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Placebo sweet spot identified in brain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mike2014, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi All,

    I'm not sure if any anyone has posted this, but this is a relatively new finding.

    Using functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI), scientists at the Northwestern Medicine and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) have identified for the first time the region of the brain that's responsible for the "placebo effect" in pain relief. It’s an area in the front part of the brain -- called the mid frontal gyrus -- that also plays a key role in our emotions and decision making.

    http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/10/27/placebo-effect-is-all-in-our-heads#commenting (Placebo Effect is All in Our Heads)

    Warm regards
    pspa likes this.
  2. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    So whether one is a placebo responder or not is just some passive deterministic function of the number of neural connections in one's gyrus and has nothing to do with one's personality or experiences or attitudes? This neuroscience stuff goes too far for me sometimes. Next they'll be telling us our mood is just a function of how long serotonin stays in our synapses.... oh wait....
    mike2014 likes this.
  3. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree. It's very interesting they've identified the region, however it's a shame they have not linked it to emotions and emotional awareness.

    I'm sure the study was funded by Big Pharma, so mentioning emotions being the causation of our ailments and cure, goes well against their agenda.
    TG957 likes this.
  4. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    Emotions are just a result of neurotransmitters or, if you believe the folks on that CFS forum phoenixrising, some other thing going on at the molecular level. The person never has anything to do with it. I actually read a post there not too long ago by one of their supplement gurus about how ridiculous it was to think of anxiety as a psychologically-mediated condition.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mentioning emotions on a CFS forum is always likely to see a huge backlash and cause conflict. It's a discussion which isn't worth entering.

    I'm not sure if you're familiar with Suzanne O'Sullivan, but she wrote the book 'it's all in your head' which contains a case study on CFS. Despite winning an award, the book received poor reviews by the CFS community, who refused to believe emotions play a part.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/0099597853/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477785643&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX280_SY350_QL65&keywords=suzanne+o+sullivan&dpPl=1&dpID=41tZsdi8iHL&ref=plSrch (It's All in Your Head: Stories from the Frontline of Psychosomatic Illness:Amazon.co.uk:Books)
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    Yeah if you aren't talking about elaborate and expensive supplement regimes with endless tweaks and increasingly obscure postulated causal mechanisms and tests, the CFS community wants no part of you. Ashok Gupta did not do very well with them, I don't think. The self-professed experts there are the worst. Not one thing they say is supported by evidence as best I can tell. And many people seem to literally spend their days slavishly taking their endless numbers of supplements and monitoring their reactions.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, that was me for many years. Very expensive and disheartening. Thank you, Dr. Sarno and all the other wonderful practitioners who have shared their wisdom! So thankful to have found something that actually works, and the only cost was a few books.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    I understand and empathize with the demoralization and desperation that comes from feeling ill, believe me. But I don't understand the mindset that all that ails us can be cured if we can only find the right supplement regime, nor do I understand the mindset that rejects as anathema any notion that a person's emotions and experiences might be relevant to their situation. It's well-established for example that stress can be a "trigger" for CFS but the community only sees this in biochemical/cellular terms, e.g. that stress can trigger some change in immune function.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Part of the mechanism of repression, I suspect.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  10. Wavy Soul

    Wavy Soul Peer Supporter

    Oh Jeez - I feel a bit busted. I too have gone on that Phoenix Rising Forum. I understand the come-from of CFS folk being frustrated with people throwing the emotional or cognitive diagnosis at them, which can feel like people not understanding the physical intensity of the life-threatening collapse one is going through, because I’ve been going through it, at times, for several decades. I’ve found that CFS (and FMS) are a much more difficult and challenging journey than just healing back pain (and Sarno work did a good job for me on that and other things).

    Be compassionate, fellow peers. I know from my experience of what they call CFS etc. that no one can imagine the experience if you haven’t actually lived it. The level of exhaustion and weakness can be too great for the application of any process, knowledge therapy, etc. Now, I’ve been an advocate of the Sarno approach for many years. But even on the TMS Forum I never found one post of someone who had successfully applied it to the experience of “CFS.” There are plenty of people who use the words CFS to describe a phase of months or a few years. But mine has been coming and going 35 years, during which I have been extremely aware of my core rage, my thoughts, my doorways to witness consciousness and much more — I teach this stuff for a living and have had many many breakthroughs. But CFS is a buzzzard. It comes and goes without much correlation with whether I do Sarno work or Gupta work or the many other related practices I know. Recently it has come again:

    Earlier this year I nearly died of pneumonia. It was dramatic — the worst case they had ever seen at the ER. And I hadn’t been in the cold or had a cold or flu or anything. Then struggling to breathe, unable to even pick up a glass of water or go to the bathroom for weeks. And I am single - I had friends taking care of me 24/7 for weeks in order to survive. That was difficult — I do have good friends, but I feel I have spent every bit of credit ;-) Then it took 5 rounds of antibiotics to get me well, between one thing and another, including a relapse. This was the sickest I have been in my life, including the “C” diagnosis years ago.

    Then in response to the antibiotics I got really really bad after-effects. And I’m dealing with clearing those. I won’t go into physical details here, but certain “supplements” are actually working to rebuild my system. And I have a really good straight/alternate doctor who has done blood tests and is using a combo of meds and what are here rather caustically and disdainfully called “supplements” (they are usually natural agents from Goddess’s good earth) to get myself back from what is, basically, yet another experience of pain throughout my whole body, and such fatigue that I only have a few active hours a day.

    My reaction to all this pain and exhaustion clearly perpetuates the spin of symptoms. But it isn’t the whole thing. The whole thing is a mystery to me. I know if I weren’t experiencing what I am experiencing — say my whole buy-in to Sarno had just been my back and tooth miracles (see the other TMS forum) — I would just feel scornful and superior to those who don’t “realize” that they are just going through another manifestation of TMS.

    Compassion and humility requested from all of us to all of us. We don’t know it all and we don’t know what we don’t know...

    jaumeb and JanAtheCPA like this.
  11. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    Have you read Arthur Barsky's article on Functional Somatic Syndromes? He has an interesting perspective.
  12. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    By the way I am not one of those who confidently espouses that CFS and fibro are TMS or TMS equivalents. I certainly have seen people who make that claim. I just don't understand the militant insistence that emotions and life are entirely irrelevant. And I have lots to say about supplements based on personal experience but will refrain.
  13. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was diagnosed with CFS by two doctors after they had ruled out other disease. It was not fun at all. Very depressing and always feeling hopeless. I can't speak for other but in my case I was able to cure myself from it with mind body method after years of fail conventional treatment. So in my mind CFS is just a severe case of tms.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    My third* favorite doctor in my TMS journey (although he does not espouse "TMS" as such) is Gabor Mate MD, who explains the physiology of how the stress of repressed emotions, depending upon intensity and length of time, creates physiological changes to our bodies, including our physical brains. The result will be a compromised immune system and/or other negative changes most of which I don't follow because I'm an accountant, not a biochemist. But I get his point. Your body can't experience those kinds of changes without experiencing very real physical symptoms and sometimes physical damage - some of which can be treated, and must be treated, with pharmaceuticals and other therapies in order to reverse the damage.

    WavySoul, I often tend to veer into rigid "it's all psychological" thinking where recovery is concerned, so I would like to personally thank you very much for your post, which reminds me to be more careful and compassionate in my thoughts as well as my words.

    *after Dr. Sarno and Claire Weekes (PhD)
    pspa likes this.
  15. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    That would be Dr. Sarno who says CFS and Fibro are TMS equivalents in his books. I was once dx'ed with "clinical depression", I hated the shrink I was seeing for it, and he made things worse by giving me the wrong med for it making things even worse. When I read depression was an affective form of TMS it gave me a totally different view of it and hastened my recovery. I thanked it for being a TMS defense mechanism/PROTECTOR, when I needed one and turned the corner to functioning again.

    Does anyone know what the difference is between clinical depression, CFS and Fibro?
  16. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Only that they are most likely to be different expressions of TMS. I suspect that CFS is the most physically debilitating because the immune and/or other systems have been compromised according to the physiological damage described by Dr. Mate, as a result of intense emotional stress.

    I had a couple of specific pain symptoms that are on the list of Fibro symptoms (the one I remember is tenderness inside the clavicle(s?), but those symptoms went away forever right after reading TDM. The depression (which was not yet severely debilitating when I discovered Dr. Sarno - but it was getting there) took a little longer, and was still lurking and trying to take me down, but I clearly remember the morning, a couple of months "after Sarno" that a wave of depression came over me, and I was able to make the brain shift that allowed me to say "No - this is not necessary, I'm not going there anymore". It was a very physical sensation. I was convinced in that moment that certain types of depression (probably what they call "clinical" depression but the doc who earlier had prescribed an SSRI which I only took twice didn't specify) are TMS.

    That being said, we had a teenage foster kid who had fetal alcohol brain damage, thanks to an alcoholic mother with bipolar disorder, and her daughter developed the bipolar at about age 15. Unlike her mother, she had the advantage of modern SSRIs which were much more effective than her mother's use of alcohol way back when she was a teen. But that's a whole 'nother story. Bipolar, of course, is not all depression - the other half is the manic phase, and the whole disorder is clearly a serious form of mental illness, perhaps exacerbated by the prenatal (permanent) brain damage that our kid suffered. TMS it is NOT.
  18. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    The CFS and Fibro communities seem to spend a great deal of energy debating definitions and inclusion and exclusion criteria, but from my study of it I think at a very oversimplified level the hallmark symptom of CFS now is considered to be some form of cognitive impairment as well as post-exertional fatigue, and the hallmark symptom of Fibro is considered to be widespread pain.

    As far as the TMS question goes, I don't pretend to have any special insight, but one thing that bothers me about assigning a completely psychogenic cause to CFS is that an awful lot of sufferers seem to have a viral onset. At the same time, it seems unwise for the CFS community to rule out the possibility that emotional stressors can play a role, or at least that mindbody treatments can help. The answer to my mind cannot lie 100 percent in supplement regimes and microanalyzing methylation SNPs and finding the right ratio of the various forms of B12 and whatever.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  19. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    When I got the "clinical depression" dx, I was reading my Sarno, and came to the realization that my symptoms could just as well be dx'ed as fibro and chronic fatigue depending on which doctor specialist I might go to. I had physical symptoms of pain sensitivity everywhere, and I was tired all the time. My feeling is that giving fibro and cf a physical cause, it is more acceptable then calling it depression, which is a TMS affective symptom. I now see many commercials on TV of actors happily romping around after swallowing a pill. I did a little research on cf and found out it was first found (or invented) at Incline Village, Nevada. It's a very nice place on the north shore of Lake Tahoe--where a lot of people have too much time on their hands.
  20. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    One difficulty with CFS with its imprecise definition(s) and lack of a clear diagnostic test or even biomarker is that a broad range of people get diagnosed with it, or self-diagnose, and some probably do have primarily a psycho-physiological illness. But that doesn't mean there isn't a group of very sick people who have a primarily viral or other immunological illness. In my opinion TMS people need to be circumspect about painting with too broad a brush or categorically diagnosing others. That old saying that we love to apply to people who misdiagnose back pain, to someone with a hammer everything looks like a nail, works both ways.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
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