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Home > Newsletters > July 2007 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Therapeutic Effect of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Post-Stroke Depression

The Regulatory Effect of Electro-Acupuncture on Hegu point (LI4) in Cerebral Response with Functional MRI

Effects and Mechanisms of Extract from Paeonia lactiflora and Astragalus membranaceus on Liver Fibrosis Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride in Rats

Therapeutic Effect of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Post-Stroke Depression

He J, Shen PF., The First Affiliated Hospital of Tianjin University of Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China.

OBJECTIVE: To observe the therapeutic effect of "Xingnao Kaiqiao Zhenfa" (Acupuncture Technique for Restoring Consciousness) in the treatment of post-stroke depression. METHODS: A total of 256 stroke patients were divided into acupuncture group (n = 180, male 138, female 42) and medication group (n = 76, male 57 and female 19) according to their visiting sequence to our hospital. Acupoints used were Neiguan (PC 6), Renzhong (GV 26), Baihui (GV 20), Yintang (EX-HN 3) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6,the affected side) and the needles were retained for 20 min every time. Patients of medication group were asked to take Amitriptyline (50 mg/d at first, 200 mg/d). Acupuncture treatment was conducted twice daily, and after one month's treatment the therapeutic effect was evaluated. Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) were used to assess the patient's state of depression. RESULTS: After the treatment, of the 180 and 76 cases in acupuncture and medication groups, 31 (17.2%) and 13 (17.1%) were cured, 73 (40.6%) and 18 (23.7%) had a marked improvement in their depression state, 27 (15.0%) and 12 (15.8%) had an improvement, 49 (27.2%) and 33 (43.4%) failed, with the effective rates being 72.8% and 56.6% respectively. The markedly effective rate and the total effective rate of acupuncture group were significantly higher than those of medication group (P < 0.05). After the treatment, the total scores of SDS and HRSD and the severity index of two groups decreased pronouncedly in comparison with those of their individual pre-treatment; and the therapeutic effects of acupuncture group were significantly better than those of medication group in reducing SDS, HRSD and severity index (P < 0 .05). In addition, the decreased values of depression, pessimistic mood and irritability of acupuncture group were all bigger than those of medication group (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found between two groups in the decreased value of insomnia (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: "Acupuncture Technique for Restoring Consciousness" can effectively improve depression patients' symptoms and the therapeutic effect of acupuncture is markedly superior to that of medication for post-stroke patients.

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2007 Feb;32(1):58-61.

Source PubMed


The Regulatory Effect of Electro-Acupuncture on Hegu point (LI4) in Cerebral Response with Functional MRI

Wang W, et al., Radiology Department, Union Hospital Affiliated to Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan.

OBJECTIVE: To study, through blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI), the cerebral activated areas evoked by electro-acupuncturing (EA) the right Hegu point (L14) or non-acupoint points on the face, and through comparing their similarities and differences, to speculate on the specific cerebral areas activated by stimulating L14, for exploring the mechanism of its effect in potential clinical application. METHODS: EA was applied at volunteers' right L14 (of 9 subjects in the L14 group) and facial non-acupoint points (of 5 subjects in the control group), and whole brain 3-dimensional T1 anatomical imaging of high resolution 1 x 1 x 1 mm(3) used was performed with clustered stimulatory mode adopted by BOLD fMRI. Pretreatment and statistical t-test were conducted on the data by SPM2 software, then the statistical parameters were superimposed to the 3-dimensional anatomical imaging. RESULTS: Data from 3 testees of the 9 subjects in the L14 group were given up eventually because they were unfit to the demand due to different causes such as movement of patients' location or machinery factors. Statistical analysis showed that signal activation or deactivation was found in multiple cerebral areas in 6 subjects of L14 group and 5 subjects of the control group (P<0.01). In the L14 group, the areas which showed signal activation were: midline nuclear group of thalamus, left supra marginal gyrus, left supra temporal gyrus, right precuneous lobe, bilateral temporal pole, left precentral gyrus and left cerebellum; those which showed signal deactivation were: bilateral hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, amygdala body area, rostral side/ audal side of cingulate gyrus, prefrontal lobe and occipital lobe as well as left infratemporal gyrus. In the control group, areas which showed signal activation were: bilateral frontal lobe, postcentral gyrus, Reil's island lobe, primary somato-sensory cortex, cingulate gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, occipital cuneiform gyrus and/or precuneus gyrus and right brainstem; and the area that showed deactivation was left median frontal lobe. CONCLUSION: The effects of EA L14 in regulating cerebral activities could be displayed and recorded through BOLD fMRI, the distribution of signally deactivated area evoked by EA L14 was similar to the known distribution of anatomical orientation of pain in brain, and closely related to the anatomic structure of limbic system, which areas are possibly the acupuncture analgesic effect's cerebral regulating area. Furthermore, activated portion of left central anterior gyrus, which represent the movement of oral facial muscles, and the activated portion of cerebellum are possibly related with the effect of using EA L14 in treating facial palsy and facial muscle spasm. As for the mechanism of signal deactivation of cerebral activities exhibited in the present study that is unable to be elucidated, it awaits for further research.

Chin J Integr Med. 2007 Mar;13(1):10-6

Source: PubMed


Effects and Mechanisms of Extract from Paeonia lactiflora and Astragalus membranaceus on Liver Fibrosis Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride in Rats.

Sun WY, et al., Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Anhui Medical University, Key Laboratory of Anti-inflammatory and Immunopharmacology in Anhui Province, Key Laboratory of Research and Development of Chinese Medicine in Anhui Province, Hefei, Anhui Province 230032, China.

Paeonia lactiflora and Astragalus membranaceus are two popular traditional Chinese medicines, commonly used in Chinese herb prescription to treat liver disease. The extract prepared from the roots of Paeonia lactiflora and Astragalus membranaceus (PAE) demonstrated more excellent hepato-protective activity than the single herbs used individually as indicated in our preliminary studies. The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of PAE on liver fibrosis in rats induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)) and to explore its possible mechanisms. Liver fibrosis was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by injection with 50% CCl(4) subcutaneously twice a week for 8 weeks. At the same time, PAE (40, 80 and 160mg/kg) was administered intragastrically. Upon pathological examination, the PAE-treated rats significantly reduced the liver damage and the symptoms of liver fibrosis. Administration of PAE decreased CCl(4)-induced elevation of serum transaminase activities, hyaluronic acid, laminin and procollagen type III levels, and contents of hydroxyproline in liver tissue by approximately 30-60%. It also restored the decrease in SOD and GSH-Px activites and inhibited the formation of lipid peroxidative products during CCl(4) treatment. Moreover, PAE (80, 160mg/kg, ig) decreased the elevation of TGF-beta1 by 47.7% and 53.1%, respectively. In the primary cultured hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), PAE also significantly decreased [(3)H] thymidine incorporation in cells stimulated with platelet-derived growth factor-B subunit homodimer (PDGF-BB) and suppressed [(3)H] proline incorporation. These results suggested that PAE significantly inhibited the progression of hepatic fibrosis induced by CCl(4), and the inhibitory effect of PAE on hepatic fibrosis might be associated with its ability to scavenge free radicals, decrease the level of TGF-beta1 and inhibit collagen synthesis and proliferation in HSCs.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 24;

Source: PubMed


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