Category Archives: Latest Research
Researchers in Portugal have found that acupuncture can improve walking gait in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Gait impairment was firstly evaluated in 20 patients using the 25-foot walk test. Individuals were then randomised to receive either acupuncture or sham acupuncture. True acupuncture was associated with a significant decrease in the time taken to walk 25 feet, with 95% of subjects showing an improvement. By contrast, changes in the sham group were not statistically significant, with only 45% of subjects showing an improvement.
(Effects of Acupuncture on Gait of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis . Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 14 April 2017.)
Research from Taiwan suggests that acupuncture improves markers of renal function in patients with chronic kidney disease. A total of 59 such patients were randomised to receive either acupuncture or sham treatment. Sessions were given once a week for 12 weeks.
At the end of the treatment period, levels of serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate were found to have improved significantly in the acupuncture group compared with the sham control group. The authors of this feasibility study say that further investigation is now warranted.
(Acupuncture on Renal Function in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Single-Blinded, Randomized, Preliminary Controlled Study. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 1 August 2017.)
American researchers have reported that acupuncture is a feasible treatment to relieve pain in the hospital intensive care unit (ICU). Forty-six patients in ICU who were experiencing pain and/or nausea, received three 20 minute acupuncture treatments in addition to usual care.
Self-reported pain levels decreased by a mean 2.4 points on a 10-point scale, a reduction which exceeds the commonly accepted threshold for clinically relevant analgesia. A significant decrease in morphine usage was observed after each treatment. Additionally, 49% of patients spontaneously reported a reduction in anxiety. No major adverse effects were reported.
(Acupuncture for Pain and Nausea in the Intensive Care Unit: A Feasibility Study in a Public Safety Net Hospital. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, April 2017.)
In the largest randomised trial of acupuncture for allergic asthma to date, German researchers have shown that adding acupuncture to standard care, is associated with improved quality of life compared with standard care alone. A total of 1445 patients (mean age 44) were randomly allocated to receive either routine care or routine care plus up to 15 acupuncture treatments over three months. The overall study comprised three months of treatment plus three months of follow-up.
Acupuncture was associated with a clinically significant improvement in asthma-related quality of life, as well as general mental and physical health. These improvements persisted to at least the end of the six month study period.
(Acupuncture in Patients with Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Pragmatic Trial. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, April 2017.)
Researchers have found that acupuncture can be used as an adjunctive therapy to reduce breathlessness in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A total of 72 patients with COPD, mean age 67, were randomised to receive either real or sham control acupuncture in thirty minute sessions three times per week for eight weeks. Acupuncture was given in addition to patients’ usual daily medication.
At the end of the trial, six-minute walking distance and health-related quality of life measures had all improved significantly more in the acupuncture group compared with the sham group.
(Acupuncture for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled trial. Medicine (Baltimore), October 2016.)