Points - Recent Research
Manual and Electrical Acupuncture for the Treatment of Tinnitus
Isolation and Identification of Anti-Inflammatory Constituents from Ligusticum Chuanxiong and Their Underlying Mechanisms of Action on Microglia
Tai Chi as a Balance Improvement Exercise for Older Adults

Manual and Electrical Acupuncture for the Treatment of Tinnitus

Wang K, et al. Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Orofacial Pain Laboratory, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7 D-3, DK-9220 Aalborg, Denmark; Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Aalborg Hospital, Hobrovej 18-22, DK-9100 Aalborg, Denmark.

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of manual/electrical acupuncture treatment on tinnitus in a randomised, single-blinded, placebo-controlled design. Fifty patients (46 males, 4 females) suffering from tinnitus were investigated. The patients were randomly assigned to three groups: a manual acupuncture group (MA), an electrical acupuncture group (EA), and a placebo group (PL). The frequency of tinnitus occurrence, tinnitus intensity, and reduction of life quality were recorded before treatment (Baseline), after 6 treatments (After-Treatment), and 1 month after the completion of treatment (1-Month-After). Standard audiometric tests were conducted on each patient at Baseline and After-Treatment. The patients also provided an overall subjective evaluation of treatment effectiveness at each stage. Eight to ten acupoints were selected at each treatment by an experienced acupuncturist. Six treatments were performed, each separated by an interval of 1 week. Analysis of variance and t-tests were used to statistically compare the data. The frequency of tinnitus occurrence and the tinnitus loudness were significantly decreased After-Treatment compared with Baseline in the EA group (P<0.009). Life quality was improved After-Treatment and at 1-Month-After compared with Baseline in both MA and EA groups (P<0.038). However, no significant differences were detected among the three groups (P>0.079). The audiogram did not show any significant changes after treatment in either group (P>0.091). The overall subjective evaluation indicated significant improvements After-Treatment compared with Baseline in both MA and EA groups (P<0.011). Furthermore, After-Treatment subjective evaluation was significantly better in the EA group compared with either the MA or PL group (P<0.011). These results indicate that there is no statistically significant differential effect of manual or electrical acupuncture on tinnitus treatment efficacy; however, electrical acupuncture does confer some relative advantages.

Complement Ther Med. 2010 Dec;18(6):249-55. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Source: PubMed


Isolation and Identification of Anti-Inflammatory Constituents from Ligusticum Chuanxiong and Their Underlying Mechanisms of Action on Microglia

Or TC, et al. Molecular Chinese Medicine Laboratory, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China; Cytokine Biology Group, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

Stroke is the third most common cause of death worldwide. Recent findings showed that the severity of cerebrovascular diseases including ischemic stroke correlates with inflammation mediated responses in the neural cells. During ischemia, inflammatory mediators including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and nitric oxide are produced by microglia, which play a central role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Ligusticum chuanxiong (LCX) is a commonly used traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for empiric treatment of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases for many centuries. By applying a bioactivity guided fractionation scheme, two compounds with inhibition on neuroinflammation were isolated from LCX. Using chromatographic and spectrometric methods, they were identified to be senkyunolide A and Z-ligustilide. They could inhibit the production of proinflammatory mediators in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine BV-2 microglial cells and human peripheral blood monocyte derived macrophages. In addition, both compounds protected Neuro-2a cells from neuroinflammatory toxicity induced by the conditioned culture media produced by LPS-stimulated BV-2 cells. The underlying mechanisms of action of senkyunolide A were further delineated. Its inhibitory effects were shown to be independent of the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and translocation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). However, senkyunolide A could increase the degradation of TNF-α mRNA and reduce its half life by 43%. In conclusion, bioactivity guided fractionation is an effective way of isolating bioactive compounds from medicinal herbs. In addition, senkyunolide A and Z-ligustilide isolated from LCX may be considered as potential complementary drug candidates for treating inflammatory processes associated with cerebrovascular diseases.

Neuropharmacology. 2010 Dec 9.

Source: PubMed


Tai Chi as a Balance Improvement Exercise for Older Adults

Liu H, et al. Physical Therapy Program, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA. hao.liu@unthsc.edu

PURPOSE: The purpose of this systematic review was to identify exercise parameters and the most common outcome measures used in tai chi (TC) research. METHODS: Ovid Medline and PubMed were used to identify longitudinal studies published from January 2000 to July 2007 written in English with the key words tai chi, tai ji, tai chi quan, tai ji quan, balance, falls, and falling. Qualifying studies had subjects aged 60 years or older. RESULTS: In all 19 qualified prospective studies, older vigorous and likely transitional frail individuals seemed to benefit more from TC than did older frail individuals. The most commonly used TC parameters were Yang's style, with 12 or fewer forms, durations of 12 weeks or longer, frequencies of twice a week or more, and session lengths of at least 45 minutes. The most common outcome measures observed were a combination of 2 to 5 of the following 10 measures (from most to least common): fear of falling, single-leg stance, posturography, rate of falling, flexibility, walking velocity, Berg Balance Scale, Timed up and Go, Functional Reach, and ankle and knee joint strength and range of motion. Improvements were reported in almost all of these measures. CONCLUSIONS: This review indicates that TC may be an economic and effective exercise program for improving balance and balance confidence in older adults.

J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2010 Jul-Sep;33(3):103-9.

Source: PubMed


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