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pain, but when they were combined there was an additive effect in that pain was reduced substantially more than it was with either condition alone. This suggests that these procedures operate through somewhat different brain circuits. Thus, the studies show that the placebo effect is certainly not “all in yourhead.” “Phony” pills or other placebo substances really do spur chemical changesin the brain that reduce pain.Do medical treatments, such as drugs, affect what are clearly psychological processes, and if they do, are drugs affecting different regions in the brain compared with purely psychological interventions to achieve the same end?
known to be associated with both social pain as well as physical pain (the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the anterior insula). These findings indicate substantial overlap between social and physical painAnother recent fascinating study indicated that stimulating the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain implicated in emotion regulation to negative stimulate, reduced pain following social exclusion Chronic fatigue syndrome In the mid-19th century, a rapidly growing number of patients showed a lack of energy, marked fatigue, a variety of aches and pains, and, on occasion, low-grade fever. No physical pathology could be discovered, and George Beard (1869) labelled the conditionneurasthenia, literally, “lackof nerve strength”The disease was attributed to the demands of the time, including a preoccupation with material success, a strong emphasis on hard work, and the changing role of women Neurasthenia disappeared in the early 20thcentury in Western cultures but remains the most prevalent form of psychopathology in China Now chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is spreading rapidly throughout the western world 1.Clinically evaluated, medically unexplained fatigue of at least six months duration that is: of new onset (not lifelong)not resulting from ongoing exertionnot substantially alleviated by resta substantial reduction in previous level of activities2.The occurrence of four or more of the following symptoms: subjective memory impairmentsore throattender lymph nodesmuscle painjoint painheadacheunrefreshing sleeppost-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hoursPeople with CFS suffer considerably and often must give up their careers Both neurasthenia in the 19th century and CFS in the present have been attributed to an extremelystressful environment, the changing role of women, and the rapid dissemination of new technology and information. Both disorders are most common in women. It is possible, of course,