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35

People could develop antibodies from natural exposure to the virus. The vaccine is trying to cause antibodies to exist in more people (and/or more strongly) than would express them naturally, therefore a good comparison group is a sample taken randomly in the same way as those getting the vaccine: a placebo group. At the same time, these trials tend to ...


15

tl;dr Current research seems to indicate that the brain is responding to anticipation or visual stimulus of needles being inserted, not that any of the theories supporting acupuncture are correct. Steven Novella reviewed the following article: Chae Y, Lee IS, Jung WM, Park K, Park HJ, Wallraven C. Psychophysical and neurophysiological responses to ...


13

People in the control group will behave differently if they know they're in the control group. For example, it's not unreasonable to expect people will do less social distancing once they're vaccinated. This will increase their chances of being exposed to the virus.


11

Good question. A phase I trial normally has small numbers, is purely sized to test safety, and it would have no placebo arm. With side effects and antibodies are end points, and a placebo group, this would more often be called a combined phase I/II trial. The purpose of the placebo should be to compare the proportion of side effects and antibodies in the ...


5

This actually has been the subject of a recent debate/article in Nature. The answer is that the approach varies, depending on the perceived risk for the subjects... One method previously used is to create a 3rd arm for participants on the placebo that receive[d] the actual vaccine later. Once a vaccine is granted emergency approval, there is pressure on ...


5

You're right, the best placebos are ones where the subject can't really know which group they are in. However, it still makes sense to have a control group, and even if a placebo isn't ideal it can be better than nothing. For studies of psychedelics, for example, there are a few key points: A) At the very least, the placebo is a control for the drug ...


5

No, there isn't, not in any meaningful way. "The placebo effect" is an umbrella term, used primarily in the media/pop science. That isn't to say it isn't real or valid, but it covers outcomes from a great many different studies. In drug trials, the effects of a drug are often compared to a placebo - a sugar pill/saline injection - even placebo surgery. ...


4

Introduction The placebo effect is a very interesting thing to study. To keep this scientific, though, let's divide your question into three addressable points: Does the placebo effect work? Does the placebo effect work on you? Can the placebo effect be scientifically tested? If each of these points can be resolved as true, then it would be fair to call ...


4

Two facts you need: first, clinical trials have very strict rules for who can be in them. Second, some trials are "drug A vs placebo" while others are "Drug A vs Drug B" or "Drug A vs Drugs A and B together" not to mention variations in dose etc. It's not all a matter of "we won't treat half the participants." I was in ...


3

I'll point out some possible situations; these are certainly not exhaustive and some can overlap, but will probably give you a better idea. Some of the terminology I'll use might be a bit US-centric, but the general principles also apply elsewhere. Phase 1 clinical trials Phase 1 trials are the first of four phases that make up a typical clinical trial ...


3

Antibodies only reflect one part of the immune response: the humoral immunity. There is another part of the immunity that can't be detected by dosing the antibodies: the cell-mediated immunity. It produces no antibodies. It only creates effector T-cells that can detect the presence of viruses (or some intra-cellular bacteria) inside body cells and destroy ...


3

Acupuncture is often used to treat pain conditions such as headache, lower back and osteoarthritis. It is based on scientific evidence that treatment can stimulate nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue and as result body is producing pain-relieving substances (such as endorphins)NHS. NICE recommends acupuncture only as a treatment option for chronic ...


2

I think you're missing the point still. The "benefit" column in that table is about benefits of the modification, not the drug. A drug modified to prevent release in vitro (kind of a weird phrasing..) is designed to require an additional processing step that occurs when the drug is taken normally (often orally), but not when it is abused (like ground up and ...


2

Two things: Clinical trials are generally double-blinded, meaning that neither the subjects nor the researchers know what the subject is receiving, and Potential ethical issues are considered ahead of time by both the researchers as well as Human Subject Review Committees who have to approve the research protocol.


1

The entire point of having a placebo control from a statistics perspective is that the only thing different between the groups is the treatment. You cannot say this is true if you also tell people which group they are in: if you do this, there are now two differences between groups, 1) Treatment vs placebo, 2) Knowing they are in the placebo group vs. ...


1

The National Research Council has explained that: “Precision Medicine refers to the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. It does not literally mean the creation of drugs or medical devices that are unique to a patient, but rather the ability to classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in their ...


1

Based on my medical knowledge and a literature search, I cannot find evidence to suggest that banana peels are a superior treatment for warts. I saw only one nearly 40-year-old study on PubMed, Warzawer-Schwarcz L. "Treatment of plantar warts with banana skin." Plast Reconstr Surg. 1981 Dec;68(6):975-6. http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1981/...


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