Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Placebo Effect : New Treatment for Asthma

New England Journal of Medicine declared such results that showed the importance of caring for patients rather than providing drugs merely. No doubt that inhaling albuterol allows asthmatic lungs work in superior way but patients treated with a placebo inhaler or phony acupuncture feel improved in same number. These results were noteworthy and proved that on a subjective basis; placebo is equally beneficial in asthma patients like albuterol treatment. Placebo is a mirror image of pill that made of milk sugar or another inert substance also called a fake surgery or therapy. Usually, placebos are used in research to check how new drugs work in relation to no drugs at all. But recently, asthma study used actual drugs to determine how this placebo effect - no drug - plays a part in Asthma cases.

Placebo Effect : New Treatment for Asthma
In this treatment, an inert pill was given to patient by saying that it may improve his/her condition. But they do not aware about the fact that it is just inert. This intervention may cause the patient to believe the treatment will certainly change his/her condition. Such belief may create a subjective perception of a therapeutic effect, causing the patient to feel improvement in their condition and this happening is known as the placebo effect.

The Placebo Effect is very common phenomena observed in medicine, but also very mysterious. Improvement in health through the placebo effect is not due to any treatment but only to the patient's belief that he or she will improve by taking a dummy pill which is thought to be a cure. The psychological theory says that it is all in your mind. So, if I believe the pill will help, it will definitely help. Thus, it may be due to real effect caused by belief or to a subjective delusion.

It was unclear that whether placebos can actually influence objective measures of disease or not. To check that Researchers lead by Dr. Michael Wechsler of Harvard Medical School, used a double blind crossover study and observed the effects of 39 patients of chronic asthma while treating them with these four substances such as a bronchodilator, a placebo albuterol inhaler, sham acupuncture and with no intervention. Patients were randomly assigned to undertake all four treatment session in sequential medical visits. These procedures took out for three times to each patient and every patient had a sum of 12 medical visits.

Studies mainly tested on the two bases. One of them is measuring improvement in lungs function. And the other is improvement in symptoms that self assessed by patient. There was a considerable improvement in lung function while using real bronchodilator. This bronchodilator resulted in a 20% increase in FEV1, compared with each of the rest three interventions which are only 7%.

But as per the patients' reports of improvement, there was not considerably difference for the bronchodilator (50% improvement) compared to placebo inhaler (45%), or sham acupuncture (46%).

With regard to change in lung function, there was not any objective placebo effect. Still, the study confirmed that placebo effects on patients' symptoms equally as offered by the real drug. However, they made criticism on the report that self-assessment isn’t actually a reliable measure of symptom control, but it uncovered the placebo effect’s potential utility in medical care. Placebo effects can arise not only from a conscious faith in a drug but also from hidden relations of experience of being treated and recovery.

No doubt that belief is powerful medicine, the treatment is fake itself. Although Placebo effects are naturally feel-good factor, it may be possible that symptoms of a serious illness could be covered by it, while using a fake treatment or therapy. Sometimes placebo effects make real disease obscured, which can lead to hindrance in getting appropriate diagnosis or treatment.

Video of When everybody else and their mother has asthma from youtube:

2 comments:

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The mention of asthma as a purportedly scientifically understood and treated disease shows the reliance on a how many angels on the head of a pin type of argument here, betraying the aims of the authors. The extensive scientific writings on inspiratory muscle training and the widespread use of the respective appliances clearly indicates not only that asthma symptoms may be eliminated by such training but also that the muscle detraining effects of asthma drugs must be responsible for the epidemic. Furthermore all too relevant is the utter absence of the least serious enquiry about causation due to treatment. Obviously anyone afflicted by the disorder should consult a physician aware of the developments. RF

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