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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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Mental and behavioural disorders

Mental and behavioural disorders

Chapter:
(p.123) Chapter 5 Mental and behavioural disorders
Source:
Placebo Effects
Author(s):

Fabrizio Benedetti

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559121.003.0005

In depression, a fluoxetine treatment and a placebo treatment affect similar brain regions. In addition, covert (unexpected) administration of anti-anxiety drugs is less effective than overt (expected) administration, which indicates the key role of expectation in anti-anxiety therapy. In dementia, the disruption of prefrontal executive control in Alzheimer's disease may decrease the magnitude of placebo responses, and expectations appear to be particularly important when associated to the effects of drugs of abuse. In general, placebo effects appear to be powerful in psychotherapy and, interestingly, the brain areas involved in the psychotherapeutic outcome are different from those involved in the placebo effect, which suggests different underlying mechanisms.

Keywords:   depression, antidepressants, anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, psychotherapy

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