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Placebo EffectsUnderstanding the mechanisms in health and disease$
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Fabrizio Benedetti

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559121.001.0001

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Diseases of the nervous system

Diseases of the nervous system

(p.99) Chapter 4 Diseases of the nervous system
Placebo Effects

Fabrizio Benedetti

Oxford University Press

Besides pain, Parkinson's disease represents an excellent model to study the neurobiological mechanisms of the placebo effect. The placebo effect in Parkinson's disease is mediated by dopamine release in the striatum and is associated to changes in activity of neurons in the subthalamic nucleus. The therapeutic effects of deep brain stimulation are powerfully modulated by placebos as well. As to migraine, although migraine clinical trials show very high rates of improvement in those patients who received placebo, the underlying mechanisms are not known. Many other neurological diseases, like epilepsy, show improvements in placebo groups, but the mechanisms are completely unknown.

Keywords:   Parkinson's disease, deep brain stimulation, basal ganglia, dopamine, single-neuron recording, migraine, epilepsy

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