10. October 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Depression, Insomnia

Acupuncture could be a viable alternative to medication for treating depression-related insomnia, report the authors of a meta-analysis from China. Eighteen randomised-controlled clinical trials with 1678 participants were analysed. The results showed that acupuncture treatment led to significant improvements in sleep scores compared with western medicine. Acupuncture combined with western medicine produced a better effect on sleep quality compared with western medicine alone. Acupuncture and western medicine improved depression scores by an equal amount, and acupuncture combined with western medicine was more effective than western medicine alone.
The Efficacy of Acupuncture for Treating Depression-Related Insomnia Compared with a Control Group: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:9614810.

UK researchers examining economic data on 12 non-pharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis of the knee (KOA) have found acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to be cost-effective. The authors applied network meta-analysis to data from 88 randomised controlled trials including 7,507 patients. They based their cost-effectiveness estimations on a threshold of £20–30,000 per QALY (quality-adjusted life year – a measure of disease burden used to assess the value for money of medical interventions), as this is used by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to assess whether treatments represent a cost-effective use of UK NHS resources. When all trials were considered, TENS was found to be cost-effective at the NICE threshold, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £2,690 per QALY versus usual care (meaning one quality-adjusted life year would be gained for each additional £2,690 spent on TENS). When only higher quality trials were considered, acupuncture was found to be cost-effective (with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £13,502 per QALY versus TENS). The authors further noted that, while acupuncture is not currently recommended by NICE as a treatment for KOA, based on their calculations some interventions that are recommended by NICE (insoles, braces and manual therapy) are unlikely to be cost-effective and therefore should not be prioritised for commissioning within the NHS.
Cost-effectiveness of adjunct non-pharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis of the knee. PLoS One. 2017 Mar 7;12(3):e0172749.

10. October 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture treatment can improve walking gait in patients with multiple sclerosis, report Portuguese investigators. Gait impairment was evaluated using the 25-foot walk test in 20 individuals with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, who were then randomised to either verum or sham acupuncture. Verum acupuncture was administered at Liangqiu ST-34 Weizhong BL-40 and Chengshan BL-57, while sham acupuncture consisted of needling at non-acupuncture points located two cun laterally to the verum points. Verum acupuncture led to a significant decrease in time taken to walk 25 feet. By contrast, differences in time to walk 25 feet were not statistically significant for sham acupuncture. Following verum acupuncture, 95% of patients showed an improvement in 25-foot walk test, compared with only 45 % for sham acupuncture.
Effects of Acupuncture on Gait of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Apr 14. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0355. [Epub ahead of print].

10. October 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Kidney Disease

Acupuncture improves renal function markers in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to research from Taiwan. Fifty nine patients with CKD were randomised into acupuncture and sham treatment groups. In the acupuncture group, manual acupuncture was applied to bilateral Hegu L.I.-4, Zusanli ST-36 and Taixi KID-3 to obtain qi, and electroacupuncture (2 Hz) was applied to two acupoint pairs (right Zusanli ST-36 and Taixi KID-3 and left Zusanli ST-36 and Taixi KID-3) once per week for 12 weeks. In the sham group, needles were inserted 1.5 cm lateral to the acupoints, and no electrical stimulation was applied. Levels of serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were found to have improved significantly in the acupuncture group compared with the control group after 12 weeks of treatment, suggesting that acupuncture is beneficial for renal function in patients with CKD.
Acupuncture on Renal Function in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Single-Blinded, Randomized, Preliminary Controlled Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Apr 19. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0119. [Epub ahead of print].

10. October 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Cancer, Gastric Cancer

Patients with advanced gastric cancer experience a significant reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms induced by chemotherapy when treated with acupuncture, report Chinese clinicians. A cohort of 56 chemotherapy patients was randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group. Those in the experimental group received 30 minutes of acupuncture (at Zusanli ST-36, Shangjuxu ST-37, Tianshu ST-25, Sanyinjiao SP-6, and Neiguan P-6) daily for two weeks. Nausea duration, vomiting frequency, abdominal pain and diarrhoea were all significantly reduced, while quality-of-life scores were higher in the experimental group compared with controls.
The effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-associated gastrointestinal symptoms in gastric cancer. Curr Oncol. 2017 Feb;24(1):e1-e5.