About The Author

Paul Enck is Professor of Medical Psychology and Head of Research at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His research focus is psychophysiology and neurogastroenterology (i.e. stress research, pain research, biofeedback applications, cortical imaging, eating disorders, functional gastrointestinal disorders and placebo research).

Big Pharma Is Not Innocent Of The Placebo Effect

We tend to attribute the placebo effect — and its recent rise in randomized placebo-controlled trials (1) — to changes in individual patient behavior, e.g. higher expectations toward the medical system and/or toward doctor behaviors when it comes to prescribing medicines and/or communicating with patients about their benefits (placebo) and pitfalls (nocebo). We here will

Early Protection = Prevention

Swedish researchers have investigated whether leisure activities undertaken as young adults can later protect against mental decay. They have also discovered gender differences. Hardly any other field is as concerned with research as mental decline. In view of an aging society and a growing world population, the number of people with dementia is rising sharply.

The Dubious Increase In ADHD Diagnoses

Diagnostic figures for ADHD are rising almost everywhere. Are there really more children with “Fidgety Philipp syndrome” today? A Swedish study suggests otherwise. Like an inner drive that never stands still, this is how those affected describe what happens in their heads. It is often almost impossible for people with ADHD to concentrate on one

In Adult Twins, Genes Lose Weight In Weight-Gain 

Published by Paul Enck and Nicole Simon This is part 33 of a series covering twin health provided by Paul Enck from the Tübingen University Hospital and science writer Nicole Simon. Further studies in twin research can be found at TwinHealth website. Translation was done with the assistance of DeepL translator. In a previous posting, we

Marriage Can Protect Against Tribulation 

The psyche should also benefit from a bond for life. Researchers have now noticed a certain degree of protection against depression. However, this is by no means true for everyone.   With a marriage certificate, life becomes more relaxed. Anyone who is in a relationship crisis and tired of eternal quarrels may only smile mildly

On The Shoulders Of Giants, Part 2: Stewart Wolf And The Pharmacology Of Placebos

In comparison to Henry Beecher’s much-cited paper, “The Powerful placebo,” of 1955 (1), Stewart Wolf’s paper, “The pharmacology  of placebos,” of 1959 (2) is today almost forgotten; it came along less spectacularly but more scientifically solid, hiding its implicit provocation (there is a biology underlying the placebo effects) behind a seemingly serious title and in an

Traitorous Eyes

A twin study suggests that DNA also controls how well one can spot thoughts and emotions in the eyes of one’s counterpart. The eyes are the mirror of the soul — at least, that’s what they say. And indeed, emotions such as joy, surprise, and fear also appear in the pupils. Our fellow human beings