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Home > Newsletters > September 2009 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis Treated by Acupuncture

Analysis of Trace Elements in Chinese Therapeutic Foods and Herbs

Herbal Formula SYJN Protect PC12 Cells from Neurotoxicity Induced by Corticosterone

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis Treated by Acupuncture

Liu CT, et al. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
OBJECTIVE: This report of one case illustrates the potential effect of acupuncture on low back pain and curvature progression in adult degenerative scoliosis. CLINICAL FEATURES: A 74-year-old woman experienced low back pain and kyphoscoliosis for 2 years. She received regular rehabilitation and medications for 2 years, but the curvature of the lumbar spine and backache still progressed. The Cobb angle was 31 degrees and surgical intervention was suggested to reduce the pain. INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: Before surgery, the patient was treated with acupuncture three times per week starting on May 29, 2008. After 6 weeks of treatment, the patient's lower backache decreased and follow-up radiographs showed that the Cobb angle decreased by 10 degrees . She underwent surgery on October 3 to have a better quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture was associated with a reduction in the degree of curvature in this case, after 2 years of conventional medical treatment had failed to stop the backache and curvature progression. This suggests that acupuncture not only plays an important role in pain control, but can also improve curvature progression for certain patients with degenerative scoliosis.

J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):935-7.    

Source: PubMed


Analysis of Trace Elements in Chinese Therapeutic Foods and Herbs

Xu H, et al. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

The bioactive elements in Chinese therapeutic foods and herbs that are frequently consumed by people in both the East and West are analyzed. These elements in their appropriate dosage range are considered to be beneficial to health. Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) were applied to determine the concentrations of various elements. Twenty-two Chinese therapeutic foods and herbs, resourced from the traditional high therapeutic quality areas or provinces were selected. Bioactive analysis focused on Lanthanum (La), Strontium (Sr), Zinc (Zn) and Selenium (Se), especially in the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia and its associate disorders. The higher elemental concentration herbs, La in: Rhizoma Gastrodiae Elatae, Fructus Crataegi and Herba Hedyotidis Diffusae. Sr in: Radix Puerariae and Folium Ginkgo Biloba. Zn in: Flos Carthami Tinctorii and Fructus Crataegi. Se in: Flos Lonicerae Japonicae and Portulaca Oleracea. The results mainly showed that Chinese herbs which are also therapeutic foods may be used as nutritional supplements for preventing and treating elemental deficiency, e.g., hyperlipidemia. More attention in this regard should be paid to herbs that contain La and are traditionally used for regulating cardiovascular disorders. The knowledge of the effects and concentrations of bioactive elements in foods and herbs could guide the selection of Chinese herbs in clinical practice in conjunction with traditional Chinese medicine theories. Further studies should also be considered in relation to Sr, Zn and blood regulating herbs, which could prove to be beneficial.

Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(4):625-38.

Source: PubMed


Herbal Formula SYJN Protect PC12 Cells from Neurotoxicity Induced by Corticosterone

Huang Z, et al. College of Pharmacy, Zhejiang Chinese Medicine University, Hangzhou 310053, Zhejiang, China.

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: SYJN is a Chinese herbal formula, containing four herbs: Bupleurum chinense DC., Curcuma aromatica Salisb., Perilla frutescens (Linn.) Britt. and Acorus tatarinowii Schott. Previous studies on the formula in our laboratory revealed an antidepressant-like effect on animal models of behavioral despair. However, the mechanisms underlying such antidepressant-like effect are yet to be understood. AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of this work was to verify the previously established antidepressant-like effects on cell level using corticosterone-induced neurotoxicity in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells to see if SYJN possesses any neuroprotective properties. MATERIALS AND METHODS: PC12 cells were treated with 200muM corticosterone in the absence or the presence of various concentrations of SYJN for 48h. Then, cell viability, apoptosis, intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i) concentration and caspase-3 activity were determined. RESULTS: Following the exposure of PC12 cells to 200muM corticosterone for 48h, there were reductions in cell survival rate but increases in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. In parallel, corticosterone caused significant elevations in DNA fragmentation, [Ca(2+)]i concentration and caspase-3 activity. However, when the PC12 cells were incubated with SYJN at different concentrations (10, 50 and 100mg/L) in the presence of 200muM corticosterone for 48h, the above effects were evidently alleviated in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: SYJN could generate a neuroprotective effect on corticosterone-induced neurotoxicity in PC12 cells, suggesting a possible action pathway of SYJN in vivo by decreasing the [Ca(2+)]i concentration and caspase-3 activity.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 25. 

Source: PubMed


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