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Acupuncture can improve Pre-dementia memory loss: research.

Islamabad -- Acupuncture appears to be effective for the mild cognitive impairment that is a precursor for dementia, when used as an alternative or in combination with other treatment, a new study finds.

Min Deng, from the Department of Neurology at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in China, and Xu-Feng Wang, from the Department of General Surgery at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, conducted the study.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the most severe decline of dementia.

MCI may increase the risk of later progressing to dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease or other neurological conditions.

Some people with MCI do not experience a decline in the condition, but few get better. MCI may be detected if a person experiences a "slip" in memory or mental function.

The results from all pooled data showed that participants receiving acupuncture had better outcomes than those receiving nimodipine. They achieved better scores on two of the principal tests used to assess AMCI and dementia: the mini-mental state exam and picture recognition.

Acupuncture in conjunction with nimodipine significantly improved mini-mental state exam scores when compared with nimodipine alone.

Three of the trials reported adverse effects, which included fainting during treatment and slow bleeding (errhysis) at needle sites for acupuncture, and gut symptoms and mild headache for nimodipine.

The authors write:

"In conclusion, the results of this meta-analysis suggest that acupuncture therapy has a significant positive effective on cognitive and memory function in patients with AMCI compared with nimodipine alone. The results also show that acupuncture is effective as an adjunctive treatment to nimodipine for AMCI."

The authors note that with the methodological quality of the included research judged to be generally poor, and the current small number of available studies, further thorough studies with more people involved are needed to assess the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for AMCI patients.

Other limitations pointed out by the team were that the trial design did not take account of potential placebo effects, and most of the trials were carried out in China, where patients may favor acupuncture to medical treatment.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Date:Aug 7, 2016
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