Depressed People Who Respond Strongly To Placebo May Reap Benefit From Antidepressants

TIME (10/1, Sifferlin) reports that according to a study published online Sept. 30 in JAMA Psychiatry, “people who are depressed and respond strongly to placebo treatments also reap the most benefit when they’re given real antidepressants.” For the study, investigators “focused on the mu-opioid system in the brain,” having “35 people with major depressive disorder take a new depression drug (which was actually a placebo) before taking drugs already proven to treat depression.” The study revealed that people “who reported the greatest improvement in depression symptoms after taking placebo pills also showed the greatest mu-opioid system response in the brain, which was determined through brain scans.”

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— “The Fascinating Link Between Placebo and Antidepressants,” Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, September 30, 2015.

Posted in In The News.