Journal of Nursing

Placebo is not a “sugar pill” but the result of stimulation of neural networks involved in central analgesia and in mood regulation

Maria Sicuteri Nicolodi


Placebo was intended as a pill devoid of any active principle capable to influence or relieve so called psychosomatic diseases. More recently, it has been shown that placebo can be useful in surgical practice. In fact, sham operation can induce significantbenefit. Emotions have been shown to play a pivotal role in placebo. Present observation concerns an attempt to investigate and therapeutically use scientific evidences in a placebo devoted to sufferers from chronic migraine pain. The present approach has itsbackground in the fact that placebo analgesia has been shown to largely consist either in the activation both of analgesia pathways and of emotional systems as well as genetic and epigenetic expressions leading to specific behavior. In this perspective placebo has been used to empower a conventional therapy thatwas scored as unsatisfactory by the enrolled chronic migraine sufferers. Here proposed placebo seems to transform an ineffective drug therapy into an effective pain relieving approach.


Placebo; Placebo Analgesia; Endogenous Opiods; Non Opiodergic

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