Points - Recent Research
Efficacy of Abdominal Acupuncture for Neck Pain
Acupuncture for the Treatment of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease
Renoprotective Effect of the Shen-Yan-Fang-Shuai Formula by Inhibiting TNF-α/NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Diabetic Rats

Efficacy of Abdominal Acupuncture for Neck Pain

Ho LF1, et al.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to provide evidence regarding the clinical efficacy of abdominal acupuncture for neck pain.
METHODS: This randomized, patient and assessor-blind, sham-controlled trial was conducted at a Chinese medicine center in Hong Kong between November 2014 and March 2016. A total of 154 eligible participants (age range, 18-65 years) with neck pain were randomly assigned to receive abdominal (n = 77) or non-penetrating sham abdominal (sham group; n = 77) acupuncture. Each participant was administered treatment over six sessions by Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioners, in accordance with a standardized protocol. The primary outcome was mean improvement in neck pain disability scores evaluated by the Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire (NPQ). Secondary outcomes included intensity of neck pain and health-related quality-of-life measures. The outcomes were assessed at baseline and at 2 and 6 weeks from baseline. Patients in the abdominal acupuncture group received additional follow-up evaluation at 14 weeks from baseline. Outcomes were evaluated by intention-to-treat analysis.
RESULTS: All participants provided informed consent for treatment and follow-up evaluation. Patients who received abdominal acupuncture exhibited greater improvement in NPQ scores than those who received sham treatment at both 2 and 6 weeks from baseline (intergroup mean differences, -5.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], -9.48 to -2.03; P = 0.008 and -8.65; 95% CI, -12.13 to -5.16; P < 0.001, respectively). The improvement in NPQ scores in the abdominal acupuncture group was even more significant at 14 weeks from baseline. Patients in the abdominal acupuncture group also exhibited significantly greater improvements in intensity of neck pain and a few quality-of-life measures than those in the sham abdominal acupuncture group, without any serious adverse events.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that abdominal acupuncture is an effective alternative treatment for neck pain.

PLoS One.2017 Jul 17;12(7):e0181360. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181360. eCollection 2017.

Source: PubMed

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Acupuncture for the Treatment of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease

Zhu J1, et al.

BACKGROUND: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is one of the most common diseases presenting to gastroenterology clinics. Acupuncture is widely used as a complementary and alternative treatment for patients with GORD.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of GORD.
METHODS: Four English and four Chinese databases were searched through June 2016. Randomised controlled trials investigating the effectiveness of manual acupuncture or electroacupuncture (MA/EA) for GORD versus or as an adjunct to Western medicine (WM) were selected. Data extraction and quality evaluation were performed by two authors independently and RevMan 5.2.0 was used to analyse data.
RESULTS: A total of 12 trials involving 1235 patients were included. Meta-analyses demonstrated that patients receiving MA/EA combined with WM had a superior global symptom improvement compared with those receiving WM alone (relative risk (RR) 1.17, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.26; p=0.03; six studies) with no significant heterogeneity (I2=0%, p=0.41). Recurrence rates of those receiving MA/EA alone were lower than those receiving WM (RR 0.42,95% CI 0.29 to 0.61; p<0.001; three studies) with low heterogeneity (I2=7%, p=0.34), while global symptom improvement (six studies) and symptom scores (three studies) were similar (both p>0.05). Descriptive analyses suggested that acupuncture also improves quality of life in patients with GORD.
CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis suggests that acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for GORD. However, due to the small sample size and poor methodological quality of the included trials, further studies are required to validate our conclusions.

Acupunct Med.2017 Jul 8. pii: acupmed-2016-011205. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2016-011205. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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Renoprotective Effect of the Shen-Yan-Fang-Shuai Formula by Inhibiting TNF-α/NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Diabetic Rats

Lv J1, et al.

Abstract
Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease, and satisfactory therapeutic strategies have not yet been established. The Shen-Yan-Fang-Shuai Formula (SYFSF) is a traditional Chinese formula composed of Astragali radix, Radixangelicae sinensis, Rheum officinale Baill, and four other herbs. It has been widely used as an effective treatment for DKD patients in China. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying SYFSF's renoprotection. In this study, we compared the protective effect of SYFSF to irbesartan on the histology and renal cells in type 2 DKD rat model and high-glucose (HG) cultured mesangial cells, respectively. We found that SYFSF could significantly decrease urinary albumin, cholesterol, and triglyceride. And a decrease in serum creatinine was also found in SYFSF-treated group compared with irbesartan-treated rats. In addition, SYFSF inhibited the interstitial expansion and glomerulosclerosis in diabetic rats. Notably, SYFSF markedly downregulated the expression of MCP-1, TGF-β1, collagen IV, and fibronectin in diabetic rat models and HG-induced mesangial cell models. The renoprotection was closely associated with a reduced expression of TNF-α and phosphorylated NF-κBp65. Our study suggests that SYFSF may ameliorate diabetic kidney injury. The observed renoprotection is probably attributable to an inhibition of inflammatory response and extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation mediated by TNF-α/NF-κBp65 signaling pathway.

J Diabetes Res.2017;2017:4319057. doi: 10.1155/2017/4319057. Epub 2017 Jun 21.

Source: PubMed

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