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Clin Dermatol. 2013 Jan-Feb;31(1):86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2011.11.012.

The placebo effect: why we should care.

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Department of Dermatology University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Box 697, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Contrary to its definition, a placebo is far from an inert substance but carries meaningful responses that can mediate significant outcome results in pharmacotherapeutic studies. The advent of detailed studies and modern imaging techniques have provided the basis to understand the underlying mechanisms of the placebo effect, as well as its localization to determined brain centers. Designing clinical trials using principles of classical conditioning to mediate placebo effects may enhance treatment outcomes and provide novel pharmacotherapeutic modalities.

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