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Entries in Health care (3)

Saturday
Nov242018

Placebo research by Ted Kaptchuk

Very exciting research this past year by Harvard's Ted Kaptchuk, author of a primer on Traditional Chinese Medicine called The Web That Has No Weaver. He has identified the Placebo Spot in the brain--a region of the frontal lobe--and mapped genetic variations in neurotransmitter pathways that affect individuals' responsiveness to placebos--a system referred to as the placebome. Placebo is a complex neuro response by an individual, involving one's dopamine and/or opioid reward centers, to a caretaker's loving attention. It seems that some people are genetically predisposed to be responsive to loving attention, causing a healing cascade due to changes in neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine and opioids. This calls into question decades of research that pulled small sample sizes, perhaps flawed by genetic bias as it is unknown what percentage of the population is prone to placebo effect. While we have always known that placebo works (much to the disappointment of the western medical establishment), its mechanisms have been shrouded in mystery.

Here's a TED Talk that Kaptchuk did on Placebo in 2014.

Saturday
Dec012012

Ted Talk: The shocking truth about your health.

Wednesday
May232012

If Health Care were like AirLines

I've been meaning to recommend this website devoted to Participatory Medicine for some time now.  It's a growing movement of consumers and practitioners striving to change the face of health care by transforming the way patients interact with their health care providers.  It encourages transparency, consumer responsibility, consumer choice, informed decision-making (as opposed to informed choice), and restructuring of a broken system.  Also, check out their video, "If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care".  It's funny, yet sad.  Many interesting and thought-provoking articles to peruse.  Have at it!