What is most significant about placebos is not so...

Human Options

What is most significant about placebos is not so much the verdict they supply on the efficacy of new drugs as the clear proof that what passes through the mind can produce alterations in the body's chemistry. These facts also indicate that the same pathways and connections that come into play through the use of placebos can be activated without placebos. The main ingredient is the human belief system.

Norman Cousins

Excerpted from Human Options by Norman Cousins. Copyright © 1981 by Norman Cousins. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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June 12, 1989

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