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Placebo Effects: Understanding the mechanisms in health and disease Paperback – December 15, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0199559121 ISBN-10: 0199559120 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199559120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199559121
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #809,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Placebo Effects is a comprehensive monograph on placebo that appears at an auspicious time...It is difficult to identify weaknesses in this comprehensive and thoughtful volume...All physicians could learn much from this volume."--New England Journal of Medicine

" invaluable read for anyone involved with clinical trials and treatment in any way."--Journal of the Neurological Sciences

"Benedetti's book is a lucid and extensive review entrenched in the neurosicence of placebo research and heralding the importance of this area of study...Scholars and educators stand to benefit from Benedetti's excellent tome. The increasing prominence of placebo bodes well for the future of medical care, and Benedetti's book communicates the powerful and diverse healing potential of placebos."--PsycCRITIQUES

"...Benedetti is highly analytical in his approach and, at the same time, has the ability to explain complex matters so that they are easily understood. This book should be a must for all who struggle to make sense out of the intriguing phenomena we call placebo."--Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies

About the Author

Fabrizio Benedetti received the Medical Doctor (MD) degree in 1981 from the University of Turin Medical School. In 1984, he received a Silbert International Award from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). In the 1980s and 1990s, he worked in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA and was a visiting professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas in Dallas. He has been Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Turin Medical School since 1999. He has been a member of the six-strong group on placebo of the Mind-Brain-Behavior Initiative at Harvard University, and a consultant for the Placebo Project at the US National Institute of Health. His current scientific interests are the placebo effect across diseases, pain in dementia, and intraoperative neurophysiology for mapping the human brain.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Hope on May 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sugar pills are surely an obscure interest. Yet, author Benedetti provides an engaging account bound to fascinate clinical researchers, health professional including psychologists and alternative practitioners, as well as ethicists, regulators, guinea piggers, anthropologists, students in these fields, and zealous patients.

Recent challenges to the ethics of using placebos in all types of clinical trails have led to a reexamination of the topic. After decades of focusing on active drug, research is paying more attention to the placebo side of trials.

Benedetti, one of the foremost researchers of placebos, conveys enthusiasm and uncovers aspects not typically addressed. He states much of what's been called placebo effects in clinical trials is not due to the placebo. Placebo related effects (note the plural) are possible without even using placebos. He distinguishes neurobiological placebo effects from improvements in placebo groups attributable to other factors. Benedetti explores differences in placebo responses in pain and among several organ systems. He examines the role of biochemistry, conditioning, and expectations in placebo effects. Particularly intriguing is a theory that placebo and placebo related effects originated from social interactions among early hominoids. One chapter is devoted to ethical considerations. Benedetti proposes improved designs for conducting clinical trials.

The book is well organized, starting each chapter with bulleted summary points, and ending with numbered points for further discussion, and references. It's more readable than many in the genre. In such a rapidly developing field, you'll probably want to balance this passionate account with critics of the work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent account of the neuroscience behind disease and health. The information puts placebos into perspective in terms of what changes are going on at the unconscious and biological level that doctors and patient's are not aware of. Should be required reading for all medics, psychologists and other healing professionals.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Mamone on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found as expected an excellent book from F. Benedetti M.D. regarding a fascinating and challenging field in medicine. I recommend this book for doctors involved in clinical research and in clinical practice.
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