A “sugar pill” or any dummy medication or treatment.
For example, in a controlled clinical trial, one group may be given a real medication while another group is given a placebo that looks just like it in order to learn if the differences observed are due to the medication or to the power of suggestion. Placebos are widely used in drug trials.
- Placebo effect
“Where there is hope, there is life.” And hope is positive expectation, by another name. The scientific study of the placebo effect is usually dated to the pioneering paper published in 1955 on “The Powerful Placebo” by the anesthesiologist Henry K. Beecher (1904-1976). Beecher concluded that, across the 26 studies he analyzed, an average of […]
- Placebo response
A positive medical response to taking a placebo, as if it were an active medication.
A term used to describe a method of research in which an inactive substance (a placebo) is given to one group of participants, while the treatment (usually a drug or vaccine) being tested is given to another group. The results obtained in the two groups are then compared to see if the investigational treatment is […]
A temporary organ that joins the mother and fetus, transferring oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus and permitting the release of carbon dioxide and waste products from the fetus. The placenta is roughly disk-shaped, and at full term it measures about 7 inches in diameter and slightly less than 2 inches thick. […]
- Placenta accreta
The abnormal adherence of the chorion of the placenta to the myometrium of the uterus. Normally there is tissue intervening between the chorionic villi and the myometrium, but in ‘placenta accreta, the vascular processes of the chorion grow directly in the myometrium. Placenta accreta can progress into placenta percreta.