Acupuncture treats Parkinson’s Disease – Newest Study
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New research shows that acupuncture has an antioxidant effect in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Mounting evidence shows that oxidative stress contributes to the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
The new research shows that 100 Hz electroacupuncture applied to acupuncture points St36 (ZuSanLi) and Sp6 (SanYinJiao) has a neuroprotective effect on the brain because electroacupuncture is antioxidant. This study includes contributions from Xibin Liang, a researcher from the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University located in Stanford, California.
Researches determined that stimulation of St36 and Sp6 with electroacupuncture protects the brain by creating antioxidative and antiapoptosis effects. The electroacupuncture protected a part of the mid-brain called the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra is an important part of the brain in controlling movement.
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the deterioration of dopaminergic neurons in a part of the mid-brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta. The substantia nigra pars compacta supplies the basal ganglia (an area of the brain involved with motor action) with dopamine. Dopamine is an essential nutrient for the brain and has neurotransmitter functions. Dopamine is also a precursor for norepinephrine and epinephrine.
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study shows that electroacupuncture, “inhibits osteoarthritis-induced pain by enhancing 5-HT2A/2C [serotonin] receptor activity.” Activation of this serotonin receptor produces powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers from the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD and Shanxi Medical University in Shanxi, China showed that electroacupuncture attenuates osteoarthritis pain by activating serotonin receptors that, “play an important role in pain modulation at the spinal level.” The researchers also discovered that electroacupuncture activates serotonergic neurons that project into the spinal cord.
The study applied electroacupuncture to acupuncture points GB30 (Huantiao) and St36 (Zusanli) in rats with osteoarthritis. Thirty-two gauge acupuncture needles were inserted into the two acupuncture points on each leg with a 10Hz, 2mA, 0.4ms pulse width for 30 minutes for each acupuncture session. The results were tabulated in comparison to a sham control group. Electroacupuncture was shown to activate serotonin receptors, improve weight bearing, reduce pain, and improve joint function. The researchers note that electroacupuncture, “activated serotonergic neurons… which sends serotonergic descending fibers to the spinal cord to modulate pain…. EA [Electroacupuncture] activates different areas in the brain that, in turn, modulate various functions.” The researchers concluded that electroacupuncture has the ability to, “induce spinal serotonin release and stimulate 5-HT2A/2c [serotonin] receptor activities at the spinal cord to inhibit osteoarthritis-induced pain.”
New research concludes, “that patients diagnosed with schizophrenia would benefit from acupuncture treatment alongside conventional treatment.” Acupuncture was effective in alleviating schizophrenia and the side effects of psychiatric medication. Acupuncture also improved energy levels, sleep, physical disorders, and motivation.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Patients were treated with acupuncture at a rate of twice per week for ten weeks. Acupuncture caused a decrease in the, “side effects of antipsychotic medication; decreased auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations; decreased anxiety and paranoia; improved sleep patterns… increased motivation including increased sex drive and ambition to further themselves in education and work; improved socialization and concentration… reduced addictive behavior in relation to alcohol and cigarettes; improved diet and weight loss; and improved exercise regimes.”