Latest Acupuncture Research

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  • ACUPUNCTURE IN THE LITERATURE
      PubMed Abstracts - Some citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. [Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). NCBI Copyright and Disclaimers]
    • Acupuncture as an intervention to reduce alcohol dependency: a systematic review and meta-analysis. -
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      Acupuncture as an intervention to reduce alcohol dependency: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      Chin Med. 2016;11:49

      Authors: Southern C, Lloyd C, Liu J, Wang C, Zhang T, Bland M, MacPherson H

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Acupuncture has been widely used as a treatment for alcohol dependence. An updated and rigorously conducted systematic review is needed to establish the extent and quality of the evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture as an intervention for reducing alcohol dependence. This review aimed to ascertain the effectiveness of acupuncture for reducing alcohol dependence as assessed by changes in either craving or withdrawal symptoms.
      METHODS: In this systematic review, a search strategy was designed to identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in either the English or Chinese literature, with a priori eligibility criteria. The following English language databases were searched from inception until June 2015: AMED, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed; and the following Chinese language databases were similarly searched: CNKI, Sino-med, VIP, and WanFang. Methodological quality of identified RCTs was assessed using the Jadad Scale and the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.
      RESULTS: Fifteen RCTs were included in this review, comprising 1378 participants. The majority of the RCTs were rated as having poor methodological rigour. A statistically significant effect was found in the two primary analyses: acupuncture reduced alcohol craving compared with all controls (SMD = -1.24, 95% CI = -1.96 to -0.51); and acupuncture reduced alcohol withdrawal symptoms compared with all controls (SMD = -0.50, 95% CI = -0.83 to -0.17). In secondary analyses: acupuncture reduced craving compared with sham acupuncture (SMD = -1.00, 95% CI = -1.79 to -0.21); acupuncture reduced craving compared with controls in RCTs conducted in Western countries (SMD = -1.15, 95% CI = -2.12 to -0.18); and acupuncture reduced craving compared with controls in RCTs with only male participants (SMD = -1.68, 95% CI = -2.62 to -0.75).
      CONCLUSION: This study showed that acupuncture was potentially effective in reducing alcohol craving and withdrawal symptoms and could be considered as an additional treatment choice and/or referral option within national healthcare systems.

      PMID: 28018479 [PubMed]

    • Anatomical Features of the Interscapular Area Where Wet Cupping Therapy Is Done and Its Possible Relation to Acupuncture Meridians. -
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      Anatomical Features of the Interscapular Area Where Wet Cupping Therapy Is Done and Its Possible Relation to Acupuncture Meridians.

      J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2016 Dec;9(6):290-296

      Authors: Ghods R, Sayfouri N, Ayati MH

      Abstract
      Although wet cupping has been a treatment for centuries, its mechanism of action is not well understood. Because the anatomical features of the wet-cupping area might play a role in its mechanism, we focus on the features of the interscapular area in which a common type of wet-cupping therapy (WCT), called Hijamat-e-Aam in Iranian medicine, is usually applied and discuss the possible relation of those features to the acupuncture meridians. We gathered and analyzed data from reliable textbooks on modern medicine with a focus on the anatomical features of the interscapular area, topics related to WTC in Iranian medicine, and acupuncture sources obtained by searching PubMed, Google-Scholar, and Science Direct. The interscapular area used for WCT was found to have special features: brown adipose tissue, immediate proximity to sympathetic ganglia, passage of the thoracic duct, two important acupuncture meridians, and proximity to the main vessel divisions carrying blood from the heart and the brain. These features indicate that the interscapular application of WCT not only discharges waste materials through a shifting of blood to the site after application of a traction force but also invigorates the body's metabolism, increases immunity, and regulates blood biochemistry, which are desired therapeutic effects of WCT.

      PMID: 28010830 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture and Acupressure in Labor. -
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      Acupuncture and Acupressure in Labor.

      J Midwifery Womens Health. 2016 Dec 21;:

      Authors: Schlaeger JM, Gabzdyl EM, Bussell JL, Takakura N, Yajima H, Takayama M, Wilkie DJ

      Abstract
      Acupuncture and acupressure, 2 modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine, are based on reducing pain and symptoms of disease through balancing yin and yang. Acupuncture and acupressure have been used in China for reduction of labor pain, labor augmentation, and other intrapartum indications for more than 2 millennia. This article presents a review of the current literature that has addressed the effects of acupuncture and acupressure on intrapartum events. Studies of acupuncture have demonstrated that acupuncture may reduce labor pain, the use of pharmacologic agents, the use of forceps and vacuum-assisted births, and the length of labor. Studies that examined the effect of acupuncture on labor that is induced or augmented for premature rupture of membranes have found that acupuncture may increase the degree of cervical ripening but does not reduce the amount of oxytocin or epidural analgesia administration, nor does it shorten length of induced labor. Acupressure may reduce labor pain and labor duration, but acupressure has not been found to increase cervical ripening or induce labor. There are insufficient studies about acupuncture and acupressure and their effects on labor at this time, and there is need for further research. Areas of uncertainty include efficacy, optimal point selection, best techniques, and length of time for point stimulation.

      PMID: 28002621 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    • Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. -
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      Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016 Dec 19;

      Authors: Qian Y, Xia XR, Ochin H, Huang C, Gao C, Gao L, Cui YG, Liu JY, Meng Y

      Abstract
      PURPOSE: Controversial results have been reported concerning the effect of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. The current review was conducted to systematically review published studies of the effects of acupuncture on IVF outcomes.
      METHODS: Women undergoing IVF in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were evaluated for the effects of acupuncture on IVF outcomes. The treatment groups involved traditional, electrical, laser, auricular, and other acupuncture techniques. The control groups consisted of no, sham, and placebo acupuncture. The PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases were searched. The pregnancy outcomes data are expressed as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) based on a fixed model or random model depending on the heterogeneity determined by the Q test and I2 statistic. The major outcomes were biochemical pregnancy rate (BPR), clinical pregnancy rate (CPR), live birth rate (LBR), and ongoing pregnancy rate (OPR). Heterogeneity of the therapeutic effect was evaluated by a forest plot analysis, and publication bias was assessed by a funnel plot analysis.
      RESULTS: Thirty trials (a total of 6344 participants) were included in this review. CPR data showed a significant difference between the acupuncture and control groups (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.06-1.50, p = 0.01), but there was significant statistical heterogeneity among the studies (p = 0.0002). When the studies were restricted to Asian or non-Asian area trials with a sensitivity analysis, the results significantly benefited the CPR in Asian group (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.04-2.20, p = 0.03). Based on the area subgroup analysis, we found that in the Asian group, the IVF outcomes from the EA groups were all significantly higher than those from the control groups (CPR: OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.20-2.72, p = 0.005; BPR: OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.12-3.02, p = 0.02; LBR: OR 2.36, 95% CI 1.44-3.88, p = 0.0007; OPR: OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.03-3.64, p = 0.04). Meanwhile, compared with other acupuncture time, the IVF outcome results were significantly superior in the acupuncture group when acupuncture was conducted during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) (CPR: OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.27-2.29, p = 0.0004; LBR: OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.54-3.78, p = 0.0001; BPR: OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.02-2.20, p = 0.04; OPR: OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.06-3.34, p = 0.03). However, when acupuncture was conducted at the time of embryo transfer, the BPR and OPR from the acupuncture groups were significantly lower than those of the controls in the Asian group (BPR: OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.48-0.92, p = 0.01; OPR: OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.49-0.96, p = 0.03).
      CONCLUSIONS: Based on an analysis of the studies, acupuncture improves the CPR among women undergoing IVF. When the studies were restricted to Asian or non-Asian area patients, compared with traditional acupuncture and other methods, electrical acupuncture yielded better IVF outcomes. Optimal positive effects could be expected using acupuncture in IVF during COH, especially in Asian area. However, as a limitation of this review, most of the included studies did not mention the number of embryos transferred.

      PMID: 27995371 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    • Acupuncture and related techniques during perioperative period: A literature review. -
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      Acupuncture and related techniques during perioperative period: A literature review.

      Complement Ther Med. 2016 Dec;29:48-55

      Authors: Acar HV

      Abstract
      Acupuncture has been used in the Far East for more than 2000 years. Since the early 1970s, this technique has been gaining popularity among Western medical community. A number of studies suggest that its mechanism of effect can be explained in biomedical terms. In this context, a number of transmitters and modulators including beta-endorphin, serotonin, substance P, interleukins, and calcitonin gene-related peptide are released. For that reason, acupuncture can be used in a wide variety of clinical conditions. Studies showed that acupuncture may have beneficial effect in perioperative period. It relieves preoperative anxiety, decreases postoperative analgesic requirements, and decreases the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting. In this review article, we examine perioperative use of acupuncture for a variety of conditions.

      PMID: 27912957 [PubMed - in process]

    • Review of Clinical Studies of the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis Using Acupuncture and Moxibustion. -
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      Review of Clinical Studies of the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis Using Acupuncture and Moxibustion.

      Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2016;2016:9248589

      Authors: Ji J, Huang Y, Wang XF, Ma Z, Wu HG, Im H, Liu HR, Wu LY, Li J

      Abstract
      Background. Clinical studies suggest that acupuncture and moxibustion therapy in ulcerative colitis (UC) can regulate bowel inflammation, and these treatments have the advantages of low rates of adverse reactions and recurrence as well as good long-term efficacy. We reviewed the current status of clinical studies of the treatment. Methods. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using the therapy as the major intervention for treating UC were included from 1995 to 2015. The extracted data mainly included diagnostic standards, treatment methods, selection of acupoints, treatment times and courses, and efficacy determination criteria. Results. The use of diagnostic standards and efficacy criteria lacked unification and standardization. There were two main groups: acupuncture and moxibustion therapy combined with drug treatment and the use of all types of acupuncture and moxibustion therapy alone or in combination. The acupoint compositions included distal-proximal point combinations, back-shu point and front-mu point combinations, and acupuncture through meridians. The treatment courses in all the clinical trials had large variations. Conclusion. The treatment of UC in the examined articles was mainly based on the classical theory. However, many links of the clinical regimen design were still lacking, which affected the repeatability of the clinical studies and the accuracy of the clinical conclusions.

      PMID: 27885326 [PubMed - in process]

    • WITHDRAWN: Acupuncture for neck disorders. -
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      WITHDRAWN: Acupuncture for neck disorders.

      Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 11 17;11:CD004870

      Authors: Trinh K, Graham N, Irnich D, Cameron ID, Forget M

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Neck pain is one of the three most frequently reported complaints of the musculoskeletal system. Treatments for neck pain are varied, as are perceptions of benefit. Acupuncture has been used as an alternative to more conventional treatment for musculoskeletal pain. This review summarises the most current scientific evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture for acute, subacute and chronic neck pain. This update replaces our 2006 Cochrane review update on this topic.
      OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of acupuncture for adults with neck pain, with focus on pain relief, disability or functional measures, patient satisfaction and global perceived effect.
      SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Manual, Alternative and Natural Therapy Index System (MANTIS), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and the Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL) from their beginning to August 2015. We searched reference lists, two trial registers and the acupuncture database Traditional Chinese Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (TCMLARS) in China to 2005.
      SELECTION CRITERIA: We included published trials that used random assignment to intervention groups, in full text or abstract form. We excluded quasi-randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
      DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors made independent decisions for each step of the review: article inclusion, data abstraction and assessment of quality of trial methods. We assessed study quality by using the Cochrane Back Review Group 'Risk of bias' tool. We used consensus to resolve disagreements, and when clinical heterogeneity was absent, we combined studies by using random-effects meta-analysis models.
      MAIN RESULTS: Of the 27 included studies, three represented individuals with whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) ranging from acute to chronic (205 participants), five explored chronic myofascial neck pain (186 participants), five chronic pain due to arthritic changes (542 participants), six chronic non-specific neck pain (4011 participants), two neck pain with radicular signs (43 participants) and six subacute or chronic mechanical neck pain (5111 participants).For mechanical neck pain, we found that acupuncture is beneficial at immediate-term follow-up compared with sham acupuncture for pain intensity; at short-term follow-up compared with sham or inactive treatment for pain intensity; at short-term follow-up compared with sham treatment for disability; and at short-term follow-up compared with wait-list control for pain intensity and neck disability improvement. Statistical pooling was appropriate for acupuncture compared with sham for short-term outcomes due to statistical homogeneity (P value = 0.83; I(2) = 20%). Results of the meta-analysis favoured acupuncture (standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.20 to -0.07; P value = 0.0006). This effect does not seem sustainable over the long term. Whether subsequent repeated sessions would be successful was not examined by investigators in our primary studies.Acupuncture appears to be a safe treatment modality, as adverse effects are minor. Reported adverse effects include increased pain, bruising, fainting, worsening of symptoms, local swelling and dizziness. These studies reported no life-threatening adverse effects and found that acupuncture treatments were cost-effective.Since the time of our previous review, the quality of RCTs has improved, and we have assessed many of them as having low risk of bias. However, few large trials have provided high-quality evidence.
      AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Moderate-quality evidence suggests that acupuncture relieves pain better than sham acupuncture, as measured at completion of treatment and at short-term follow-up, and that those who received acupuncture report less pain and disability at short-term follow-up than those on a wait-list. Moderate-quality evidence also indicates that acupuncture is more effective than inactive treatment for relieving pain at short-term follow-up.

      PMID: 27852100 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Update on the Clinical Effect of Acupuncture Therapy in Patients with Gouty Arthritis: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. -
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      Update on the Clinical Effect of Acupuncture Therapy in Patients with Gouty Arthritis: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

      Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:9451670

      Authors: Lu WW, Zhang JM, Lv ZT, Chen AM

      Abstract
      Objective. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy in the treatment of acute gouty arthritis. Methods. A literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, CENTRAL, and CNKI was conducted from the inception date of each database up to October 2015. Two investigators screened each article independently and were blinded to the findings of the other reviewer. Data was extracted according to the predetermined collection form. Meta-analysis was performed. Results. We analyzed data from 28 RCTs involving 2237 patients with gouty arthritis. Compared with conventional pharmacological treatments acupuncture was more effective in rendering patients free from symptoms after 24 hours, lowering serum urate, alleviating pain associated with gouty arthritis, and decreasing the ESR; regarding CRP, no statistically significant difference was found. In addition, the frequency of adverse events in acupuncture treatment was lower than that in control group. Conclusion. Based on the findings of our study, we cautiously suggest that acupuncture is an effective and safe therapy for patients with gouty arthritis. However, the potential beneficial effect of acupuncture might be overstated due to the methodological deficiency of included studies. High quality RCTs with larger scale are encouraged.

      PMID: 27847529 [PubMed - in process]

    • An update on acupuncture point injection. -
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      An update on acupuncture point injection.

      QJM. 2016 Oct;109(10):639-641

      Authors: Sha T, Gao LL, Zhang CH, Zheng JG, Meng ZH

      Abstract
      This overview reports the global research advances in acupuncture point injection in the last 5 years. Acupuncture point injection can be applied to a wide range of curable diseases, predominantly those involving pain, but it has poor clinical evidence. Progress has been attained in the mechanism research on acupuncture point injection, but further studies remain necessary. With the reported adverse effects of acupuncture point injection, the need to standardize its clinical procedure has become urgent.

      PMID: 27083985 [PubMed - in process]

    • Types of Control in Acupuncture Clinical Trials Might Affect the Conclusion of the Trials: A Review of Acupuncture on Pain Management. -
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      Types of Control in Acupuncture Clinical Trials Might Affect the Conclusion of the Trials: A Review of Acupuncture on Pain Management.

      J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2016 Oct;9(5):227-233

      Authors: Chen H, Ning Z, Lam WL, Lam WY, Zhao YK, Yeung JW, Ng BF, Ziea ET, Lao L

      Abstract
      Analgesic effects of acupuncture have been extensively studied in various clinical trials. However, the conclusion remains controversial, even among large scale randomized controlled trials. This study aimed to evaluate the association between the conclusion of the trials and the types of control used in those trials via systematic review. Published randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for pain were retrieved from electronic databases (Medline, AMED, Cochrane libraries, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Clinicaltrials.gov, and CAB Abstracts) using a prespecified search strategy. One hundred and thirty-nine studies leading to 166 pairs of acupuncture-control treatment effect comparisons (26 studies comprised of 53 intervention-control pairs) were analyzed based on the proportion of positive conclusions in different control designs. We found that treatment effects of acupuncture compared with nontreatment controls had the highest tendency to yield a positive conclusion (84.3%), compared with nonneedle-insertion controls (53.3%). Whereas with needle-insertion controls, the lowest tendency of positive conclusions was observed (37.8%). Consistently, in studies reporting successful blinding, a higher tendency of positive findings on the treatment effect of acupuncture was found in the noninsertion sham controls compared with that in the insertion sham controls. We conclude that the type of control is likely to affect the conclusion in acupuncture analgesic trials. Appropriate control should be chosen according to the aims of studies.

      PMID: 27776760 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture for Tourette Syndrome: A Systematic Review. -
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      Acupuncture for Tourette Syndrome: A Systematic Review.

      Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:1834646

      Authors: Yu J, Ye Y, Liu J, Wang Y, Peng W, Liu Z

      Abstract
      Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder that affects both children and adults. We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using acupuncture to treat TS written in English or Chinese without restrictions on publication status. Study selection, data extraction, and assessment of study quality were conducted independently by two reviewers. Meta-analyses were performed using Review Manager (RevMan) 5.3 software from the Cochrane Collaboration. Data were combined with the fixed-effect model based on a heterogeneity test. Results were presented as risk ratios for dichotomous data and mean differences (MDs) for continuous data. This review included 7 RCTs with a total of 564 participants. The combined results showed that acupuncture may have better short-term effect than Western medicine for TS and that acupuncture may be an effective adjuvant therapy in improving the effect of Western medicine on TS, but the evidence is limited because of existing biases. Rigorous high-quality RCTs are needed to verify these findings.

      PMID: 27725839 [PubMed - in process]

    • Effect of acupuncture on clinical symptoms and laboratory indicators for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. -
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      Effect of acupuncture on clinical symptoms and laboratory indicators for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      Int Urol Nephrol. 2016 Dec;48(12):1977-1991

      Authors: Liu BP, Wang YT, Chen SD

      Abstract
      OBJECTIVES: To systematically review the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).
      METHODS: PubMed, Cochrane library Central, Web of Science, Wang-fang Database, and CNKI were searched from their inception to June 30, 2016. Data of acupuncture for CP/CPPS following randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was included. The data were analyzed using the Cochrane Collaboration Review Manager. The primary data were the National Institute of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Index (NIH-CPSI) score at the end of follow-up.
      RESULTS: Ten RCTs were enrolled. Acupuncture was superior to the control in NIH-CPSI (MD -3.98, [95 % CI -5.78 to -2.19]; P < 0.0001) and response rate (RR 4.12, [95 % CI 1.67-10.18]; P = 0.002). Acupuncture was superior to sham acupuncture on NIH-CPSI, response rate, pain, urinary, and quality of life (QOL). Standard medication was inferior to acupuncture in terms of NIH-CPSI (MD -3.08, [95 % CI -5.57 to -0.60]; P = 0.02) and response rate (RR 2.03, [95 % CI 1.04-3.97]; P = 0.04), but standard medication was superior to acupuncture on improving urinary symptoms. There was no significant difference in the adverse events. Acupuncture/acupuncture plus standard medication significantly down-regulated IL-1β compared with standard medication in prostatic fluid.
      CONCLUSION: Acupuncture treating CP/CPPS is effective and safe. The effects of acupuncture on NIH-CPSI, response rate, pain symptoms, and QOF were superior to the control, but standard medication significantly improved urinary symptoms compared with acupuncture. Acupuncture can decrease the IL-1β in prostatic fluid for CP/CPPS.

      PMID: 27590134 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation. -
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      Acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation.

      Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Aug 26;(8):CD004131

      Authors: Yang A, Wu HM, Tang JL, Xu L, Yang M, Liu GJ

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Stroke is the second most common cause of death in the world and in China it has now become the main cause of death. It is also a main cause of adult disability and dependency. Acupuncture for stroke has been used in China for hundreds of years and is increasingly practiced in some Western countries. This is an update of the Cochrane review originally published in 2006 .
      OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy in people with subacute and chronic stroke. We intended to test the following hypotheses: 1) acupuncture can reduce the risk of death or dependency in people with subacute and chronic stroke at the end of treatment and at follow-up; 2) acupuncture can improve neurological deficit and quality of life after treatment and at the end of follow-up; 3) acupuncture can reduce the number of people requiring institutional care; and 4) acupuncture is not associated with any intolerable adverse effects.
      SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (June 2015), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; Cochrane Library 2015, Issue 7), MEDLINE (1966 to July 2015, Ovid), EMBASE (1980 to July 2015, Ovid), CINAHL (1982 to July 2015, EBSCO), and AMED (1985 to July 2015, Ovid). We also searched the following four Chinese medical databases: China Biological Medicine Database (July 2015); Chinese Science and Technique Journals Database (July 2015); China National Infrastructure (July 2015), and Wan Fang database (July 2015).
      SELECTION CRITERIA: Truly randomised unconfounded clinical trials among people with ischaemic or haemorrhagic stroke, in the subacute or chronic stage, comparing acupuncture involving needling with placebo acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or no acupuncture.
      DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, assessed quality, extracted and cross-checked the data.
      MAIN RESULTS: We included 31 trials with a total of 2257 participants in the subacute or chronic stages of stroke. The methodological quality of most of the included trials was not high. The quality of evidence for the main outcomes was low or very low based on the assessment by the system of Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE).Two trials compared real acupuncture plus baseline treatment with sham acupuncture plus baseline treatment. There was no evidence of differences in the changes of motor function and quality of life between real acupuncture and sham acupuncture for people with stroke in the convalescent stage.Twenty-nine trials compared acupuncture plus baseline treatment versus baseline treatment alone. Compared with no acupuncture, for people with stroke in the convalescent phase, acupuncture had beneficial effects on the improvement of dependency (activity of daily living) measured by Barthel Index (nine trials, 616 participants; mean difference (MD) 9.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.34 to 14.05; GRADE very low), global neurological deficiency (seven trials, 543 participants; odds ratio (OR) 3.89, 95% CI 1.78 to 8.49; GRADE low), and specific neurological impairments including motor function measured by Fugl-Meyer Assessment (four trials, 245 participants; MD 6.16, 95% CI 4.20 to 8.11; GRADE low), cognitive function measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (five trials, 278 participants; MD 2.54, 95% CI 0.03 to 5.05; GRADE very low), depression measured by the Hamilton Depression Scale (six trials, 552 participants; MD -2.58, 95% CI -3.28 to -1.87; GRADE very low), swallowing function measured by drinking test (two trials, 200 participants; MD -1.11, 95% CI -2.08 to -0.14; GRADE very low), and pain measured by the Visual Analogue Scale (two trials, 118 participants; MD -2.88, 95% CI -3.68 to -2.09; GRADE low). Sickness caused by acupuncture and intolerance of pain at acupoints were reported in a few participants with stroke in the acupuncture groups. No data on death, the proportion of people requiring institutional care or requiring extensive family support, and all-cause mortality were available in all included trials.
      AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: From the available evidence, acupuncture may have beneficial effects on improving dependency, global neurological deficiency, and some specific neurological impairments for people with stroke in the convalescent stage, with no obvious serious adverse events. However, most included trials were of inadequate quality and size. There is, therefore, inadequate evidence to draw any conclusions about its routine use. Rigorously designed, randomised, multi-centre, large sample trials of acupuncture for stroke are needed to further assess its effects.

      PMID: 27562656 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Does Acupuncture Alter Pain-related Functional Connectivity of the Central Nervous System? A Systematic Review. -
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      Does Acupuncture Alter Pain-related Functional Connectivity of the Central Nervous System? A Systematic Review.

      J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2016 Aug;9(4):167-77

      Authors: Villarreal Santiago M, Tumilty S, Mącznik A, Mani R

      Abstract
      Acupuncture has been studied for several decades to establish evidence-based clinical practice. This systematic review aims to evaluate evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in influencing the functional connectivity of the central nervous system in patients with musculoskeletal pain. A systematic search of the literature was conducted to identify studies in which the central response of acupuncture in patients with musculoskeletal pain was evaluated by neuroimaging techniques. Databases searched were AMED, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PEDro, Pubmed, SCOPUS, SPORTDiscuss, and Web of Science. Included studies were assessed by two independent reviewers for their methodological quality by using the Downs and Black questionnaire and for their levels of completeness and transparency in reporting acupuncture interventions by using Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA) criteria. Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Three studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and four studies were nonrandomized controlled trials (NRCTs). The neuroimaging techniques used were functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Positive effects on the functional connectivity of the central nervous system more consistently occurred during long-term acupuncture treatment. The results were heterogeneous from a descriptive perspective; however, the key findings support acupuncture's ability to alter pain-related functional connectivity in the central nervous system in patients with musculoskeletal pain.

      PMID: 27555221 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture Points Stimulation for Meniere's Disease/Syndrome: A Promising Therapeutic Approach. -
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      Acupuncture Points Stimulation for Meniere's Disease/Syndrome: A Promising Therapeutic Approach.

      Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:6404197

      Authors: He J, Jiang L, Peng T, Xia M, Chen H

      Abstract
      Objective. This study aims to explore evidence for acupuncture points stimulation (APS) in treatment of Meniere's disease (MD). Method. A literature search was conducted in seven databases including EMBASE, Medline, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, CBM, CNKI, and WangFang database and the data analysis was performed by using the RevMan version 5.3. Results. 12 RCTs with 993 participants were acquired after the search. The quality of most eligible studies was very low which limited the value of the meta-analysis. Compared with western medicine comprehensive treatment (WMCT), the APS alone or in combination with WMCT had a significant positive effect in controlling vertigo; however, the result was negative in hearing improvement and DHI. No adverse events were reported in the studies. Conclusion. The APS might be a promising therapeutic approach for MD. However, the currently available evidence is insufficient to make a definitive conclusion for the poor quality of included studies. More high-quality researches with larger sample size are urgently needed to assess the effectiveness and safety.

      PMID: 27547229 [PubMed]

    • Acupuncture for Poststroke Shoulder Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. -
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      Acupuncture for Poststroke Shoulder Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

      Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:3549878

      Authors: Lee SH, Lim SM

      Abstract
      Objective. To summarize and evaluate evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving poststroke shoulder pain. Methods. Seven databases were searched without language restrictions. All randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of acupuncture for poststroke shoulder pain compared with controls were included. Assessments were performed primarily with the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA), and effective rates. Results. In all, 188 potentially relevant articles were identified; 12 were randomized controlled trials that met our inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis showed that acupuncture combined with rehabilitation treatment appeared to be more effective than rehabilitation treatment alone for poststroke shoulder pain, as assessed by VAS (weighted mean difference, 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-2.54; <0.001); FMA (weighted mean difference, 8.70; 95% CI, 6.58-10.82; P < 0.001); and effective rate (RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.18-1.47; P < 0.001). Conclusions. Although there is some evidence for an effect of acupuncture on poststroke shoulder pain, the results are inconclusive. Further studies with more subjects and a rigorous study design are needed to confirm the role of acupuncture in the treatment of poststroke shoulder pain.

      PMID: 27547224 [PubMed]

    • Acupuncture for Managing Cancer-Related Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials. -
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      Acupuncture for Managing Cancer-Related Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials.

      Integr Cancer Ther. 2016 Aug 16;:

      Authors: Choi TY, Kim JI, Lim HJ, Lee MS

      Abstract
      Background Insomnia is a prominent complaint of cancer patients that can significantly affect their quality of life and symptoms related to sleep quality. Conventional drug approaches have a low rate of success in alleviating those suffering insomnia. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the efficacy of acupuncture in the management of cancer-related insomnia. Methods A total of 12 databases were searched from their inception through January 2016 without language restriction. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs were included if acupuncture was used as the sole intervention or as an adjunct to another standard treatment for any cancer-related insomnia. The data extraction and the risk of bias assessments were performed by 2 independent reviewers. Results Of the 90 studies screened, 6 RCTs were included. The risk of bias was generally unclear or low. Three RCTs showed equivalent effects on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and 2 RCTs showed the similar effects on response rate to those of conventional drugs at the end of treatment. The other RCT showed acupuncture was better than hormone therapy in the numbers of hours slept each night and number of times woken up each night. The 3 weeks of follow-up in 2 RCTs showed superior effects of acupuncture compared with conventional drugs, and a meta-analysis showed significant effects of acupuncture. Two RCTs tested the effects of acupuncture on cancer-related insomnia compared with sham acupuncture. One RCT showed favourable effects, while the other trial failed to do so. Conclusion There is a low level of evidence that acupuncture may be superior to sham acupuncture, drugs or hormones therapy. However, the number of studies and effect size are small for clinical significance. Further clinical trials are warranted.

      PMID: 27531549 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    • Laser acupuncture causes thermal changes in small intestine meridian pathway. -
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      Laser acupuncture causes thermal changes in small intestine meridian pathway.

      Lasers Med Sci. 2016 Nov;31(8):1645-1649

      Authors: de Souza RC, Pansini M, Arruda G, Valente C, Brioschi ML

      Abstract
      The acupuncture meridians represent the flow of corporal energy which contains the acupuncture points. Laser acupuncture is a form of acupuncture stimulation by the use of laser. Thermographic images represent the propagation of heat in micro-environmental systems. The objective of this study was to investigate the use of thermographic images to document the changes on the small intestine meridian (S.I.M.) when submitted to laser acupuncture. Another important issue regards to the analysis of the flow direction if it is upward when stimulated by acupuncture points. For the execution of this work, a laser acupuncture pen was used in points of the meridian in the S.I.M. Two healthy male volunteers were selected (18 and 60 years old, respectively), and doses of 576,92 J/cm(2) with low-power infrared laser equipment with a wavelength of 780 nm in the SI.3 and SI.19 points were applied. An infrared thermal camera was used to measure the temperature of the S.I.M. during the 6 min laser acupuncture pen stimulus. When the laser acupuncture of both volunteers was conducted in the SI.3 point, it presented hyper-radiation of the hemi face in the same side, far from the application site. When this was applied in the SI.19 point, hyper-radiation in the same point and temperature lowering at the end of the meridian were observed. The laser energy caused thermal changes along the path of the S.I.M., distal, and proximal at the same time, proving the existence of the S.I.M.

      PMID: 27495129 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • PDQ Cancer Information Summaries -
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      PDQ Cancer Information Summaries

      Book. 2002

      Authors:

      Abstract
      This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the use of acupuncture in the treatment of people with cancer. It is meant to inform and help patients, families, and caregivers. It does not give formal guidelines or recommendations for making decisions about health care. Editorial Boards write the PDQ cancer information summaries and keep them up to date. These Boards are made up of experts in cancer treatment and other specialties related to cancer. The summaries are reviewed regularly and changes are made when there is new information. The date on each summary ("Date Last Modified") is the date of the most recent change. The information in this patient summary was taken from the health professional version, which is reviewed regularly and updated as needed, by the PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board.


      PMID: 26389264

    • PDQ Cancer Information Summaries -
      Related Articles

      PDQ Cancer Information Summaries

      Book. 2002

      Authors:

      Abstract
      This PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the use of acupuncture in the treatment of people with cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions. This summary is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary by the PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


      PMID: 26389159



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