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Placebo vs Prozac

Richard S. Norman rnorman at umich.edu
Wed May 8 20:34:28 EST 2002

On Thu, 9 May 2002 00:05:02 +0100, "Ruthie" <rah3 at ukc.ac.uk> wrote:

>"Richard S. Norman" <rnorman at umich.edu> wrote in message
>news:d67iduo03q5ibc8f6dib9djq0q28e774pu at 4ax.com...
>> Sorry about the technical jargon.  Was it "glucocorticosteroid" that
>> got to you?
>Your big words don't scare me and don't impress me - I can use big words
>If so, that refers to the hormone cortisol which is a
>> steroid from the adrenal cortex (a cortico-steroid) which is involved
>> in controlling carbohydrate metabolism (gluco - corticosteroid as
>> opposed to aldosterone that controls salt metabolism, a
>> mineralocorticosteroid).
>Why thank you - you must be very clever. It is a shame that truly great
>minds can communicate their ideas to a wide audience - do you write for
>academia? I can tell.
>> And none of this hypothesizing is my idea at all.  It all originates
>> in a post from James Michael Howard on May 7 which has
>> unfortunately been snipped out of the discussion.  He is the
>> one to propose the DHEA vs cortisol activity.  I was just questioning
>> whether the placebo effect derived from the actual sugar content
>> of the pill or from the fact of a treatment, what James Howard later
>> on March 7 called the perceived hypothetical outcome.
>Indeed, but it seems that some other people have misunderstood your posts
>and those that have gone before it because of the use of technical jargon.
>just cos u be an academic wiv an edumakation don't mean u scare me.
OK Ruthie, I will try to write and just use short words so you can
read it.

Here is the exact content of my first message in this thread:

"How much sugar is there likely to be in a "sugar" pill or placebo?
Perhaps a couple hundred mg?  As much as 1 gram (which seems
fairly extreme)?  Is that enough to cause any significant change in
hormone levels?"

Is that too technical for you? And here is the next one:

"I thought that the original post was suggesting that the sugar,
itself, was acting as a "drug" to cause the hormone shift.  I guess I
was focusing on the "gluco"corticosteroid nature of cortisol. But
apparently I was wrong. It was the psychosomatic effect of being
treated acting through the "stress mechanism" that was being
suggested as the basis for the placebo effect."

Maybe I am just too academic for you, but I really have a problem
seeing just what is too hard to read in that.  I did use a technical
word to describe cortisol, but in context it was quite appropriate.
And you seemed to rankle when I explained it to you.

Sorry, this (bionet.neuroscience) is a newsgroup for scientists.  If
non-technical people want to listen in, you are free to do so.  But
don't complain about scientists talking grown-up talk with each other!

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