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The Wonder Pill
  Teaching Guide

Activity 3: Grades 5-8
Frontiers Pop- Quiz

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1) What is a placebo?
an inert substance or non-therapeutic action masquerading as medicine

2) True or false? Doctors in the 1930's and 40's knowingly prescribed placebo to patients.

3) How many patients with depression feel better on placebo?
     a) 10%
     b) 25%
     c) 40%*
     d) 50%

4) Andrew Leuchter compared the brains of depressed patients on placebo and the brains of patients on real antidepressant medication. What surprising result did he obtain?
     a) people on placebo did not feel as good as people on real      medication
     b) people on placebo experienced a change of brain       activity inthe same area of the brain that responds to       real medication*
     c) people on placebo felt better than people on real      medication
     d) none of these

5) What is the problem with the standard treatment for Parkinson's disease?
After several years of therapy, the benefit of the medication wears off before the next does is due.

6) When Jon Stoessl compared real Parkinson's treatment to placebo treatment, what surprising result did he obtain?
The patients' brains responded the same to real treatment as to the placebo treatment.

7) Ron Turner is testing the effectiveness of an herbal remedy thought to cure colds. How does he do it?
Infect a group of people with the cold. Give some the remedy, give some a placebo. Compare the two groups.

8) When Turner matched up the severity of infections in those given the real substance versus those given the placebo, what did he find?
     a) those on the placebo were less sick.
     b) those on the real substance were less sick.
      c) no difference between those on the placebo and those       on the real substance *
     d) none of these.

9) In the acupuncture study, what is Ted Kaptchuk trying to compare?
      a) the placebo effect of acupuncture versus the placebo        affect of pill *
      b) sham acupuncture versus real acupuncture
      c) acupuncture versus pain medicine
      d) none of these

10) The Italian scientists have found that people given placebo pain killers react how?
Their brains release natural pain killers



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