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Placebo-responsive Parkinson patients show decreased activity in single neurons of subthalamic nucleus

Nature Neuroscience volume 7, pages 587588 (2004) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Placebo administration is known to affect the brain both in pain and in Parkinson disease. Here we show that placebo treatment caused reduced activity in single neurons in the subthalamic nucleus of placebo-responsive Parkinsonian patients. These changes in activity were tightly correlated with clinical improvement; no decrease in activity occurred when the clinical placebo response was absent.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from the Project “Neuroscience” of the National Research Council (01.00439.ST97 and 02.00529.ST97), from the Project “Alzheimer's disease” of the Italian Ministry of Health (PFA/DML/UO6/2001 and PFA/DML/UO6/2001/AA), and from a grant from the Italian Ministry of University and Research-FIRB (RBNE01SZB).

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Neuroscience, Clinical and Applied Physiology Program, University of Turin Medical School, Corso Raffaello 30, 10125 Turin, Italy.

    • Fabrizio Benedetti
    •  & Luana Colloca
  2. Department of Neuroscience, Neurology Clinic, University of Turin Medical School, Via Cherasco 15, 10126 Turin, Italy.

    • Elena Torre
    • , Marina Pesare
    • , Bruno Bergamasco
    •  & Leonardo Lopiano
  3. Division of Neurosurgery, CTO Medical Center, Via Zuretti 29, 10126 Turin, Italy.

    • Michele Lanotte
    •  & Antonio Melcarne
  4. Maugeri Foundation, Via Ferrata 4, 27100 Pavia, Italy.

    • Bruno Bergamasco

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fabrizio Benedetti.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1250

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