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The placebo effect in Parkinson`s disease trials

July 9, 2014

Dr. Tiago Mestre has published a study in the journal Neurology that looks at the impact placebos have on the measured effect of treatments given during a clinical trial to people who have Parkinson`s disease. The study analyzed a number of Parkinsonís disease studies and found that the use of a placebo during randomized controlled trials resulted in a significant reduction in the measured effect of actual treatments being tested, compared with randomized controlled trials that did not use a placebo. The authors suggest that this difference may be related to a reduced expectation of benefit among Parkinsonís disease patients involved in trials that use a placebo. These findings have potential implications for the appraisal of current treatment options for Parkinsonís disease and other neurologic disorders, as well as trial design. Dr. Mestre is pursuing further studies in this area. Read the study.

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The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the universityís Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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