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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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Cardiovascular and respiratory system

Cardiovascular and respiratory system

Chapter:
(p.177) Chapter 7 Cardiovascular and respiratory system
Source:
Placebo Effects
Author(s):

Fabrizio Benedetti

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559121.003.0007

Compared to other systems, little is known about the mechanisms of placebo and placebo-related effects in both the cardiovascular and the respiratory system. Side effects in placebo groups of cardiovascular clinical trials are common and might represent the basis of nocebo effects. Heart activity can be conditioned and can also be affected during a placebo analgesic response by the activation of the endogenous opioid systems. Not only may placebo-activated endogenous opioids act on pain transmission and the heart, but on the respiratory centres as well, inducing respiratory depression. Other conditions, like asthma and cough, are powerfully affected by placebos, but the underlying mechanisms are virtually unknown.

Keywords:   heart, conditioning, endogenous opioids, respiratory centres, asthma, cough

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