In this column, SDSTAFF David writes that a 2001 study suggested that the placebo effect may not be true. Instead, some people just get better because of the uneven course of disease. What is the latest on the placebo effect? Is there still broad consensus that the brain changes our physiology such that some people will cure diseases with a sugar pill and positive thinking?
As a related question that may be easier to answer, is there a placebo effect in animals?