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Points - Recent Research
Effects of Acupuncture at GV20 and ST36 in Rats Subjected to Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Hot Flushes in Menopause
Effect of Laser Acupuncture on Salivary Flow Rate in Patients with Sjögren's Syndrome

Effects of Acupuncture at GV20 and ST36 in Rats Subjected to Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury

Xu H, et al.

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Ischemic stroke is characterized by high morbidity and mortality worldwide. Matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), aquaporin (AQP) 4, and AQP9 are linked to permeabilization of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury (CIRI). BBB disruption, tissue inflammation, and MMP/AQP upregulation jointly provoke brain edema/swelling after CIRI, while acupuncture and electroacupuncture can alleviate CIRI symptoms. This study evaluated the hypothesis that acupuncture and electroacupuncture can similarly exert neuroprotective actions in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) by modulating MMP2/AQP4/APQ9 expression and inflammatory cell infiltration. METHODS: Eighty 8-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into sham group S, MCAO model group M, acupuncture group A, electroacupuncture group EA, and edaravone group ED. The MCAO model was established by placement of a suture to block the middle carotid artery, and reperfusion was triggered by suture removal in all groups except group S. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture were administered at acupoints GV20 (governing vessel-20) and ST36 (stomach-36). Rats in groups A, EA, and ED received acupuncture, electroacupuncture, or edaravone, respectively, immediately after MCAO. Neurological function (assessed using the Modified Neurological Severity Score), infarct volume, MMP2/AQP4/AQP9 mRNA and protein expression, and inflammatory cell infiltration were all evaluated at 24 h post-reperfusion. RESULTS: Acupuncture and electroacupuncture significantly decreased infarct size and improved neurological function. Furthermore, target mRNA and protein levels and inflammatory cell infiltration were significantly reduced in groups A, EA, and ED vs. group M. However, MMP2/AQP levels and inflammatory cell infiltration were generally higher in groups A and EA than in group ED except MMP2 mRNA levels. CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture and electroacupuncture at GV20 and ST36 both exercised neuroprotective actions in a rat model of MCAO, with no clear differences between groups A and EA. Therefore, acupuncture and electroacupuncture might find utility as adjunctive and complementary treatments to supplement conventional therapy for ischemic stroke.

PLoS One.2014 May 14;9(5):e97488. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097488. eCollection 2014.

Source: PubMed

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Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Hot Flushes in Menopause

Baccetti S1, et al.

Abstract Objective: To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on hot flushes and other menopause-related symptoms used in an integrated system, including such therapeutic techniques as diet therapy and Tuina self-massage. Design: Randomized trial. Setting: Outpatient center. Participants: One hundred women in spontaneous menopause with at least three episodes of hot flushes daily were randomly allocated to two treatment groups (50 per group): Women in group A were given diet, self-massage training, and treatment with acupuncture, and women in group B (the control group) were given the same diet and self-massage training, but treatment with acupuncture started 6 weeks after they were enrolled into the study. Intervention: Acupuncture treatments were scheduled twice weekly for 6 consecutive weeks. Outcome measures: Mean change in frequency and/or intensity in menopause-related symptoms were estimated by questionnaire after treatment at week 4. Results: Treatment with acupuncture significantly reduced the occurrence of hot flushes and sudden sweating (p<.001). Other symptoms (sleep disorders, tightness in the chest, irritability, bone pain, feeling depressed) significantly improved. Conclusions: Acupuncture in an integrated system that includes therapeutic techniques such as diet therapy and Tuina self-massage can be used to treat hot flushes and selected symptoms in postmenopausal women.

J Altern Complement Med.2014 May 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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Effect of Laser Acupuncture on Salivary Flow Rate in Patients with Sjögren's Syndrome

Cafaro A1, et al.

Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a multisystem autoimmune disease characterized by hypofunction of the salivary and lacrimal glands, frequently relieved with symptomatic treatments, such as saliva substitutes, eye lubricants, and cholinergic stimulators. The aim of this pilot randomized placebo-controlled study was to estimate the effects of laser acupuncture on salivary flow rates in patients with severe hyposalivation due to SS. A prospective cohort of 26 female patients affected by SS has been evaluated. The laser therapy equipment used was the Pointer Pulse, emitting light in the red visible spectrum (650 nm), with a power of 5 mW and an irradiation time of 120 s per acupoint, in an area of 3.14 mm2 (fluence = 19.2 J/cm2, power density = 0.16 W/cm2, total dose = 0.6 J). The following acupuncture points were stimulated bilaterally: LI 2 Erjian, ST 5 Daying, ST 6 Jiache, ST 7 Xiaguan, SI 19 Tinggong, and BL 13 Feishu. True laser acupuncture led to a significantly higher amount of saliva production, measured after the end of the protocol (5 weeks), and during the 6-month follow-up period. The results are stable from the end of the protocol until the 3rd month of follow-up; during the last control, a slight but significant decrease in production has also been shown. This preliminary study proposes laser acupuncture as a possible treatment for improving salivary flow rates in patients with SS, but further validation on a larger sample is still necessary.

Lasers Med Sci. 2014 May 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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