I mentioned on the CCSVI forum regarding Dr. Zamboni's statement that MS patients undergoing CCSVI treatments often experienced improvements in fatigue, etc., that this could well be a placebo effect and it would take some time to really tell what the results of opening up the veins did for a person's health.
This comment about the placebo effect seemed to have been met with some derision, as though I was suggesting that treated MSer's were thinking
they were feeling better just because they wanted the treatment to work.
But what I was talking about was not a subjective belief of vague health improvements as a result of believing the treatment would help, but instead what I believe is the profound ability of the body to physiologically
alter itself as a result of the mind's power to influence the body's state of health to some degree. In other words, I believe that our minds DO have some power to heal us, and the placebo effect demonstrates this by resulting in fundamental and physical
changes in our body that are measurable.
A new review seems to support this proposition that the placebo effect is not just our subjective interpretation of a substance's effect on us, but an actual physical change in our body as a result of our mind's belief in the ability of the substance to improve our health. In other words, by our belief in the substance, we actually experience an impact on our health.
I just wanted to open this topic up for discussion because I don't believe a "placebo effect" is a negative, I think it's just our body's amazing trigger that allows us to heal ourself to some degree. Unfortunately, those improvements cannot be distinguished from the benefits from the actual treatment itself, which complicates our ability to figure out what the treatment is responsible for versus what our innate healing ability is responsible for. But it isn't (in my view) that the person is "making up" improvements because they really want the treatment to work when we see a placebo effect, but instead it is the mind's connection to the body that actually results in real physiological improvements.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35469335/ns ... alth_news/
Just to add as well that I think this is why clinical trials are so
important in MS treatment research because of the profound ability of our bodies and minds to alter our health. As we've seen in clinical trials (ABC's for example), placebo effect can be as high as 30% reduction in disease activity. So this makes it that much more critical for us to have double blinded trials so that we have clear evidence of the actual treatment's effect on us.