Clinical trials involving static magnets pose a difficult dilemma for researchers; how to “protect the blind”. That is, seeing you can’t hide a magnetic field, how do you prevent a patient from testing the magnet with, say a paper clip?
For studies like Vallbona it’s not such an issue, as subjects only wear the devices for 45 minutes and researchers can closely monitor subjects to make sure no one “cheats”. However, many times you want to see the effects over days or even weeks and you can’t keep them under surveillance 24/7. Segal tried to counter this with a weak magnetic placebo, but the strength of the field entering the body was significant at 72 mT. So there is an argument that this was actually a dose-comparative study and not comparing with a true placebo. In addition, a research paper by Greaves & Harlow noted that…
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The challenges of designing a placebo static magnet for double blind clinical trials.
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