• Combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formula for elderly adults with mild cognitive impairment: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

      Chen, Y.; Zhang, W.; Wu, H. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2019)
      Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is known as a transitional status between normal cognitive function and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) are considered to be beneficial to patients with cognitive impairment. However, it is still unknown whether the combination of the two therapies could optimize the therapeutic effect for MCI. This trial is aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effects of acupuncture and the herbal formula Yishen Granule (YSG) for elderly patients with MCI. Methods/design: This is a multi-sited, patient-blinded, randomized controlled trial (RCT). Two hundred and forty eligible patients will be randomly divided into four groups: A. acupuncture with YSG, B. acupuncture with placebo herbal medicine, C. sham acupuncture with YSG or D. sham acupuncture with placebo herbal medicine. Acupuncture treatment will be given twice a week for 8 weeks and then once a week for 4 weeks. The herbal treatment patients will be given granules daily for 12 weeks, 8 weeks of standard-dose followed by 4 weeks of mid-dose. The primary outcome is scored by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). The secondary outcomes will be scored by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and event-related potential (ERP). All the assessments will be conducted at baseline, and at the eighth and 12th week after intervention starts. The follow-up assessments will be performed with the MoCA in the 12th, 24th, and 36th weeks after intervention ends. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis will be used in this RCT. Discussion: This RCT will provide us information on the effect of treating MCI patients with only acupuncture, herbal formula as well as the combination of both. The additive effect or synergistic effect of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formula will then be analyzed. Trial registration: This trial is registered with ChiCTR-INR-17011569 on 5 June 2017, and has been approved by the Ethics Committee of Shanghai Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2017SHL-KY-05). © 2019 The Author(s).
    • Default mode network as a neural substrate of acupuncture: Evidence, challenges and strategy

      Zhang, Y.; Zhang, H.; Nierhaus, T. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2019)
      Acupuncture is widely applied all over the world. Although the neurobiological underpinnings of acupuncture still remain unclear, accumulating evidence indicates significant alteration of brain activities in response to acupuncture. In particular, activities of brain regions in the default mode network (DMN) are modulated by acupuncture. DMN is crucial for maintaining physiological homeostasis and its functional architecture becomes disrupted in various disorders. But how acupuncture modulates brain functions and whether such modulation constitutes core mechanisms of acupuncture treatment are far from clear. This Perspective integrates recent literature on interactions between acupuncture and functional networks including the DMN, and proposes a back-translational research strategy to elucidate brain mechanisms of acupuncture treatment. Copyright Copyright 2019 Zhang, Zhang, Nierhaus, Pach, Witt and Yi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
    • Effect of acupuncture on insomnia in menopausal women: A study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

      Li, S.; Yin, P.; Yin, X. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2019)
      Background: The National Institutes of Health estimates the prevalence of insomnia in menopausal women at 40-50%. Some studies have shown that acupuncture might be effective in treating primary insomnia and insomnia related to depression and stroke. Although there are some programs supporting insomnia during the menopausal transition, there are few randomized controlled trials (RCT) to provide evidence regarding their effectiveness. We design a RCT of suitable sample size to verify the effectiveness of acupuncture in patients with insomnia during the menopausal transition and to form an optimized acupuncture treatment protocol. Method/Design: In this randomized, single-site, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 84 eligible patients will be recruited and randomly assigned to either the acupuncture group (n = 42) or the sham control group (n = 42) in a 1:1 ratio. Participants will receive a total of 18 treatment sessions for eight consecutive weeks. Treatments will be given three times per week in the first four weeks, twice a week for the next two weeks, and finally once weekly for the final two weeks. Treatment will utilize eight main acupoints (GV20, GV24, GV29, RN6, RN4, SP6, HT7, EX-HN22) and extra two acupoints based on syndrome differentiation. The primary outcome will be assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The secondary outcomes will be measured by sleep parameters recorded in the Actigraphy (SE, TST, SA), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), and Menopause Quality of Life (Men-QOL). The primary outcomes will be assessed at baseline, week 4, week 8, and the first and third month after the end of treatment. Discussion: If the results confirm that acupuncture is effective and safe for the treatment on insomnia in menopausal women, this positive outcome could provide evidence for clinical application. Trial registration: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, ChiCTR1800018645. Registered on 10 January 2018. Copyright 2019 The Author(s).
    • Evaluating the Effects of Acupuncture Using a Dental Pain Model in Healthy Subjects - A Randomized, Cross-Over Trial

      de Matos, N.M.P.; Pach, D.; Witt, C.M. (Churchill Livingstone Inc., 2019)
      Acupuncture is a complementary and nonpharmacological intervention that can be effective for the management of chronic pain in addition to or instead of medication. Various animal models for neuropathic pain, inflammatory pain, cancer-related pain, and visceral pain already exist in acupuncture research. We used a newly validated human pain model and examined whether acupuncture can influence experimentally induced dental pain. For this study, we compared the impact of manual acupuncture (real acupuncture), manual stimulation of a needle inserted at nonacupuncture points (sham acupuncture) and no acupuncture on experimentally induced dental pain in 35 healthy men who were randomized to different sequences of all 3 interventions in a within-subject design. BORG CR10 pain ratings and autonomic responses (electrodermal activity and heart rate variability) were investigated. An initial mixed model with repeated measures included preintervention pain ratings and the trial sequence as covariates. The results showed that acupuncture was effective in reducing pain intensity when compared to no acupuncture (? = ?.708, P =.002), corresponding to a medium Cohen's d effect size of.56. The comparison to the sham acupuncture revealed no statistically significant difference. No differences in autonomic responses between real and sham acupuncture were found during the intervention procedures. Perspective: This study established a dental pain model for acupuncture research and provided evidence that experimentally induced dental pain can be influenced by either real acupuncture or manual stimulation of needles at nonacupuncture points. The data do not support that acupoint specificity is a significant factor in reducing experimental pain. Copyright 2019 The Authors