromyalgia Treatments
Fibromyalgia Diet
Fibromyalgia Medications
M.E. & CFS
What is M.E./CFS?
M.E./CFS Diagnosis
M.E./CFS Symptoms
M.E./CFS Causes
M.E./CFS Treatments
M.E./CFS Diet
M.E./CFS Medications
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease Diagnosis
Lyme Disease Symptoms
Lyme Disease Causes
Lyme Disease Treatments
Lyme Disease Diet
Lyme Disease Medications
M.E. & CFS
Lyme Disease
General Health
ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus
Credit Card Processing