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Vol. 10, No. 2, 2003
Issue release date: April 2003
Forsch Komplementärmed Klass Naturheilkd 2003;10:61–68
(DOI:10.1159/000071664)
Focus: Health · Original Article

The Placebo Effect on Mood and Behavior: Possible Role of Opioid and Dopamine Modulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal System

Sher L.
Division of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, USA

Abstract

There has been an increasing interest in the placebo effect over the past several decades. The relationship between the placebo effect and the underlying mechanisms of the body that control and maintain health is still not well understood. Significant evidence suggests that endogenous opioids and dopamine are involved in the mechanisms of the placebo effect. The endogenous opioid and dopaminergic systems have been demonstrated to exert effects on the functional activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA system contributes to regulation of mood and behavior. The author suggests that opioid and dopamine modulation of the HPA system is one of the neurobiological mechanisms of the placebo effect on mood and behavior. To elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms of placebo effects and to study the use of placebo in clinical practice to improve health are two important and interrelated tasks. Future studies of the neurobiology of the placebo response may yield interesting and important results.

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Forschende Komplementärmedizin und Klassische Naturheilkunde / Research in Complementary and Classical Natural Medicine
Offizielles Organ der Schweizerischen Medizinischen Gesellschaft für Phytotherapie, European Society for Classical Natural Medicine

Vol. 10, No. 2, Year 2003 (Cover Date: April 2003)

Journal Editor: M. Bühring, Berlin, Germany, K. Linde, München, Germany, W. Marktl, Wien, Austria, D. Melchart, München, Germany, K.M. Meyer-Abich, Essen, Germany, K.L. Resch, Bad Elster, Germany, R. Saller, Zürich, Switzerland, M. Ullmann, München, Germany, H. Walach, Freiburg i.Br., Germany
ISSN: 1424–7364 (print), 1424–7372 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/fkm


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