Author Archives: Michael Kuss

Between 7 and 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from some type of neuropathic pain, and a significant share of those affected require chronic pain treatment.[1] This high rate of occurrence makes our limited understanding of these afflictions, and the long search for effective treatments, all the more frustrating. Treating neuropathic pain starts withRead more

This is the thirteenth installment of our look at the increasingly high placebo response that is plaguing clinical trials in analgesia and psychiatry. Read the rest of the posts in the series here. Until now, our Placebo Problem series has focused exclusively on the placebo response in adults. Today we turn to another population: kids.Read more

This is the twelfth installment of our look at the increasingly high placebo response that is plaguing clinical trials in analgesia and psychiatry. Catch up on the rest of the posts in the series here. After focusing exclusively on the placebo effect in this series, today we’re going to take a quick detour, turning toRead more

This is the eleventh installment of our look at the increasingly high placebo response that is plaguing clinical trials in analgesia and psychiatry. Read the rest of the posts in the series here. As we discussed last week, there are so many trial-related details that can influence the magnitude of the placebo response. But thereRead more

This is the ninth installment of our look at the increasingly high placebo response that is plaguing clinical trials in analgesia and psychiatry. View the other posts in the series here. Our last post reviewed several potential strategies to reduce the placebo effect, focusing on excluding high placebo responders and alternative trial designs. Today, we’llRead more

Chances are you’ve either personally dealt with osteoarthritis (OA) or know someone who has. This common type of degenerative joint pain represents both a heavy disease burden and a major opportunity for drug developers. Read on to learn more about: OA’s prevalence Optimal diagnostic criteria for clinical trials Treatment options What OA research looks likeRead more

Our seventh installment of The Placebo Problem continues our look at the increasingly high placebo response that is plaguing clinical trials in analgesia and psychiatry. Check out the other posts here. The placebo response is broad. It goes far beyond the effects of merely consuming a sugar pill; it is the patient’s response to theRead more

This is the next installment of our look at the increasingly high placebo response that is plaguing clinical trials in analgesia and psychiatry. Check out the other posts here. Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the psychological, neurobiological, and genetic mechanisms responsible for the placebo response. Today, we turn to the study designs usedRead more

This is Part Two of our series on the increasingly high placebo response that is plaguing clinical trials in analgesia and psychiatry. Read the other parts here. Analgesic and psychiatric drug development is facing an enormous problem: rising placebo responses in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) threaten the ability of pharmaceutical companies to successfully identify novelRead more

For hundreds of years, the medical community has known that the mere act of receiving treatment, even if it’s just a sugar pill, can improve a patient’s symptoms. Therefore, in order to ensure that the effects of an experimental treatment are real, most randomized controlled trials (RCTs) include a placebo arm. Placebos are most oftenRead more

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