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Home > Newsletters > July 2008 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Is Acupuncture Beneficial in Depression?

The Effect of Acupuncture at PC-6 on the Electroencephalogram and Electrocardiogram

Effect of Tian Ma Gou Teng Decoction with Subtractive Ingredients and its Active Constituents on Memory Acquisition

Is Acupuncture Beneficial in Depression?

Wang H, et al. Department of Pharmacology and Biostatistics, Institute of Medical Sciences, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, China.

BACKGROUND: Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. Acupuncture is a popular complementary and alternative medicine intervention suggested in the treatment of depression, but its effectiveness is uncertain. This updated meta-analysis was conducted to more precisely assess the beneficial effect of acupuncture in depression therapy. METHODS: The following databases were searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Chinese Scientific Journal Database. The following terms were used: acupuncture, acupressure, depression, depressive disorder, clinical trial, and randomized controlled trial. RESULTS: Eight small-randomized controlled trials comparing 477 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. Our results confirmed that acupuncture could significantly reduce the severity of depression, which was indicated by decreased scores of Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) or Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The pooled standardized mean difference of the 'Improvement of depression' was -0.65 (95% CI -1.18, -0.11; P=0.02) by random effect model. However, no significant effect of active acupuncture was found on the response rate (RR 1.32, 95% CI 0.83 to 2.10; P=0.25) and remission rate (RR 1.30, 95% CI 0.57 to 2.95; P=0.53). CONCLUSION: Although this meta-analysis might be discounted due to the low quality of individual trials, it supported that acupuncture was an effective treatment that could significantly reduce the severity of disease in the patients with depression. More full-scale randomized clinical trials with reliable designs are recommended to further warrant the effectiveness of acupuncture.

J Affect Disord. 2008 Jun 10

Source PubMed


The Effect of Acupuncture at PC-6 on the Electroencephalogram and Electrocardiogram

Kim MS, et al. Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka, Tempaku-cho, Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan 441-858, Japan.

The present study aims to examine the effect of acupuncture stimulation of an acupuncture point (PC-6) and nonacupuncture point on electroencephalograms (EEGs) and electrocardiograms (ECGs). We used EEG in 10 healthy subjects to investigate cortical activation during stimulation of acupuncture points (neiguan: PC-6) and nonacupuncture points. Our most interesting finding was the marked differences of amplitude of EEG power between acupuncture points and nonacupuncture points stimulation. Wavelet transform was used as the EEG signal processing method, because it has advantages in a time domain and frequency domain characteristics analysis. EEGs were collected from 16 channels, and the alpha-wave (8-13 Hz), beta-wave (13-30 Hz), theta-wave (4-8 Hz) and delta-wave (0.5-4 Hz) were used as standards for frequency bands. According to the experiment results, EEG signals increased considerably after acupuncture stimulation; in each frequency band, the average amplitude was higher after acupuncture stimulation; ECG heart rates were faster by at least 10% after acupuncture stimulation. Consequently, it will be possible to verify the function of acupuncture stimulation on neiguan (acupuncture points; PC-6) more effectively.

Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(3):481-91

Source: PubMed


Effect of Tian Ma Gou Teng Decoction with Subtractive Ingredients and its Active Constituents on Memory Acquisition

Ho SC, et al. Chinese Herbal Medicine Division, Development Center for Biotechnology, Taipei, Taiwan.

Accumulating evidence indicates that the high blood pressure (BP) is a potent risk factor for dementia in the elderly. In line with this theory, we had found the mixture of Chinese herbs (TGD) which were traditionally used to treat hypertension, could enhance the cognitive function. The aim of this study was to decrease the number of herbs used from 11 (TGD) to 4 herbs (TGDS) and further to search the active constituents. After administering a dose of 10 g/kg of TGDS0 to ICR mice, no cholinergic symptoms of lacrimation, salivation, emesis, eyeclosure, increased respiration and fibrillation were observed. All the mice survived without any deaths after 24 hours and 7 days. No changes were observed in control and experimental groups on locomotor activity (no stimulant or sedative effects). It was also revealed that TGDS could prolong the step-through latency at the dose of 1.0 and 2.5 g/kg on passive avoidance tasks in mice. This result was the same as the previous study. The active constituents which enhanced the memory acquisition were discovered in the butanol layer and ethyl acetate layer after the extraction.

Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(3):593-602

Source: PubMed


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