"Great Expectations": DFG funds second TRC 289 "Treatment Expectation" period with 15 Million Euros

  • 06/20/2024

When someone mentions the placebo effect in everyday life, it is usually in the context of medication and how well it works, or when it comes to self-deception. However, the placebo effect is far better than its reputation and can have a decisive influence on how quickly and how well we recover from an illness.

Pain expert and ELH-PI Prof Dr Ulrike Bingel from the University Medical Centre Essen has been researching this phenomenon for many years, including as part of the cross-regional Collaborative Research Centre SFB/Transregio 289 "Treatment Expectation", of which Prof Bingel is the spokesperson. In the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre, the scientists are asking two central questions:

How do expectations arise?

What role do positive or negative expectations play when patients are treated?

After the first, successful funding period, the CRC has now achieved another success: The German Research Foundation has approved the extension application and is funding the "Treatment Expectation" project for a further four years with around 15 million euros. One of the central goals for the next four years will be investigating the effects of positive and negative expectations on the immune system in more detail.

The research work of Transregio 289 also makes frequent use of the ELH's 7T MRI system, whose high-resolution images can provide valuable information about psychological and physiological processes in the human brain.

Website: https://treatment-expectation.de/

Image rights: University Medical Centre Essen