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Placebo -

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placebo pill can cure any number of medical symptoms - why? Because you believe it can. But would
you believe the effectiveness of placebos can be determined by your genes!

NARRATION

Do you suffer from indigestion, gout, heart disease, arthritis, shingles, Tourette's syndrome or
any other illness? Then have I got the medicine for you. The Placebo pill!

Contains no medicine but it will make you feel better - why? Because I tell you it will!

And it's not all down to gullibility - in fact susceptibility to placebos may be in our genes.

In a recent Swedish study 25 people afraid of public speaking undertook a placebo treatment.

Two months later, ten of the 25 people were significantly less agitated when speaking in public.

Genetic tests showed that eight of the ten had two copies of the gene which creates serotonin in
the brain.

But none of the other participants did.

So, if you're worried about making a speech, just pop a sugar pill and hope you have the right
genes.

Best Man

"Marvelous institution marriage...still who wants to live in an institution."

Audience

"groan!"

Topics: Others

Reporter: Daniel Keogh

Producer: Nicky Ruscoe

Researcher: Faye Welborn

Editor: James Edwards