New data suggest that although open-label placebos provide pain relief, this can be blocked by the opioid antagonist naloxone, similar to traditional “deceptive” placebos." There has been a need for more research into how open-label placebo works, as we don’t have a consensus mechanistic explanation for how these effects occur,” said Luana Colloca, director of the Placebo Beyond Opinions Center at University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, US.
The placebo effect works by turning on the body’s natural mechanisms for helping us feel better. Our brains make many substances that can lessen pain, stress, anxiety, and other unpleasant feelings. Dr. Luana Colloca, a physician-scientist at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, calls this our “inner pharmacy.” Just expecting to feel better can cause the release of these substances.
Colloca, MPower Professor, has conducted pioneering groundbreaking studies that have advanced scientific understanding of the psychoneurobiological bases of endogenous systems for pain modulation in humans. As a result, she has developed an international reputation as a leading scientist for advancing knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms of placebo and nocebo effects with a multifaceted approach including psychopharmacological, neurobiological, and behavioral aspects.
“Qui entrano in gioco diversi fattori, a partire dalla genetica,” interviene la professoressa Luana Colloca, MPower Distinguished Professor presso l’Universita` del Maryland a Baltimora, Stati Uniti. Colloca discusses the different factors that can impact the effectiveness of placebo therapy.
The science behind cold-water plunges and mental health isn’t robust enough to convince many in the medical community that it’s anything more than a placebo. Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS, professor, said there are a number of reasons cold-water therapy might ease symptoms of mental illness, but that it should be done alongside other treatment.
Luana Colloca, a physician, neuroscientist, and placebo researcher at the University of Maryland, worries that prescribing open-label placebos could just become a means for doctors to shoo away patients. “I truly believe that we don’t need open-label placebos,” she says.