Acupuncture & Moxibustion
To study the effect of the electroacupuncture and Buyang Huanwu Decoction (BYHWD) on the regeneration of the rat's injured sciatic nerve.
Rat's sciatic nerve injury model was made by operation. The rats were treated with electroacupuncture or BYHWD and their nerve electro-physiological indices and histological changes tested by HRP were observed.
It was demonstrated that the recovery ratios of nerve conduction velocity and muscle evoked action potential of the group treated with electroacupuncture and the group treated with BYHWD were higher than those of the group treated with western medicine or the group without treatment. The differences were significant. The labeling cells in anterior horn of spinal marrow and spinal ganglion of the group treated with electroacupuncture and the group treated with BYHWD were more abundant than those of the group treated with western medicine or the group without treatment. The differences were significant. The effect of electroacupuncture was better than that of the BYHWD.
It suggests that both electroacupuncture therapy and BYHWD can promote the recovery of the function in early stage of injured nerve, and they are effective methods for promoting the regeneration of injured peripheral nerve.
To probe into the application of fuzzy cluster in analysis of therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture at different parameters on adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) in rats.
One hundred Wistar rats were randomly divided into ten groups： normal control group, untreated group and eight electro-acupuncture groups at different parameters. There were ten rats in each group. AA rats were treated by electro-acupuncture at different frequencies (2 Hz or 100 Hz), waveforms (successive wave or intermittent wave) and current intensities (0.1 mA or 0.2 mA). Firstly, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of electro-acupuncture at different parameters were compared with orthogonal experiment, and then with the application of fuzzy mathematics, the data of joint swelling, pain threshold and the contents of (3-endorphin ((3-EP) and interleukin-ip (IL-1(3) after the treatment in all groups were standardized by the method of data range normalization. Programming and solution were done by MATLAB. The methods of fuzzy similar matrix and the transitive closure were used in similarity evaluation of therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture at different parameters.
Based on index determination and variance analysis, both the normal control group and untreated group were clustered to one category as A equaled to 0. 72. Electro-acupuncture at 100 Hz, successive wave, 0. 2 mA, electro-acupuncture at 100 Hz, intermittent wave, 0. 1 mA and electro-acupuncture at 100 Hz, intermittent wave, 0. 2 mA were clustered to one category and had similar good anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. The therapeutic effects of the remaining electro-acupuncture types were similar.
Fuzzy cluster analysis provides a better method for evaluating the overall therapeutic effects of electro-acupuncture with multiple factors.
Objective: To assess and grade facial nerve dysfunction according to the extent of facial paralysis in the clinical course of acupuncture treatment for Bell’s palsy, and to observe the interrelationship between the grade, the efficacy and the period of treatment, as well as the effect on prognosis.
Methods: The authors employed the House-Brackmann scale, a commonly used evaluation scale for facial paralysis motor function, and set standards for eye fissure and lips. According to the improved scale, the authors assessed and graded the degree of facial paralysis in terms of facial nerve dysfunction both before and after treatment. The grade was divided into five levels: mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe dysfunction and complete paralysis. The authors gave acupuncture treatment according to the state of the disease without artificially setting the treatment period. The observation was focused on the efficacy and the efficacy was evaluated throughout the entire treatment process.
Results: Fifty-three cases out of 68 patients with Bell’s palsy were cured and the overall rate of efficacy was 97%. Statistically significant differences (P<0.01) were perceived among the efficacy of five levels of facial nerve dysfunction. Efficacy was correlated with the damage level of the disease (correlation coefficient r=0.423, P<0.01). The course of treatment also extended with the severity of facial nerve dysfunction (P<0.01).
Conclusion: Differences exist in patients with Bell’s palsy in terms of severity of facial nerve dysfunction. Efficacy is reduced in correlation with an increase in facial nerve dysfunction, and the period of treatment varies in need of different levels of facial nerve dysfunction. It is highly necessary to assess and grade patients before observation and treatment in clinical study, and choose corresponding treatment according to severity of damage of the disease.
In this paper, issues of acupuncture using target points and depth of needling were discussed based on the theory of traditional Chinese medicine acupoints and combined with anatomical and neurological research of Western medicine. The theoretical evidence of acupuncture on nerve foramen and ganglion and the reasons for being nonstandard operating on acupoints were analyzed. This study summarized the method of using acupuncture at Xiaguan (ST7), Cuanzhu (BL2), Sibai (ST2) and Jiachengjiang acupoints to align with the spheno-palatine ganglion and additional nerve foramen (supraorbital, infraorbital and mental foramina) to treat primary trigeminal neuralgia. This study adhered to the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture and helped in development of study standardization for acupuncture processes. The authors hoped that should help in significantly diminishing risk and improving therapeutic efficacy in clinic.
Background: With the understanding of the immune inflammatory response in the pathogenesis of dry eyes, and the limitations of widely used artificial tears and numerous pharmaceuticals and methods to promote tear secretion, clinicians pay more attention to the therapies that can promote tear secretion actively. Acupuncture treatment for dry eye may meet this requirement.
Objective: To observe the clinical efficacy of acupuncture treatment on dry eye and the effects on duration, and to examine the mechanisms of acupuncture in treating patients with dye eyes. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS: The study was performed at Department of Ophthalmology, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine from August 2010 to May 2011. Patients with the primary diagnosis of dry eye were enrolled. Sixty-five patients were randomly divided into treatment group and control group, and were given 3 weeks of acupuncture treatment or artificial tear therapy respectively. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect the lactoferrin content of the tears before and after treatment. In order to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment methods, the Schirmer Ⅰ test and break-up time were also measured.
Results: Compared with before treatment, the lactoferrin content in the tears of patients in the treatment group increased, break-up time was prolonged and the result of the Schirmer Ⅰ test showed improvement after 3 weeks of treatment. The indexes mentioned above did not change in the control group after treatment. There were no significant differences in tear lactoferrin and Schirmer Ⅰ test between one week after treatment and after 3-week treatment in the treatment group, but break-up time was significantly shortened. The result of Schirmer I test in the treatment group was significantly higher than that in the control group one week after treatment.
Conclusion: Acupuncture can increase tear lactoferrin level, extend tear film break-up time and promote tear secretion in patients with dry eye in a time-limited trial. With the end of treatment, the effect decreased.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging
(fMRI) is a novel method for studying the changes of brain networks due
to acupuncture treatment. In recent years, more and more studies have
focused on the brain functional connectivity network of acupuncture
To offer an overview of
the different influences of acupuncture on the brain functional
connectivity network from studies using resting-state fMRI.
authors performed a systematic search according to PRISMA guidelines.
The database PubMed was searched from January 1, 2006 to December 31,
2016 with restriction to human studies in English language.
Data extraction and analysis
This study evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture point injection (API) with placental extract on pain reduction and joint function in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Fifty-two patients with knee OA, with an average age of 64, and having a symptom duration of more than 3 months were studied in this report. Placental extract was injected weekly into acupuncture point ST35, BL23, BL24 and BL25 for 5 weeks; 8 mL of placental extract into ST35 on the affected side, and 1 mL of placental extract to BL23, BL24 and BL25 bilaterally.
After a five-week treatment of API with placental extract, pain was substantially decreased in patients of all Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) grades. Improvement of knee joint swelling was also apparent. Decrease of pain and joint swelling improved daily working productive time among patients of all KL grades.
Study results imply that API with placental extract is a potentially useful therapy to control pain and maintain joint functions in knee OA patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory disease characterized by functional disability and pain. Although acupuncture is widely used, until now Western acupuncture studies on RA have not shown conclusive positive results. Acupuncture is regarded as a reflex therapy that has effects on the human autonomic nervous system. By establishing a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnosis first, the practitioner is able to choose acupoints according to the state of each individual patient.
We are interested if acupuncture, using a classical diagnostic procedure to allocate acupoints to the patient according to the Shang Han Lun theory, can be effective in relieving pain, improving hand function and increasing health-related quality of life in RA. The authors intend to harmonize TCM diagnosis according to clinical and genetic profiles. Patients with the TCM diagnosis of a so-called Turning Point syndrome will be followed up in a randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter and three-armed parallel-group study with a standardized treatment in order to optimize potential therapeutic effects of acupuncture on pain, strength and muscle function of patients with RA as well as the influence on inflammation and quality of life.
The findings of this study will provide important clinical information about the feasibility and efficacy of acupuncture treatment for RA patients. In addition, it will explore the feasibility of further acupuncture research.
Trial Registration Number
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT02553005.
Effective pain management among hospitalized patients is an important aspect of providing quality care and achieving optimal clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Common pharmacologic approaches for pain, though effective, have serious side effects and are not appropriate for all inpatients. Findings from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) support the efficacy of acupuncture for many symptoms relevant to inpatients including postoperative pain, cancer-related pain, nausea and vomiting, and withdrawal from narcotic use. However, the extent to which findings from RCTs translate to real-world implementation of acupuncture in typical hospital settings is unknown.
In partnership with the launch of a clinical program offering acupuncture services to inpatients at the University of California San Francisco's Mount Zion Hospital, we are conducting a pilot study using a hybrid effectiveness-implementation design to: (1) assess the effectiveness of acupuncture to manage pain and other symptoms and improve patient satisfaction; and (2) evaluate the barriers and facilitators to implementing an on-going acupuncture service for inpatients. During a two-month pre-randomization phase, we evaluated and adapted clinical scheduling and treatment protocols with acupuncturists and hospital providers and pretested study procedures including enrollment, consent, and data collection. During a six-month randomization phase, we used a two-tiered consent process in which inpatients were first consented into a study of symptom management, randomized to be offered acupuncture, and consented for acupuncture if they accepted. We are also conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups to assess evidence, context, and facilitators of key provider and hospital administration stakeholders.
Effectiveness research in “real-world” practice settings is needed to inform clinical decision-making and guide implementation of evidence-based acupuncture practices. To successfully provide clinical acupuncture services and maintain a rigorous research design, practice-based trials of acupuncture require careful planning and attention to setting-specific, contextual factors.
This trial has been registered in ClinicalTrials.gov. The identifier is NCT01988194, registered on November 5, 2013.
Acupuncture is a complex intervention consisting of specific and non-specific components. Acupuncture studies more frequently focus on collecting data from the patients’ perspective and response, but the acupuncturist’s role remains relatively unclear. In order to investigate potential non-mechanical active factors originating from the acupuncturist and transmitted to the patient during treatment, two novel devices for basic research in acupuncture were designed. The Acuplicator allows the researcher to insert needles without touching the needles themselves, while the Veliusator locks the needle in its place so that no mechanical movement can be transferred.
The Acuplicator was used to insert needles at Neiguan (PC6) on the right forearm of 23 volunteers. The insertion depth was measured using a depth gauge. The transfer of mechanical movements from the handle to the tip was detected with a precision length gauge with a motoric-tactile sensor.
The mean insertion depth was (12.3 ± 1.5) mm (range 9.5 to 15.0 mm). Even with intense manipulation of the needle handle, no movements within ± 1 μm could be detected at the tip when the needle was locked.
With these two devices it will be possible to investigate the influence of non-mechanical components such as therapeutic qi in acupuncture.
Improvement in lung function was reported after acupuncture treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Because an immune response imbalance could be seen in COPD, we hypothesize that electroacupuncture (EA) may play a role in regulating inflammatory cytokines and contribute to lung protection in a rat model of smoke-induced COPD.
A COPD model using male Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to cigarette smoke was established. The rats were randomly divided into four groups (control, sham, COPD, and COPD plus EA), and COPD model was evaluated by measuring pulmonary pathological changes and lung function. EA was applied to the acupuncture point Zusanli (ST36) for 30 min/d for 14 d in sham and COPD rats. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was used to measure levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and malonaldehyde (MDA).
Compared with the control rats, COPD rats had significant changes in lung resistance (RL) and lung compliance (CL) (both P<0.01), bronchi and bronchiole airway obstruction (P<0.01), and levels of MDA, TNF-α, and IL-1β (P<0.01). There were no significant differences between the control and the sham groups. Compared with the COPD rats, the COPD plus EA rats had decreased RL and increased CL (both P<0.05), and reduced bronchi and bronchiole airway obstruction (P<0.05, P<0.01, respectively), while levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and MDA in BALF were lowered (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively). However, TNF-α and IL-1β levels of the EA group rats remained higher than those of the control group (P<0.05).
EA at ST36 can reduce lung injury in a COPD rat model, and beneficial effects may be related to down-regulation of inflammatory cytokines. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may prolong the clinical benefit of EA.
The aim of this study was to examine the changes in natural killer (NK) cell activity, pulse rate, and pain intensity among older adults before and after acupuncture treatment.
Fifty-six individuals (16 males and 40 females), aged 60 to 82 years (mean age 72.4 ± 5.0), who were experiencing pain in the shoulder, low back, or knee, participated in the study. NK cell activity, leukocyte differentiation (granulocytes and lymphocytes), pulse rate, and blood pressure values were obtained. Pain intensity was evaluated by using the visual analog scale (VAS). The Wilcoxon test was used to analyze NK cell activity, leukocytes (granulocyte counts and granulocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio), and the VAS score in accordance with the location of pain complaints before and after acupuncture treatment.
NK cell activity decreased after acupuncture treatment for pain in the shoulder-pain and knee-pain groups. Further, the lymphocyte and granulocyte counts increased after acupuncture treatment for the shoulder-pain group. Pulse rate decreased for the shoulder-pain, low-back-pain, and knee-pain groups after acupuncture treatment. The VAS score decreased after acupuncture treatment for the shoulder-pain, low-back-pain, and knee-pain groups.
This study showed that in older adults, acupuncture treatment decreases pulse rate, relieves pain in the shoulder, low back, and knee, and reduces NK-cell activity.
Although acupuncture theory is a fundamental part of the Huangdi Neijing, the clinical application of the needle therapy in ancient China was always a limited one. From early times there have been warnings that acupuncture might do harm. In books like Zhang Zhongjing’s Shanghanlun it plays only a marginal role. Among the 400 emperors in Chinese history, acupuncture was hardly ever applied. After Xu Dachun called acupuncture a “lost tradition” in 1757, the abolition of acupuncture and moxibustion from the Imperial Medical Academy in 1822 was a radical, but consequent act. When traditional Chinese medicine was revived after 1954, the “New Acupuncture” was completely different from what it had been in ancient China. The conclusion, however, is a positive one: The best time acupuncture ever had was not the Song dynasty or Yuan dynasty, but is now - and the future of acupuncture does not lie in old scripts, but in ourselves.
This study investigated the acceptability and effectiveness of acupuncture for persistent musculoskeletal pain in the elderly and assessed the conditions for a future controlled trial.
A total of 60 patients, hospitalized in a geriatric hospital were enrolled. The intervention consisted of eight acupuncture sessions. The main outcome was the patient’s participation rate. Regarding pain, the evaluation was based on pre- and post-treatment variations. As a high proportion of the patients had cognitive impairment, the behavioral pain scale DOLOPLUS-2 was chosen although self evaluation was used wherever possible.
The mean age of the patients was 83 years. The acceptance rate was very high (89.6%) and 90% of the patients completed the entire course of treatment. After five weeks, the mean DOLOPLUS score had decreased significantly (P<0.01). The patients reported improved sleep quality and a reduction in their anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, caregivers noticed a decrease in patient aggressiveness making care easier.
Our results suggest that acupuncture is highly acceptable and could be very useful in the management of chronic pain when performed in very old frail people with chronic physical and mental disability.
Trial Registration Identifier
Objective: The purpose of the study was to find out how to enter the preliminary Qigong simulation state in a short period of time.
Methods: This is a non-randomized, human experiment with healthy participants. A multi-channel digital physiological data recorder was used to detect whether the participants had entered the Qigong state. Participants were assisted to enter the Qigong state (relaxation, tranquility and naturalness) by being given the sore (sour) feeling produced by acupuncturing Hegu (LI4), and suggestions (repeating words “relax” and “heat” from the hypogastrium).
Results: About 72.2% of the participants who had no Qigong experience were found entering the preliminary Qigong simulation state. Most of the physiological parameters measured after the participants entering the Qigong state showed significant changes compared with the baseline data.
Conclusion: This study revealed that acupuncture-made sore feeling is able to induce the participants to quickly enter the preliminary Qigong simulation state; hence this can be seen as no longer a limited phenomenon, but can be commonly applied to everybody.
Objective: The manifold studies on the usage of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) indicate that its utilization differs with respect to socio-cultural background, gender, age and underlying disease. This study intended to analyze the usage of specific CAM practices among a population of older German adults with health insurance coverage. Methods: Data of 5 830 older individuals who participated in an anonymous cross sectional survey among German insurance beneficiaries were analyzed with respect to usage of CAM treatments applied by medical doctors or non-medical practitioners within the last 5 years. Results: The most frequently used approaches were acupuncture/traditional Chinese medicine (21%), homeopathy (21%), movement therapies/physical exercises (19%), osteopathy/chiropractic (12%), herbs/phytotherapy (7%), diets/specific food recommendations (6%) and foot reflexology (5%). Anthroposophic medicine was used only to a minor degree. Acupuncture and homeopathy users were likely to choose more than one CAM treatment simultaneously, particularly the combination of homeopathy and acupuncture. Moreover, this study can confirm significant differences between women and men in the use of the main relevant CAM interventions. Conclusion: The relative proportion of acupuncture usage was similar to homeopathy, which is an alternative whole medical system originating from Western Europe. This means that an Eastern alternative system is established also in Germany. In several cases not only one CAM treatment was used but distinct combinations existed (particularly homeopathy and acupuncture); thus one should be cautious to draw predictive conclusions from studies with broad and unspecific CAM categories, for among them there are several therapies which should not be regarded as CAM.
Proteomics, a new branch of science, has been used to study protein expressions on the molecular level with a dynamic perspective. Organisms under varying states may express different proteins, which results in the set-up of differential proteomics. Research methods of differential proteomics include the separation and identification of proteins. Differential proteomics has a rapid development in recent years. In the study of acupuncture, researchers have reached certain achievements using differential proteomics to investigate the mechanisms of acupuncture treatment for some diseases, including acute spinal cord injury, ischemic cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease and neuralgia.
Objective: To observe the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) at Tianshu (ST25) on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in sodium taurocholate-induced severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) in rats.Methods: Sixty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups: sham-operation group, SAP group and EA group. An SAP model was established by injecting 3.5% sodium taurocholate at a dose of 1 mL/kg through puncturing the pancreatic duct. In the EA group, EA at ST25 was performed with sparse-dense wave (2/100 Hz, 2 mA for 30 min) immediately after sodium taurocholate injection and 30 min before sacrifice. Rats were sacrificed at 3 (n=7), 6 (n=7) and 12 h (n=8) after operation. Levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-10 in serum were estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Pathological changes of pancreatic tissues were examined by hematoxylin and eosin staining and observed under a microscope and also scored.Results: The levels of serum TNF-α and IL-6 of SAP rats were significantly higher than those of sham-operation rats at 3, 6 and 12 h. The level of IL-10 in serum of SAP rats was significantly higher than that of sham-operation rats at 3 and 6 h (P<0.05). EA at ST25 down-regulated the levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in serum and up-regulated the level of IL-10 and the ratio of IL-10/TNF-α, also attenuated the morphological damages at 6 and 12 h (P<0.05) in rats with SAP. The pathological scores of pancreatic tissues in the EA group were significantly less than those in the SAP group at 6 and 12 h (P<0.05).Conclusion: EA at ST25 may have a therapeutic effect on rats with SAP by down-regulating the levels of TNF-α and IL-6 and up-regulating the level of IL-10 to re-establish the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and to ameliorate the inflammatory response of SAP.
Background: Pre-exam anxiety syndrome is a common condition occurring in pre-exam students and directly affects their examination performance and physical state. Wrist-ankle acupuncture has significant therapeutic effects in treating mental disorders and may also relieve the symptoms of pre-exam anxiety syndrome.Objective: To assess the therapeutic effect of wrist-ankle acupuncture on pre-exam anxiety syndrome.Design, setting, participants and interventions: A total of 60 students who met the inclusion criteria of pre-exam anxiety syndrome were enrolled from a university in Shanghai and they were randomly divided into treatment group and control group. There were 30 cases in each group, and no case failed to follow-up. In the treatment group, wrist-ankle acupuncture was adopted to point upper 1 bilaterally (impression between flexor carpi ulnaris tendon and ulnar margin), and there was no requirement for Deqi (arrival of qi). In the control group, sham acupuncture was adopted. The treatment was applied 3 times totally in both groups one week before the exam, once every other day, each time with the needles retained for 30 min.Main outcome measures: The therapeutic effects were compared between two groups. Before and after 3 treatments, Sarason Test Anxiety Scale (TAS) and Expectation and Treatment Credibility Scale (ETCS) were measured and evaluated.Results: The therapeutic effect experienced by the treatment group was better than that of the control group (P<0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in TAS and ETCS before treatment between the two groups. The scores of TAS after treatment in two groups were higher than those before treatment (P<0.05, P<0.01). There were statistical differences in TAS absolute difference and TAS relative difference between the two groups and the treatment group had better results (P<0.05, P<0.01). After treatment, patients in the treatment group had higher scores in ETCS than those in the control group (P<0.05, P<0.01). No adverse reaction was reported.Conclusion: Wrist-ankle acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of pre-exam anxiety syndrome significantly, and this therapy is highly safe.
Objective: This study explored the effects of individualized acupuncture when used alongside routine care for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in order to assess the possibility and nature of potential benefits for this patient group. This study used an exploratory case study approach that included both quantitative and qualitative research tools, in order to generate a hypothesis questioning the possible benefits of acupuncture and develop future study designs.
Methods: Eleven patients diagnosed with schizophrenia were given multiple validated quantitative and qualitative assessments before, during and after a 10-week acupuncture intervention. A range of qualitative and quantitative assessments were employed including review of acupuncture, general practitioner and mental health clinical case notes. Qualitative data were interrogated to explore the reliability of participants’ reports to researchers, their clinicians and their carers while acting as informants in the study.
Results: Eight out of eleven participants completed a course of acupuncture treatment and all eleven reported positive benefits as a result of acupuncture, including improvements in the symptoms of schizophrenia, side effects of medication, energy, motivation, sleep, addictions and other associated physical problems. However, participants’ reports to the researcher and the acupuncturists varied at times and were often inconsistent between treatments, with participants revealing more information to the team towards the end of the study.
Conclusion: The study indicates that patients diagnosed with schizophrenia would benefit from acupuncture treatment alongside conventional treatment. Triangulation of the data highlights some inconsistencies in reporting from participants, but also that this can be overcome through the use of mixed research methods. Comparison of data also shows that future studies would benefit from using a Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture and an enhanced questionnaire regarding side effects of medication, exercise, sleep and daily routine. It is also worth noting that future studies of this nature must maintain consideration for the vulnerability of participants as they recover and make support easily accessible.
To observe the effects of acupuncture on synovial pathology, synovial mast cell degranulation and tryptase expression and to investigate the relationship between the functions of mast cells and effects of acupuncture on early adjuvant arthritis in rats.
Forty-six male Wistar rats were randomly divided into normal control group (n=16), untreated group (n=15) and acupuncture group (n=15). Adjuvant arthritis was induced by injection of 0.1 mL Freund’s complete adjuvant in right hind limb footpad. Normal control group and untreated group received no acupuncture treatment, while rats in the acupuncture group were treated with sterilized disposable stainless steel needles inserted perpendicularly as deep as 2 to 3 mm at Xuanzhong (GB39), 6 mm at Shenshu (BL23) and 7 mm at Zusanli (ST36) for eight times (15 min each time) every two days. Setting the modeling day as the 0 day of the experiment, the body weight and paw volume of the rats were measured every three days from the 0 day. In the end, synovial tissues of the right hind ankles were sampled and made into paraffin sections. Then they were firstly stained with hematoxylin-eosin for observing synovial pathology to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on adjuvant arthritis, then stained with toluidine blue for observing the number and degranulation ratio of synovial mast cells and finally detected by immunohistochemical staining method to investigate the expression of tryptase in synovium.
Compared with the untreated group, the body weight of rats in the acpuncture group was increased significantly (P<0.05), while the paw volume decreased obviously (P<0.01). Hematoxylin-eosin staining showed that acupuncture significantly inhibited inflammatory cell infiltration, synovial cell hyperplasia, and synovial fibroplasia in synovium of rats with adjuvant arthritis as compared with the untreated group (P<0.05). Toluidine blue staining showed that acupuncture could significantly diminish the numbers of total and degranulated mast cells in rats with adjuvant arthritis (P<0.01), which were significantly higher in the untreated group than in the normal control group (P<0.01). Showing by immunohistochemical staining, the expression of tryptase in synovium in the acupuncture group was decreased as compared with the untreated group (P<0.01). Analyzed by Spearman’s bivariate correlation, the number of mast cells and degranulation ratio of mast cells were positively correlated with the pathological scores (r=0.837, P<0.01; r=0.634, P<0.01).
Acupuncture can improve pathological condition of inflammatory synovium in rats with early adjuvant arthritis by inhibiting the function of synovial mast cells, which may play an important underlying role in the immunoregulation of acupuncture on adjuvant arthritis.
Postoperative gastroparesis syndrome (PGS) is a common complication after abdominal surgery in patients with primary liver cancer. However, surgeons usually do not have effective treatment for them.
To explore the effects of acupuncture applied to Zusanli and other acupoints on PGS in patients after abdominal surgery.
Design, setting, participants and interventions
Sixty-three PGS patients of abdominal surgery, from Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgical Hospital, were randomized into acupuncture group (32 cases) and metoclopramide group (31 cases). The patients in acupuncture group were treated with acupuncture applied to Zusanli and other acupoints once a day, while the patients in metoclopramide group were intramuscularly injected 20 mg metoclopramide three times a day.
Main outcome measures
Volume of gastric drainage, number of treatment and cure rate in the two groups were measured and evaluated.
Acupuncture and metoclopramide could significantly reduce gastric drainage volume. In acupuncture group, the cure rate was 90.6% and the number of treatment was 6.58±4.26, while in metoclopramide group, the cure rate and the number of treatment were 32.3% and 10.13±3.60 respectively. There were significant differences in gastric drainage volume, cure rate and number of treatment between the two groups (P<0.05, P<0.01).
Acupuncture is a good treatment for PGS, with fewer treatments, high cure rate and rapid effect.
To evaluate the prophylactic effects of short-term manual acupuncture stimulation on Zusanli (ST36) on acute lung injury (ALI) caused by lipopolysaccharide instillation in Wistar rats.
Thirty-two Wistar rats were randomized into 4 groups (n=8) classified by the absence or presence of lipopolysaccharide instillation [negative (NC) and positive control (PC), respectively], and performance of sham or real needle stimulation [sham (SA) or real (RA) acupuncture, respectively]. Manual acupuncture was performed daily for 5 minutes over four consecutive days (days 1 to 4). Lipopolysaccharide instillation was performed on day 4 after the last acupuncture stimulation. Systemic blood samples, bronchoalveolar lavage, and bone marrow blood sample were collected on day 5 to measure the count of leukocytes.
RA reduced the inflammatory response on ALI as indicated by blood cell count and bronchoalveolar lavage cell count. SA presented a minor efficacy to reduce inflammatory response in rats with experimental ALI. Bronchoalveolar lavage showed increased cell counts of rats in the PC group as compared with the NC group, and less but no significant differences in cell counts in the PC-RA group as compared with the PC-SA group.
Prophylactic manual needling stimulation of ST36 can mitigate ALI caused by lipopolysaccharide instillation in Wistar rats. Further studies should address the mechanisms of immune system response induced by needle stimulation of ST36 acupoint.
To explore the mechanisms of scalp acupuncture in treating cerebral ischemia in rats.
Sixty SD rats with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) were randomly divided into untreated group and scalp acupuncture group. The scalp acupuncture was performed by inserting needles from Baihui (GV20) to Qubin (GB7), and the scalp was stabbed through 0.5 to 0.8 cun with a 30 degree angle. After a Han’s Electro-Acupuncture Apparatus was connected, we selected “disperse-dense” wave and alternated frequency of 2 Hz and 100 Hz at an intensity level of 2 mA, 30 min once daily. Another 10 SD rats without artery occlusion were taken as sham-operated control. Neurological severity score (NSS), hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were applied to observing the changes of neurofunctional defect, the inflammatory infiltration in cerebral tissue and the contents of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) in brain tissues after 24-, 48- and 72-hour reperfusion.
There were significant differences in NSS between the scalp acupuncture group and the untreated group (P<0.05, P<0.01) after 24-, 48- and 72-hour reperfusion, especially after 72-hour reperfusion. HE staining results of ischemic cerebral tissues showed an apparent reduction of inflamed lesions in the scalp acupuncture group as compared with the untreated group, especially after 72-hour reperfusion. The contents of COX-2 and NF-κB after reperfusion in the scalp acupuncture group were significantly lower than those in the untreated group in 24, 48 and 72 h (P<0.01, P<0.05), and the contents of TGF-β1 in scalp acupuncture group were significantly higher than those in the untreated group after 24-, 48- and 72-hour reperfusion (P<0.01).
Scalp acupuncture can attenuate cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury, improve neurofunctional rehabilitation and suppress leukocyte infiltration in rats by decreasing the contents of COX-2 and NF-κB and enhancing TGF-β1 expression in brain tissues.
To compare the varieties and contents of the main nerval information molecules in perfusate from hypothalamic medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the rats in different sexual cycles and the ovariectomized rats treated by electro-acupuncture, so as to observe the similarities and differences of hypothalamic neuroendocrine signal transduction pathway under the physiological and pathological status, and to explore the mechanisms of neuroendocrine signal transduction of electro-acupuncture therapeutic effect in perimenopausal syndrome.
The stereo localization technique and push-and-pull perfusion of the rat brain nucleus were adopted for collecting the hypothalamic MPOA perfusate of the female rats with normal sexual cycle, and also for collecting the MPOA perfusate of ovariectomized rats after electro-acupuncture treatment as acupuncture perfusate (AP). After being respectively microinjected into MPOA of the ovariectomized rats, the influence of the different perfusates on vagina cytology and serum estradiol (E2) level was observed. The contents of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), dopamine (DA), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate (Glu), aspartate (Asp) and β-endorphin (β-EP) in the perfusate of each group were detected by radioimmunoassay or high performance liquid chromatography, and then the varieties and contents of these substances in the perfusate of each group were compared and analyzed.
The contents of neural active substances including DA, GABA, Glu, and β-EP in the perfusate from the rats’ MPOA during different stages of sexual cycle showed some regular changes. After the perfusate was microinjected respectively into the MPOA of the ovariectomized rats, the changes of animal vaginal exfoliated cells and serum E2 level showed the similar four-stage cycle characteristics as normal rats; the changes of vaginal exfoliated cells and serum E2 level of the ovariectomized rats without electro-acupuncture treatment showed the acupuncture-like effects following the microinjection of AP in the MPOA.
The information molecules in the perfusate from MPOA of rats in normal sexual cycle or electro-acupuncture-treated rats include classical neurotransmitters, amino acid neurotransmitters, and neuropeptides. Acupuncture may modulate the release and synthesis of these information molecules to normalize the subnormal function of MPOA in perimenopausal period. Thus, AP may be a neuroendocrine signal carrier of acupuncture effects for acupuncture signal transduction from one individual to another. This may provide a new thinking and method for studying acupuncture signal transduction of the acupuncture therapeutic effects on perimenopausal syndrome.
To observe the cerebral activating effects of needling at Waiguan (SJ5) versus SJ5 plus Yanglingquan (GB34) points in young healthy volunteers based on the hypothesis of "needling effect of combined acupuncture points relates to the brain activation".
Sixteen healthy volunteers were randomly divided into SJ5 group and SJ5 plus GB34 group, and there were 8 volunteers in each group. The volunteers in the two groups received needling at corresponding points on the right hand or foot respectively. Nuclear magnetic resonance (1.5T, GE Corporation) was used for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain before and during the needling, and the obtained experimental data in the regional brain were processed and analyzed by the method of region of interest (ROI).
The ROI activation induced by needling of SJ5 or SJ5 plus GB34 was all relatively concentrated (activation rate more than 4 or activation point more than 10) on bilateral frontal and parietal lobes. There were no significant differences in ROI activation rates of brain regions between the two groups. ROI activation points showed that needling at SJ5 could activate the right cerebellum specifically (P<0.05, vs SJ5 plus GB34), while needling at SJ5 plus GB34 could activate the left parietal and occipital lobes and bilateral basal ganglion more effectively than activate the other brain regions (P<0.05, vs SJ5). ROI activation strength showed that needling at SJ5 plus GB34 could more strongly activate the right cerebellum (P<0.05, vs SJ5).
Based on fMRI data, a kind of acupuncture point combination of SJ5 and GB34 within the hand-foot Shaoyang meridians, could improve the motor and sensory dysfunctions and equilibrium disturbance. The effect of combined acupuncture points was proved by cerebral activity initially.
To explore the dynamic state of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndromes in acute ischemic stroke patients within 30 days of onset when treated with acupuncture, and to analyze the discrimination effects of the functions based on "decision trees" in identification of TCM syndromes of ischemic stroke.
A total of 264 cases with acute ischemic stroke regularly treated by acupuncture were included. Unified syndrome questionnaire was made by document retrieval and expert advice. The syndrome elements of the patients with acute ischemic stroke were surveyed on any day of three time periods (days 0-3, 4-10 and 11-30). The study was performed on multitime dynamic state results and correlated factors of basic TCM syndromes of the 264 patients. Bayes discriminant function of four syndromes of acute ischemic stroke on the basis of "decision trees" was used for computing the rate of miscarriage justice by original test and cross-validation, and the discrimination effects of "decision trees" were evaluated too.
Wind, phlegm, fire-heat, qi deficiency, blood stasis, and hyperactivity of yang due to yin deficiency syndromes were found in the patients with acute ischemic stroke treated by acupuncture on the first 30 days of onset, and the incidence rates were 80.7%, 68.9%, 52.7%, 50.8%, 29.2% and 25.0% respectively. The mean scores and incidence rates of the six syndromes decreased gradually on three-time-point, especially of blood stasis syndrome. The main combined-syndromes were two-syndrome, three-syndrome and four-syndrome, and three-syndrome was the most frequently encountered type. Single syndrome was not found in the patients with acute ischemic stroke on the first three days of onset. Two-syndrome combination types were wind-phlegm, wind-heat, wind combined with qi deficiency or phlegm stagnation due to qi deficiency, phlegm-heat and blood stasis combined with hyperactivity of yang due to yin deficiency, and the incidence rates were 54.5%, 42.8%, 40.9%, 39.4%, 35.6% and 3.8% respectively. The mean scores of phlegm and qi deficiency in high-age patients were higher than those in low-age patients. The mean score and incidence rate of qi deficiency in female patients were higher than those in male patients. The mean score of phlegm in female patients was higher than that in male patients. To simplify the "decision trees" composed of 21 items, the group of Bayes discriminant function including eight most significant items out of the original 21 items was set up. The discrimination effect of the eight items including reddish face, constipation, yellow tongue fur, short breath, bright-white or gray complexion, tinnitus, feverish palms and soles and scanty tongue fur was similar to that of the 21 items, and there was no significant difference between the two functions.
Wind syndrome and phlegm syndrome are the major single syndromes occurring in acute ischemic stroke patients within 30 days of onset, and three-syndrome combination is the most frequent multiple syndrome type. After acupuncture treatment, some syndrome elements including wind, phlegm, fire-heat, qi deficiency, blood stasis, and hyperactivity of yang due to yin deficiency are gradually reduced, and combined syndrome type is gradually become simple. Eight syndrome element items including reddish face, constipation, yellow tongue fur, short breath, bright-white or gray complexion, tinnitus, feverish palms and soles and scanty tongue fur have important means in discriminating yin syndrome from yang syndrome and sthenia syndrome from asthenia syndrome.
Recently the combination of acupuncture with assisted reproductive technology (ART) to increase the outcomes of ART is being widely studied. In this article, the literatures concerning random controlled clinical trials since 2002 are reviewed and the designs of the trials, especially the timing of acupuncture, are evaluated. Over the past 5 years, the related clinical trials have primarily showed that acupuncture done immediately before and after embryo transfer might increase the assisted reproduction rates, but still requiring further high quality trials with large samples; in addition, different stimulation modes could produce different result, and so far there has not been a consensus as to the optimal time-point for the acupuncture intervention during the in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) course. Since the effects of acupuncture change with women's endocrine cycles, it is important and possible to make a breakthrough in ART outcomes if acupuncture is performed at a suitable time point during the cycle of IVF/ET combined with ART.
Objective: To establish a proper experimental model of bone cancer pain in rat for acupuncture research, and observe the pain-relieving effect of electroacupuncture (EA) and/or Celebrex on bone cancer pain in rats.Methods: The rat model of bone cancer pain was established by percutaneous direct puncture technique and inoculating the rat mammary gland carcinoma cells Walker 256 into tibial medullary cavity directly, and evaluated by detecting the bone tumor growth and mechanical allodynia. The effects of daily EA treatment and/or Celebrex treatment on the rat mechanical allodynia after intratibial Walker 256 inoculation was observed in this study.Results: Significant mechanical allodynia in ipsilateral hind paw and tumor growth in proximal end of tibial bone of rats in the untreated group were observed after intratibial Walker 256 inoculation. The mechanical allodynia thresholds in rats that received EA or 5 mg/(kg·d) Celebrex treatment showed no significant difference as compared with that of rats in the untreated group. However, the mechanical allodynia thresholds of rats in 10 mg/(kg·d) Celebrex group showed significant increase after 22- and 26-day treatment as compared with that in the methyl cellulose (MC) group. There was significant difference between rats with EA combined with 5 mg/(kg·d) Celebrex treatment and rats in the untreated group after 10-, 18- and 23-day treatment.Conclusion: EA and 5 mg/(kg·d) Celebrex have synergistic effect on pain relieving and their combined use may enhance the analgesic effect on bone cancer pain.
Objective: To investigate the effects of scalp-acupuncture on intelligence in patients with vascular dementia (VaD).Methods: A total of 108 VaD patients were randomly divided into two groups: scalp-acupuncture group and Western medicine group. The scores of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Blesse Dementia Scale (BDS), Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS), Ability of Daily Life (ADL) before and after treatment in the two groups were detected.Results: A total of 92 patients completed the treatment. The scores of MMSE, BDS and HDS in the two groups were significantly increased, and the ADL scores significantly declined (P<0.05). There was no difference in the scores of MMSE, BDS, HDS and ADL between the two groups before and after the treatment. There was no difference in the total effectiveness between the two groups (P>0.05).Conclusion: Scalp-acupuncture therapy could improve the clinical intelligence level of VaD patients.