Brain Features May Reveal If Placebo Pills Could Treat Chronic Pain
Published:13 Sep.2018    Source:ScienceNews

 Certain brain and personality characteristics may help predict whether a sugar pill can provide relief to someone suffering from chronic pain.

 

In a small study, patients with persistent back pain who responded to a placebo treatment benefitted from up to a 33 percent reduction in their pain intensity. These people had distinctive features in their brains and certain personality traits, researchers report online September 12 in Nature Communications.

 

About 20 percent of U.S. adults, or about 50 million people, had chronic pain in 2016, according to new data released September 13 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic pain was defined as feeling pain on most days, if not every day, over the previous six months.