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Will Dementia be Nipped in the Bud by Acupuncture?

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Published on : Aug 05, 2016

Acupuncture can aid in enhancing the memory loss that if not treated may result in the development of dementia later on, as suggested by a new review. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy and has been known since past 3000 years now. Neurologists also opine that acupuncture can also enhance symptoms related to dementia. 

Positive Results of Acupuncture could be a Placebo Effect

However, scientists have also admitted that the effective results could just be a result of a placebo effect. The lead author at Xu-Feng, of Wuhan University, Hubei, China also stated that though acupuncture has been employed clinically for managing mild cognitive impairment in the past, still no particular meta-analysis or review has yet been performed for evaluating acupuncture’s effectiveness, particularly for this type of a condition. 

He further stated that the overall meta-analysis opines that acupuncture was immensely useful as a therapy in enhancing the cognitive functioning. Still, these likely positive findings have to be cautiously interpreted. 

Approximately 5 to 10% of Cases of MCI will Result in Dementia Each Year

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) refers to the transitional state between dementia and normal aging, where the individual affected shows a mil memory capacity deterioration which is more than what is to be expected keeping in mind his age. It is also likeable that approximately 5 to 10% of cases of MCI will result in dementia each year.

The count of participants in each of the study varied between 26 and 94 and the treatment of acupuncture was provided in between 3 and 5 times per week for a period of eight weeks in 4 trials, as well as for three months in 1. The evaluation of the pooled data exhibited that those receiving acupuncture did fairly better as compared to those that received the nimodipine drug alone. 

More Research Required to Draw Final Conclusions on Effectiveness of Accupuncture

Contrariwise, three amongst the trials presented side effects such as slow bleeding at the sites of needles and fainting. This is why more number of trails are required before coming to any final conclusions, as per researchers. In addition, experts at the UK also warned that at the moment it is way too early to come to a conclusion that acupuncture may prevent mild cognitive impairment.