Parkinson’s disease is treated with a placebo

Psychology is a powerful tool. This is proven by the recent studies of Parkinson’s disease.

From the results of the study conducted by scientists from the University of Colorado and Columbia University in the USA, it is found that the brain reacts to the placebo and to the real drug in the same way. Earlier, the scientists found that the brain of people with Parkinson’s responds to the expectation of starting treatment.

In the present study, the researchers found that the placebo effect occurs through the dopamine activation of certain areas in the brain.

Actually, Parkinson’s disease itself develops when cells that synthesize dopamine die. For this reason, it is difficult for patients to make motivated decisions with the aim of achieving a certain positive end result.

Also, dopamine performs the function of both a hormone and a signaling substance of the nervous system, regulating movements and emotional reactions. Perceiving a positive attitude is associated with dopamine cells secreting the dual-function substance in response to positive actions taken.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by 4 main symptoms – tremors of the hands, limbs, jaw and face; stiffness of buttocks and limbs; weakening of motor abilities; and difficulty coordinating and maintaining balance.

The disease progresses and gradually reaches a point where normal daily activities such as walking, talking, eating and maintaining the hygiene of the patients become a real challenge for them.

During the study, Parkinson’s patients were given drugs that increase dopamine levels. 18 people took part in the experiment, and they were also offered to play computer games.

At that moment, a computed tomography of the brain was also done.

The game assessed the degree of assimilation of the positive attitude by having the participants try to identify what the appropriate strategy should be in order to reach a positive outcome.

Within the game, two possibilities were offered depending on the result – a small cash prize or protection against losing money.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease played the game 3 times. The first time, neither placebo nor drug was used. On the second, the participants were given medicine with juice, and on the third, juice with a placebo.

As a result of the experiment, it was established that in patients during the second and third time the striatum /striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, where the density of dopamine-synthesizing cells is the greatest, are equally activated .

Therefore, there is a connection between dopamine, expectation and information retention processes. Instead of a conclusion, scientists advise Parkinson’s patients to focus on a positive attitude to improve their condition.

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