One of the most widespread words in medicine is placebo and placebo effect, although it is not always clear what it means exactly. Recent progress in biomedical research has allowed a better clarification of the placebo effect. We know that this is an active psychobiological phenomenon which takes place in the patient's brain and that is capable of influencing both the course of a disease and the response to a therapy. Since publication of the first edition of this book in 2008, there has been an explosion of placebo research, and this new edition brings the topic fully up to date. Throughout, the book emphasizes that there are many placebo effects and critically reviews them in different medical conditions, such as neurological and psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, immune and hormonal responses, as well as oncology, surgery, sports medicine and acupuncture. The psychosocial context around the patient is crucial to the placebo effect, for example the doctor's words and attitudes, and throughout this is considered. Exhaustive in its coverage, and written by a world authority in the field, this is the definitive reference text to the placebo effect - one that is essential for researchers and clinicians across a wide range of medical specialities.