Words of Wisdom:

"beggining is half done" - Giaidieuxanh


  • Date Submitted: 09/05/2010 10:52 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37.4 
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Decaffeinated coffees are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Are they still stimulating & energizing without caffeine – the main stimulating agent? The Answer is yes and it is due to the “mysterious placebo effect”.
Word placebo ,Latin for ‘I shall please’ is defined as ‘any medicine or other kind of treatment that seems therapeutic, but in reality is inert and pharmacological inactive’. And this phenomenon of an inert substance resulting in a patient's medical improvement is called the placebo effect.
History of this strange phenomena dates back to early 18th century. However, the major breakthrough occurred during World War 2. There were heavy casualties, which lead to shortage of morphine (a powerful analgesic); and operations had to be performed without analgesia. On one such occasion, Henry Beecher, an American Anesthetist was preparing to treat a terribly injured soldier. He was worried that without morphine operation would be extremely painful – it might even induce a fatal Cardiovascular shock. But then something very strange happened.. In desperation, one of her nurse   injected the patient with harmless solution of saline, just as if he has been given morphine. Not only did the soldier felt little pain during operation, but the full-blown shock didn’t develop either. Henry tried the trick on several other injured soldiers and it worked; salt water proved to be as effective as one of the most powerful analgesics. The mystery behind this peculiar phenomena is still unrevealed .However, many researchers have proposed different mechanisms to explain this effect. Placebos themselves don’t do anything. The phenomenon is related to the perception and expectation which the patient has; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal, but if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects, which is known as the nocebo effect. Expectations of how well a drug or procedure will work may activate the same neural...


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