Karin Meissner Professor of Integrative Medicine, Division of Health Promotion, Coburg University, and director of the Placebo research group, Institute of Medical Psychology, LMU Munich, Germany.
Placebo effects in the gut: How expectancies shape nausea and appetite
Placebo effects are not limited to the central nervous system, but may also affect peripheral body systems such as the heart and the gut. In a series of experiments, we recently investigated the mechanisms and correlates of placebo effects on perceptions related to the stomach, namely nausea and appetite. In addition to behavioral outcomes (symptom ratings, questionnaires) we assessed a variety of psychophysiological correlates (EKG, EEG, EGG) and humoral outcomes (cortisol, ghrelin, plasma proteomics). The results of these extensive analyses provide new and intriguing insights into the peripheral correlates of placebo effects in the gut, spanning from the release of the gut hormone ghrelin to the identification of the first proteomic signature of the placebo effect in peripheral blood.
Karin Meissner, MD, is a professor of Integrative Medicine at the Division of Health Promotion, Coburg University, and director of the Placebo research group at the Institute of Medical Psychology, LMU Munich. She has been studying placebo effects for more than 20 years, focusing on the peripheral mechanisms of placebo effects and the modulation of placebo effects by treatment characteristics. Dr. Meissner’s extensive experimental and clinical research on the placebo effect is reflected in more than 50 publications.