A pilot study carried out in Brazil provides evidence that electro-acupuncture (EA) can significantly improve quality of life for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Thirty-one RRMS patients undergoing treatment with immunomodulators were randomly distributed into experimental and placebo groups, which received either true EA (TEA) or sham EA (SEA) once a week for 30 minutes per session, over six consecutive months. A single treatment protocol was developed for all patients, using acupuncture points reported to stimulate the immune system. For the experimental group, needles were inserted bilaterally at acupoints Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjiao SP-6, Hegu L.I.-4 and Quchi L.I.-11 and Yintang N-HN-3. In the SEA group, needle insertion was superficial, located one centimetre away from the points used for the TEA group and no electrical stimulation was given. TEA was found to enhance various aspects of patients’ quality of life, including a significant reduction in subjective pain and depression scores. In addition participants in the TEA group reported improvements such as better sleep and appetite, reduced incontinence and constipation, and disappearance of leg spasms during treatment. (Impact of electroacupuncture on quality of life for patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis under treatment with immunomodulators: A randomized study. BMC Complement Altern Med.2012 Nov 5;12(1):209).

 

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