National report -- According to the AP/Wall Street Journal, international studies have revealed that the so-called placebo effect may not be just in the mind. Neurological effects similar to those seen with actual medication have been observed. Paradoxically, if a medication is not expected to work in a certain situation, the placebo effect may not be observed, either.
Researchers from the University of Michigan, Italy's University of Torino Medical School, Columbia University and Emory University say that placebo effects were variable, and depended on a number of factors including patient expectations and what condition was being treated. A better understanding of how the placebo effect works could enable physicians to most effectively capitalize on it.