Monday, April 26, 2010

Acupuncture and Spinal Nerve Cell Recovery

More research is coming out demonstrating acupuncture is an effective modality to help prevent further death and destruction of nerve cells in patient's with spinal cord injuries. I tried to locate the original research report, but my online sources were not forthcoming. It looks like Kyung Hee University is doing some pretty interesting digging into the effects of specific points like H7 demonstrating decrease in anxiety related to nicotine withdrawal (St36 failed to produce results), GB34 for Parkinson's Disease, and GB34 and GB39 stimulation after perfusion following an ischemic attack.

Acupuncture could help spinal recovery: study

A 2003 study showed acupuncture - a traditional Chinese medicine that treats pain by inserting and manipulating long, thin needles into various points of the body - can improve the sensory and motor functions of people with spinal cord injuries.

More recently, researchers at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, tried to find out why. The study's results were published in the most recent edition of Neurobiology of Disease.

The researchers damaged the spines of 75 rats. One third were treated with acupuncture.

After 35 days, the rats that received the needle treatment stood and walked better than those that did not.

What's more, the acupuncture-treated rats had less nerve cell death and lower levels of the protein that causes inflammation.

The researchers hypothesize that the needles cause a stress response in the body that lessens inflammation. The inflammation that occurs after spinal cord injuries causes nerve cell death and lessens the chance of recovery.

Source: Toronto Sun

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