A placebo treatment allows a blind woman to regain her sight!

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  • Published on 05/31/2023 at 12:24 p.m.
    Updated 05/31/2023 at 12:24 p.m.

    Lecture 2 min.

    The placebo: a miracle treatment? For the New Zealand author, Lynley Hood, scientists even speak of an “accidental miracle”. Blind for 12 years, this 80-year-old patient regained her sight thanks to a placebo treatment administered during a clinical trial aimed at relieving…chronic pain!

    Dr. Lynley Hood is an 80-year-old writer and biographer from New Zealand. She lost her sight more than 10 years ago due to glaucoma, an eye disease that causes progressive destruction of the optic nerve. A disability that had forced her to give up her work as an author because she could no longer read or write.

    A blind trial gives him back his sight

    Also suffering from the pelvis after having a bad fall, she had volunteered for a study on chronic pain, led by researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand. Integrated into the “control” group of the clinical trial, she received a placebo treatment instead of the treatment tested. You should know that in most scientific experiments, there is a control group, also called a control group, which consists of individuals who do not receive the treatment being tested. But the latter do not know it (we then speak of a blind test). There are also double-blind trials in which neither the patients nor the caregivers who administer it know whether it has the active treatment or a placebo. In this study, Lynley Hood miraculously regained her sight after receiving electric current to her head (the placebo treatment).

    Regain sight thanks to a simple electrical stimulation placed on the head?

    This clinical trial aimed to study the effects of electrical stimulation of the brain on chronic pain. Participants in the main group had to put on a cap that sent electrical currents to stimulate certain areas of the brain. Participants in the control group, which included Lynley Hood, received a placebo treatment which consisted of sending current through the scalp. It lasted a month, with five sessions per week. This is where the miracle happened!

    Against all odds, the octogenarian gradually regained his sight during these four weeks. Today she sees perfectly well. “The researchers’ equipment showed that the cells in my retina were saying ‘hey guys, something is happening’. The electrical current sent loads of messages that traveled through my scalp until reaching my optic nerve, which allowed my brain to piece together images, words and colors.” raconte Lynley Hood.

    An ‘accidental miracle’ that could benefit other visually impaired people

    This miracle allowed Lynley Hood to resume her writing work. She already has several books in the works. Grateful to the team of researchers who allowed her to regain her sight, the writer would like this treatment to benefit other blind people.

    Dr Divya Adhia, co-author of the study, announced that her team is working on a new study seeking to understand how this accidental miracle could have happened and how they could benefit other people. visually impaired.

    History does not say if the clinical trial on chronic pain was conclusive… The “Lynley Hood” case eclipsed everything else!

    2023-05-31 12:54:34

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