The most vociferous critics of fluency drug testing (e.g., The Stuttering Brain blog; Roger Ingham, Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, October, 2010) rely heavily on the placebo argument to bolster their beliefs and prejudices--namely that individuals respond favorably to a particular drug not because of its therapeutic efficacy but rather through a placebo effect. And, according to them, this effect might be short lived. Since stuttering is basically a mind-body problem, and the mindI am all in favour of double blind random control trials. I do not understand how we are biased. We are only careful. Placebo is a well-known effect, and therefore random control trials include an empty pill arm. And a long observation time is important, because the placebo effect is mostly short-lived. It's an important part of science to look for effects that could distort results.
plays a very important role in the severity of the disfluency, it is no wonder that it is very difficult to disentangle any real therapeutic effects from placebo effects. In addition, naturally occurring fluctuations in the levels of neurotransmitters may further obfuscate clinical trials. Listening to these critics may result in paralysis through analysis with regard to the search for fluency enhancing drugs.
I don't understand why it is difficult to disentangle the effects? Even fluctuations should be no issue, because the sample size is large which evens out the fluctuations. The real issue is that a subgroup might respond well to the compound, and due to averaging this effect is lost in the trial.