Acupuncture Improves Balance Function in Stroke
Liu SY, et al. Department of Physical
Medicine and Rehabilitation, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan.
The disturbance of balance function is one of main etiology resulting in falling
down in stroke patients. A number of studies report that acupuncture may improve
the motor function of stroke patients. Therefore, the aim of the present study
was to investigate the effect of acupuncture on balance function. We designed a
single-blinded, controlled, randomized study. A total of 30 stroke patients were
randomized into experimental and control groups. Experimental groups received
acupuncture treatment accompanied by the manual twisting of needles and
obtaining of qi (the subjects experienced sensations of soreness, numbness,
swelling and heaviness, while the acupuncturist experienced a sensation of
needle resistance), whereas the control group did not receive manual twisting of
needles and without obtaining of qi. All of the subjects were first-time stroke
patients; infarction location was limited to either the left or right
hemisphere, and all subjects were able to walk for at least 6 meters.
Acupuncture stimulation (AS) was applied to Baihui (GV 20) acupoint as well as
to 4 spirit acupoints (1.5 cun anterior, posterior, left and right laterals from
Baihui acupoint, respectively) for 20 min. Balance function outcome measures
were: (1) the displacement area of the patient's center of gravity; (2) the time
taken for a patient to stand vertically from a seated position; (3) the time
taken for a patient to walk a distance of 6 meters; (4) muscle strength of both
lower extremities. Results indicated that the displacement area from the center
of gravity decreased in the experimental group, but not in the control group.
There was greater reduction in the displacement area in the experimental group
than in the control group. Following AS, the time taken to reach a standing
position from a seated position, as well as the time taken to walk 6 meters was
decreased equally in both the experimental and control groups. The muscle
strength of the hip flexor and knee extensor were increased in the paralyzed and
non-paralyzed sides of patients in the experimental group, but not in the
control group. The results of the present study suggest that acupuncture
stimulation may induce an immediate effect that improves balance function in
Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(3):483-94.
Anxiety as a Factor Influencing Physiological
Effects of Acupuncture
Vickland V, et al.
Department of Medical and Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology,
Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia.
PURPOSE: This study investigated the influence of manual acupuncture on heart
rate variability and the role which
Anxiety can play in modifying physiological
outcomes. METHOD: Analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) was used as a
sensitive and a reliable indicator of the balance between sympathetic and
parasympathetic regulation of the heartbeat. Two groups of healthy female
subjects were recruited into the study. The control group (n=30) attended one
experimental session where no acupuncture treatment was used. The experimental
group (n=30) attended three sessions in which unilateral manual stimulation of
acupuncture points LU7 and KD6 was performed. RESULTS: The stimulation of the
acupuncture points LU7 and KD6 was not associated with significant changes in
HRV. Previous familiarity with acupuncture did not influence the outcomes but
Anxiety had a strong impact on physiological outcomes. Stimulation of
LU7 acupuncture point counterbalanced naturally occurring sympathetic increase
over time and had relaxing and harmonizing effect on the heart rhythm without
influencing subjective perception of increased
Anxiety. Stimulation of KD6
acupuncture point had sympathetic influence on HRV in subjects with low "trait"
anxiety and this influence was nullified by simultaneous stimulation of LU7
acupuncture point. CONCLUSIONS: It seems likely that the level of
modify HRV during acupuncture treatment and up to 40 min after the treatment.
Psychological factors such as
Anxiety level should be considered as having
important influence on physiological response to acupuncture.
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009 Aug;15(3):124-8. Epub 2009 Mar 10.
Stimulating Effects of Fermented Radix Astragali on
Hyaluronic Acid Production in Human Skin Cells
Hu Q, et al. Department of Renal
Medicine, King's College London, London, UK.
BACKGROUND: We recently developed high-throughput assays of
inflammation-independent anti-fibrotic activities based on TGF-beta1-induced
total collagen accumulation and nodule formation in normal rat kidney
fibroblasts. METHODS: These assays were applied to examine the anti-fibrotic
activities of 21 compounds isolated from plants used in Chinese medicine and
methanol extracts of 12 Chinese herbs. Lactate dehydrogenase release assay and
cell detachment index were used to monitor cytotoxicity. Changes in fibrogenic
molecular markers were observed by reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase
chain reaction and high-content imaging analysis of immunofluorescence. RESULTS:
Three flavonoids (quercetin, baicalein and baicalin) and two non-flavonoids (salvianolic
acid B and emodin) demonstrated anti-fibrotic activities in both total collagen
accumulation and nodule formation assays. The remaining 16 compounds had little
anti-fibrotic effect or were cytotoxic. The anti-fibrotic compounds suppressed
collagen I expression at both mRNA and protein levels and also variably
suppressed alpha-smooth muscle actin expression and bromodeoxyuridine
incorporation. Methanol extracts of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, Salvia
miltiorrhiza Bunge and Rheum palmatum L., which are rich sources of baicalein,
baicalin, salvianolic acid B and emodin, respectively, also showed in vitro
anti-fibrotic activities. CONCLUSIONS: Five herbal compounds and three herbal
extracts have in vitro anti-fibrotic activities. These data warrant further
studies on these anti-fibrotic entities and suggest it a promising strategy to
discover new anti-fibrotic drugs by screening more plant materials.
Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2009 May 27.