Neuroscience and Society dialogue

Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided.

Philipus A. Paracelsus (1493 - 1541)  

Panel discussion on exploration and exploitation of placebo-response

Aimed at stimulating communication and fostering the dialogue between neuroscientists and society at large, this special event of the 5th SiNAPSA Neuroscience Conference focuses on a subject that engages experts and lay people alike: placebo. Starting from the definition of placebo and placebo response, delving into contemporary research efforts to explain and quantify the effect of placebo and moving on to ethically sound ways of optimising its role in medical research and practice, the discussion welcomes questions from the audience.

The panel

Fabrizio Benedetti - M.D. is Professor of Neurophysiology and Human Physiology at the University of Turin Medical School and at the National Institute of Neuroscience, Turin, Italy. He has been nominated member of The Academy of Europe and of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. He identified some basic mechanisms of placebo responses across a variety of medical conditions. He wrote the book Placebo Effects (Oxford 2008), which received the 2009 British Medical Association Award, and the book The Patient’s Brain (Oxford 2010). In 2012 he received the Seymour Solomon Award of the American Headache Society.

Paul Enck - Ph.D. is Professor of Medical Psychology and Director of Research at the University Hospitals Tübingen, Germany. He co-authored 170 original data papers in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, more than 240 review articles, book chapters, etc. More than 300 invited scientific presentations at universities and conferences. He is consultant to numerous pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.

Zvezdan Pirtošek - M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Neurology at the University of Ljubljana Medical School and Head of the Clinical Department of Neurology at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. He is past President of the Slovenian Society for Neurophysiology and acting President of the Slovenian Brain Council. His main clinical and research interests cover fields of neurodegenerative diseases, cognitive neurology and cognitive neuroscience. As Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Middle European Interuniversity Studies in Cognitive Science, he is particulaly active in promoting multidisciplinary aspects of this emerging field of science.

Jože Trontelj - M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurology at the Ljubljana Medical School. Author or co-author of over 150 journal papers, over 30 book chapters and 2 books, mainly on electromyography and physiological basis of neurological disorders; over 70 publications on bioethical issues. Since 1991, member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, since 2002 its Vice-President, since 2008 its President. Since 1995, Chairman of the National Medical Ethics Committee of Slovenia and Slovenian delegate of the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) of the Council of Europe. Member of the Working Party that drafted the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, on biomedical research.

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