Points - Recent Research
Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Women with Fibromyalgia
Effects of Acupuncture on the Recovery Outcomes of Stroke Survivors with Shoulder Pain
The Protective Effects of Gardenia jasminoides (Fructus Gardenia- Zhi Zi)) on Amyloid-β-Induced Mouse Cognitive Impairment and Neurotoxicity

Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Women with Fibromyalgia

Mist SD1, et al.

Background: Group acupuncture is a growing and cost-effective method for delivering acupuncture in the United States and is the practice model in China. However, group acupuncture has not been tested in a research setting.
Objective: To test the treatment effect of group acupuncture vs group education in persons with fibromyalgia.
Design: Random allocation two-group study with repeated measures.
Setting: Group clinic in an academic health center in Portland, Oregon.
Subjects: Women with confirmed diagnosis of fibromyalgia (American College of Radiology 1990 criteria) and moderate to severe pain levels.
Methods: Twenty treatments of a manualized acupuncture treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis or group education over 10 weeks (both 900 minutes total). Weekly Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR) and Global Fatigue Index at baseline, five weeks, and 10 weeks and a four-week follow-up were assessed.
Results: Thirty women were recruited, with 78% reporting symptoms for longer than 10 years. The mean attendance was 810 minutes for acupuncture and 861 minutes for education. FIQR total, FIQR pain, and Global Fatigue Index all had clinically and statistically significant improvement in the group receiving acupuncture at end of treatment and four weeks post-treatment but not in participants receiving group education between groups.
Conclusions: Compared with education, group acupuncture improved global symptom impact, pain, and fatigue. Furthermore, it was a safe and well-tolerated treatment option, improving a broader proportion of patients than current pharmaceutical options.

Pain Med. 2018 Feb 13. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx322. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed


Effects of Acupuncture on the Recovery Outcomes of Stroke Survivors with Shoulder Pain

Chau JPC1, et al.

Background: Poststroke shoulder pain limits stroke survivors' physical functioning, impairs their ability to perform daily activities, and compromises their quality of life. The use of acupuncture to manage shoulder pain after a stroke is believed to free the blockage of energy flow and produce analgesic effects, but the evidence is unclear. We therefore conducted a systematic review to summarize the current evidence on the effects of acupuncture on the recovery outcomes of stroke survivors with shoulder pain.
Methods: Fourteen English and Chinese databases were searched for data from January 2009 to August 2017. The review included adult participants with a clinical diagnosis of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke who had developed shoulder pain and had undergone conventional acupuncture, electroacupuncture, fire needle acupuncture, or warm needle acupuncture. The participants in the comparison group received the usual stroke care only.
Results: Twenty-nine randomized controlled trials were included. Most studies were assessed as having a substantial risk of bias. Moreover, due to the high heterogeneity of the acupuncture therapies examined, pooling the results in a meta-analysis was not appropriate. A narrative summary of the results is thus presented. The review showed that conventional acupuncture can be associated with benefits in reducing pain and edema and improving upper extremity function and physical function. The effects of conventional acupuncture on improving shoulder range of motion (ROM) are in doubt because this outcome was only examined in two trials. Electroacupuncture might be effective in reducing shoulder pain and improving upper extremity function, and conclusions on the effects of electroacupuncture on edema, shoulder ROM, and physical function cannot be drawn due to the limited number of eligible trials. The evidence to support the use of fire needle or warm needle acupuncture in stroke survivors with shoulder pain is also inconclusive due to the limited number of studies.
Conclusion: Although most studies reviewed concluded that conventional and electroacupuncture could be effective for management of shoulder pain after stroke, the very high potential for bias should be considered. Further work in this area is needed that employs standardized acupuncture treatment modalities, endpoint assessments, and blinding of treatments.

Front Neurol. 2018 Jan 31;9:30. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00030. eCollection 2018.

Source: PubMed


The Protective Effects of Gardenia jasminoides (Fructus Gardenia- Zhi Zi)) on Amyloid-β-Induced Mouse Cognitive Impairment and Neurotoxicity

Zang CX1, et al.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. Although the exact causes of AD have not yet been fully elucidated, cholinergic dysfunction, mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation have been recognized as influential factors. Current drugs that are designed to address only a single target are unable to mitigate or prevent the progression of this complicated disease, so new disease-modifying drugs are urgently needed. Chinese herbs with thousand years of effective usage might be a good source for potential drugs. Gardenia jasminoides J. Ellis (Fructus Gardenia) is a common traditional Chinese medicine with tranquilizing effects, which is an important component of widely-used traditional Chinese medicine for dementia. GJ-4 is crocin richments extracted from Gardenia jasminoides J. Ellis. In our study, we attempted to observe the effects of GJ-4 on learning and memory injury induced by amyloid-β 25-35 (Aβ25-35) injection in mice. Treatment with GJ-4 dose-dependently enhanced the memory and cognition ability of Aβ25-35-injected mice. Preliminary mechanistic studies revealed the protective effect of GJ-4 was related to its protection of neurons and cholinergic dysfunction. The mechanistic results also indicated that GJ-4 could enhance antioxidant capacity and attenuate neuroinflammation. Our results implied that GJ-4 might be a promising drug to improve cognitive and memory impairment, with multiple targets.

Am J Chin Med. 2018 Feb 12:1-17. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X18500192. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed


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