Acupuncture, used for thousands of years in the Far East to treat pain and illness, has many followers but little scientific rigor to explain whether it works or not. Now, an unusual study suggests that acupuncture has a marked effect on the type of brain inflammation seen in Parkinson's disease — in mice, that is.
Lead researcher Sabina Lim at Kyung Hee University in Seoul used a standard mouse model of inducing Parkinson’s disease, in which injections of a chemical known as MPTP kill off brain cells that manufacture dopamine.
Some of the injected mice were then administered acupuncture specific to treatment of Parkinson’s.
Another group of mice received acupuncture in two spots on the hips, not believed to be effective for Parkinson’s, while a third group had no acupuncture at all.
By the end of seven days, the MPTP injections had decreased dopamine levels both in the mice that had not had acupuncture, and in the mice that received ‘pretend’ acupuncture, to about half the normal amount. But in the acupuncture-treated group, dopamine levels declined much less steeply, and nearly 80% of the dopamine remained.
The study has been published in Brain Research1. (ANI)
Changping Yao is a longtime acupuncture practitioner working to provide innovative therapies to treat Parkinson’s disease and its related complications.