Placebo in epilepsy

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2020:153:231-266. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2020.03.033. Epub 2020 Jun 9.


Placebos impact epilepsy in a number of ways. Through randomized clinical trials, explicit clinical use, and also through implicit clinical use, placebos play a role in epilepsy. This chapter will discuss the reasons placebo is used, the determinants of placebo response in epilepsy, observations about placebo specific to epilepsy, and ways in which clinical trial design is impacted by placebo.

Keywords: Clinical trials; Epilepsy; Natural variability; Placebo response; Regression to the mean; Simulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care* / standards
  • Placebo Effect*
  • Placebos / therapeutic use*
  • Research Design*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Placebos