Monday, February 09, 2015

Expensive drugs work better than cheap ones.

Bakalar points to work published in the journal Neurology that found that when Parkinson's disease patients were told they were testing two new drugs, one costing $100 and the other $1500 per dose (both in fact were plain saline solutions), they reported the more expensive drug had almost as much effect as levodopa, the most effective known medication for Parkinson's. Perhaps their hightened expectations of the expensive drug caused them to make more dopamine. (Dopamine levels normally rise in anticipation of pleasure or relief.) The study provides evidence that perception of cost is capable of influencing motor function and brain activation in Parkinson disease.

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