Patrick Lemoine

The Placebo Mystery Publication date : August 31, 2006

In medicine, a placebo is an illusion.
Yet placebos can be used to treat — and even cure — diseases. Placebos can make eczema disappear, put insomniac infants to sleep, soothe coughs, assuage anxiety and even appease pain.
How can an inactive substance, with no proven pharmacological value, have such power? And why do physicians take so little advantage of the placebo effect, or use it with such trepidation?
This fascinating inquiry into the world of illness and medication gives us a rare insight into some strange practices that are often kept secret by the medical profession.

Patrick Lemoine is a physician and psychiatrist specialising in the study and treatment of sleep disorders and depression.