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].

Acupuncture is promising as a treatment for pain in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, a UK pilot study suggests. Twenty MS patients attending a nurse-led complementary therapy clinic were invited to participate in an evaluation of the service using a questionnaire. All of the patients had sought acupuncture for the relief of pain, and had been attending the clinic for between three and 24 months. The majority were receiving acupuncture at six weekly intervals; 85% were female, aged 20 to 60 years, with a wide range of duration of diagnosis. All participants described some reduction in pain, with nine patients scoring their level of pain relief as eight out of ten or better. Eighteen patients experienced pain relief for four or more weeks. Sleep pattern, mood, energy levels and mobility were also subjectively improved, though less strikingly than pain. Nine patients experienced a temporary increase in pain. Fifty-five per cent of patients had managed to reduce their use of analgesics, and three were able to stop additional analgesia completely. (Acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain and other MS symptoms. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2013;84:e2).

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).