News of World Medicine

Scientists have proved that medicines do not work if you do not believe in their effectiveness

Researches from Oxbridge and two German universities after studying the role of conscious thinking in appreciation of pain have come to a conclusion that positive thinking double analgetic action while negative one may level this effect.

During the experiment scientists applied a hot device to skin of 22 volunteers. This device caused a certain level of discomfort. The participants were asked to assess the pain they felt using the scale from 0 to 100. The mean value was 65. When doctors started introducing an opiate-based pain-killer without informing participants, the mean value decreased to 55. And when the researches informed the volunteers that they receive a pain-killer, the mean value decreased abruptly to 39. When it was said that they had stopped introducing the preparation, although the opiate was still coming into the blood of participants, the value increased again to 64.

In addition, when conducting the experiment scientists also controlled brain activity of all those tested with the help of MRI. It was noticed, that during the experiment when the volunteers thought that no pain-killer came into their blood, the part of the brain responsible for painful sensation, manifested a greater activity. Positive thinking, on the contrary, promoted the suppression of this activity.

Professor Irene Tracy from the Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain of Oxford University says: "Doctors should not underestimate the influence of negative expectations of patients on the result”.

The results of this study were published in journal "Science Translational Medicine".