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Home > Newsletters > June 2007 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Connective Tissue Fibroblast Response to Acupuncture

Additional Therapeutic Effects of Electroacupuncture in Conjunction with Conventional Rehabilitation for Patients with First-ever Ischemic Stroke

Efficacy and Tolerability of a Chinese Herbal Medicine Concoction for Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis


Connective Tissue Fibroblast Response to Acupuncture

Langevin HM, et al. Department of Neurology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA. Helene.langevin@uvm.edu

BACKGROUND: Although acupuncture-needle manipulation is an important component of acupuncture therapy, little information is currently available on whether or not specific types of needle manipulation produce different effects on the body. Bidirectional (back-and-forth) rotation is one of the most common forms of needle manipulation used in acupuncture practice. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we hypothesized that bidirectional acupuncture needle rotation causes dose-dependent active cytoskeletal remodeling in connective tissue fibroblasts similar to that previously demonstrated with unidirectional rotation. INTERVENTIONS: Subcutaneous tissue explants from 18 mice were randomized to varying amounts of bidirectional rotation cycles (8-64) and rotation-cycle amplitude (180 degrees -720 degrees ) ex vivo for 30 minutes, followed by tissue fixation, confocal microscopy, and measurement of fibroblast cell body cross-sectional area. RESULTS: As with unidirectional rotation, fibroblasts responded to bidirectional rotation with extensive cell spreading and lamellipodia formation. Bidirectional needle rotation had a significant overall effect on fibroblast cell body cross sectional area (analysis of variance, p < 0.001). The cellular response to bidirectional rotation was nonmonotonic with maximal responses occurring within specific stimulus windows with regard to cycle amplitude and cycle number. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that subtle differences in acupuncture-needle manipulation techniques can affect cellular responses in mouse subcutaneous connective tissue. Further studies will be needed to determine whether these connective-tissue responses are related to therapeutic effects.

J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Apr;13(3):355-60.

Source PubMed

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Additional Therapeutic Effects of Electroacupuncture in Conjunction with Conventional Rehabilitation for Patients with First-ever Ischemic Stroke

Hsieh RL, et al. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Shin Kong Wo Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taiwan, Republic of China.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the additional therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture for patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke. DESIGN: Randomized controlled study. SUBJECTS: A total of 63 patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke. METHODS: The study and control groups underwent a conventional rehabilitation program, with the former receiving an additional 8 courses of electroacupuncture over a period of one month. Therapeutic effects were assessed by the Fugl-Meyer Assessment for motor performance and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) for the independence of functional performance at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment, and 3 months and 6 months after stroke. RESULTS: For total Fugl-Meyer Assessment score, improvement was more significant for the study group relative to the control group at 2 weeks (16.2 vs 10.6; p = 0.047) and 4 weeks after treatment (27.4 vs 17.1; p = 0.005), and at 3 months after the stroke (34.7 vs 21.8; p = 0.009). The Fugl-Meyer Assessment scores improved significantly, especially in upper-limb motor function for the study group. There was no statistically significant between-group difference in total FIM score improvement. CONCLUSION: Electroacupuncture can improve motor function, especially in upper-limb motor function, for patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke.

J Rehabil Med. 2007 Apr;39(3):205-11

Source: PubMed

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Efficacy and Tolerability of a Chinese Herbal Medicine Concoction for Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Hon KL, et al. Department of Paediatrics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Background: There has been considerable interest in traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCHM) as a treatment for atopic dermatitis (AD). A twice-daily concoction of an ancestral formula containing five herbs has been found to be beneficial in an open study. Objectives: To assess the efficacy and tolerability of the concoction in children with AD. Methods Following a 2-week run-in period, children with long-standing moderate-to-severe AD were randomized to receive a 12-week treatment with twice-daily dosing of three capsules of either TCHM or placebo. The SCORing of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) score, Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), allergic rhinitis score, and requirement for topical corticosteroid and oral antihistamine were assessed before and at weeks 4, 8, 12 and 16 after treatment. Adverse events, tolerability, haematological and biochemical parameters were monitored during the study. Results: Eighty-five children with AD were recruited. Over 12 weeks, the mean SCORAD score fell from 58.3 to 49.7 in the TCHM group (n = 42; P = 0.003) and from 56.9 to 46.9 in the placebo group (n = 43; P = 0.001). However, there was no significant difference in the scores at the corresponding time points between the two groups. The CDLQI in TCHM-treated patients was significantly improved compared with patients receiving placebo at the end of the 3-month treatment and 4 weeks after stopping therapy (P = 0.008 and 0.059, respectively). The total amount of topical corticosteroid used was also significantly reduced by one-third in the TCHM group (P = 0.024). No serious adverse effects were observed between the groups. Conclusions: The TCHM concoction is efficacious in improving quality of life and reducing topical corticosteroid use in children with moderate-to-severe AD. The formulation was palatable and well tolerated.

Br J Dermatol. 2007 May 14

Source: PubMed

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June 2007
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