Acupuncture for Traumatic Brain Injury

A retrospective study undertaken in Taiwan, suggests that acupuncture treatment results in reduced demand on other medical services by patients who have experienced traumatic brain injury. Using the country’s health insurance research database, they looked at the medical records of over 66 000 patients who had experienced traumatic brain injury in the period 2000 to 2008, and selected almost 3500 who had received at least twelve acupuncture treatments during the first year following their injury. It was found that compared with patients who had received no acupuncture, the acupuncture group showed fewer visits to, and lower expenditure on, emergency care and hospitalisation in the first twelve months following their injury.

The researchers point out that in the US alone, traumatic brain injury accounts for 1.1 million hospital visits and 50 000 deaths per annum, and the mechanisms behind acupuncture’s effects on it warrant further work.

(Reduced use of emergency care and hospitalization in patients with traumatic brain injury receiving acupuncture treatment. Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, on-line 18 July 2013.)