Research Finds Scalp Acupuncture Helps Combat Dementia
Vol 16 Issue 26
One of the most feared conditions of aging is dementia – the loss of brain function that impairs memory, thinking, judgment, language and behavior. What’s so frightening is that most conditions of dementia are considered to be progressive, and are generally irreversible. However, Alzheimer’s disease and other supposedly irreversible conditions are not the only things that can lead to progressive cognitive impairment. The same symptoms can also be caused by impaired blood flow to the brain – called vascular (blood vessel) dementia. This is sometimes the result of a stroke or a series of little strokes (called ‘Silent Strokes’) that have no symptoms and usual happen without the person’s awareness, but it can also be caused by anything that damages the blood vessels and prevents the delivery of essential oxygen and nutrients to brain tissue.
What can be done about vascular dementia? At the Shanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture in China, a multi-center randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted on 184 vascular dementia patients. The participants received either scalp Acupuncture or the standard body Acupuncture. The study concluded that Acupuncture performed on specific scalp points brought about significantly greater improvement in cognition than the more usual body Acupuncture points.
The researchers reported that social behavior scores improved significantly in both the body and scalp Acupuncture groups, as did Activities of Daily Living scores and specific Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostic conditions.
But the scalp Acupuncture group earned highest improvement scores overall, because it provided greater improvement in cognitive functions.
Scalp Acupuncture has also been found to help people with nervous system disorders such as spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from any of the symptoms of dementia, consult your acupuncturist about possible treatment.
Source: Continuing Education Online, March 2012, http://www.healthcmi.com/index.php/acupuncturist-news-online/502-scalpacupuncturefightsdementia