Among cancer survivors with insomnia, both acupuncture and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) improve cognitive function significantly. However, only acupuncture helps cognition by improving sleep, suggests a study lead by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
In a randomised trial involving 160 patients, one group of participants received ten acupuncture treatments over eight weeks. A second group received seven CBT sessions over the same period of time. In the acupuncture group, responders reported significantly greater improvements in subjective cognitive function, compared with non-responders. By contrast, in the CBT group, there were no significant differences in cognitive outcomes between responders and non-responders. The authors conclude that acupuncture may improve cognition by helping patients sleep better, whereas CBT might assist cognitive function via other mechanisms.
(Effects of acupuncture versus cognitive behavioral therapy on cognitive function in cancer survivors with insomnia: A secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial. Cancer Journal, 22 April 2020.)