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Review Article
Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine: Volume 8, 2010   Issue 11
A mechanism of endogenous opioid peptides for rapid onset of acupuncture effect in treatment of depression
1. Xin-jun Wang (Laboratory of Integrated Acupuncture and Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210029, Jiangsu Province, China )
2. Ling-ling Wang (Laboratory of Integrated Acupuncture and Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210029, Jiangsu Province, China E-mail: wangllbox@hotmail.com)

Abstract: Clinical and experimental studies show that the onset of effect of acupuncture on depression is more rapid than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants. Acupuncture treatment is characterized by controlling anxiety and gastrointestinal discomfort. The onset time of acupuncture treatment for various pains is a week or so, which is the same as the rapid onset time of antidepressant effect of acupuncture, and the main pathway of acupuncture analgesia is through endogenous opioid system. Opioid peptides can produce pleasure, and decrease anxiety and gastrointestinal discomfort, so opioid peptides are considered to have antidepressant effect. Accordingly, the main pathway of acupuncture analgesia — the endogenous opioid system, is considered a mechanism for rapid onset of acupuncture effects on depression.


Wang XJ, Wang LL. J Chin Integr Med. 2010; 8(11): 1014-1017. Received April 15, 2010; accepted June 2, 2010; published online November 15, 2010. Indexed/abstracted in and full-text link-out at PubMed. Journal title in PubMed: Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. Free full text (HTML and PDF) is available at http://www.jcimjournal.com. Forward linking and reference linking via CrossRef. DOI: 10.3736/jcim20101102


Correspondence: Ling-ling Wang, MD, Professor; Tel: 025-86798095; E-mail: wangllbox@hotmail.com


Full text of this article is in Chinese

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