Irritable bowel syndrome patients undergoing painful stimuli were less able to down-regulate the pain when given a placebo analgesic, compared with healthy people and ulcerative colitis patients in remission, German researchers reported. The study also showed IBS patients who had greater levels of depressive symptoms had a weaker response to placebo analgesia. Interest in placebo analgesia was sparked by a 2008 study that suggested placebo acupuncture was effective in IBS.

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