Points - Recent Research
Electro-Stimulation Therapies to Modulate Retinal Blood Flow and Visual Function in Retinitis Pigmentosa
Effects of Acupuncture on Cancer-Related Fatigue
The Influence of Compatibility of Rhubarb and Radix Scutellariae on the Pharmacokinetics of Anthraquinones and Flavonoids in Rat Plasma

Electro-Stimulation Therapies to Modulate Retinal Blood Flow and Visual Function in Retinitis Pigmentosa

Bittner AK1, et al.

PURPOSE: We examined changes in visual function and ocular and retinal blood flow (RBF) among retinitis pigmentosa (RP) participants in a randomized controlled trial of electro-stimulation therapies.
METHODS: Twenty-one RP participants were randomized (1:1:1) to transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) at 6 weekly half-hour sessions, electro-acupuncture or inactive laser acupuncture (sham control) at 10 half-hour sessions over 2 weeks. Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) visual acuity (VA), quick contrast sensitivity function, Goldmann visual fields, AdaptDx scotopic sensitivity, spectral flow and colour Doppler imaging of the central retinal artery (CRA), and RBF in macular capillaries were measured twice pre-treatment, after 2 TES sessions, within a week and a month after intervention completion.
RESULTS: We measured a significant improvement in retrobulbar CRA mean flow velocity for both the TES (p = 0.038) and electro-acupuncture groups (p = 0.001) on average after 2 weeks of treatment when compared to sham controls. Transcorneal electrical simulation (TES) and electro-acupuncture subjects had significant 55% and 34% greater increases, respectively, in RBF in the macular vessels when compared to sham controls (p < 0.001; p = 0.008) within a week of completing six TES sessions or a month after electro-acupuncture. There was a significant difference in the proportion of eyes that had improved visual function when comparing the three intervention groups (p = 0.038): four of seven TES subjects (57%), two of seven electro-acupuncture subjects (29%) and none of the seven control subjects (0%) had a significant visual improvement outside of typical test-retest variability at two consecutive post-treatment visits.
CONCLUSION: Increased blood flow following electro-stimulation therapies is an objective, physiological change that occurred in addition to visual function improvements in some RP patients.

Acta Ophthalmol. 2017 Nov 11. doi: 10.1111/aos.13581. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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Effects of Acupuncture on Cancer-Related Fatigue

Zhang Y1, et al.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to critically evaluate the effect of acupuncture on cancer-related fatigue (CRF).
METHODS: Seven databases (Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline, Web of Science, CBM, Wanfang, and CNKI) were systematically reviewed from inception to November 2016 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two reviewers critically and independently assessed the risk of bias using Cochrane Collaboration criteria and extracted correlated data using the designed form. All analyses were performed with Review Manager 5.
RESULTS: Ten RCTs, including 1327 patients (acupuncture, 733; control, 594), meeting the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis were identified. Acupuncture had a marked effect on fatigue in cancer patients, regardless of concurrent anti-cancer treatment, particularly among breast cancer patients. The meta-analysis also indicated that acupuncture could significantly mitigate CRF compared with sham acupuncture or usual care. Acupuncture for 20-30 min/session three times/week for two or three weeks, twice weekly for two weeks and weekly for six weeks, and weekly for six weeks had substantial effects on CRF. Six RCTs reported the occurrence of adverse events, whereas five reported none. The remaining study reported some manageable events, including spot bleeding and bruising.
CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture is effective for CRF management and should be recommended as a beneficial alternative therapy for CRF patients, particularly for breast cancer patients and those currently undergoing anti-cancer treatment.

Support Care Cancer. 2017 Nov 11. doi: 10.1007/s00520-017-3955-6. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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The Influence of Compatibility of Rhubarb and Radix Scutellariae on the Pharmacokinetics of Anthraquinones and Flavonoids in Rat Plasma

Zhang Y1,2, et al.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Rhubarb-Radix scutellariae is a classic herb pair, which is commonly used to clear away heat and toxin in clinic. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of compatibility of Rhubarb and Radix scutellariae on the pharmacokinetic behaviors of anthraquinones and flavonoids in rat plasma.
METHODS: Eighteen rats were randomly divided into three groups, and were orally administered Rhubarb and/or Radix scutellariae extracts. A sensitive and rapid UPLC-MS/MS method was developed and validated to determine the concentrations of baicalin, baicalein, wogonside, wogonin, rhein, and emodin in rat plasma. The concentrations of phase II conjugates of flavonoid aglycones and anthraquinone aglycones were also determined after hydrolyzing the plasma with sulfatase.
RESULTS: Compared with administration of Radix scutellariae alone, co-administration of Rhubarb significantly decreased the first maximum plasma concentration (C max1) of baicalin, wogonside, and the phase II conjugates of baicalein, wogonin to 46.40, 61.27, 41.49, and 20.50%, respectively. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to infinity (AUC0-∞) was significantly decreased from 82.60 ▒ 20.22 to 51.91 ▒ 7.46 μMĚh for rhein and 276.83 ▒ 98.02 to 175.42 ▒ 86.82 μMĚh for the phase II conjugates of wogonin after compatibility. The time to reach the first maximum plasma concentration (T max1) of anthraquinones was shortened and the second peak of anthraquinones disappeared after compatibility.
CONCLUSIONS: Compatibility of Rhubarb and Radix scutellariae can significantly affect the pharmacokinetic behaviors of characteristic constituents of the two herbs. The cause of these pharmacokinetic differences was further discussed combined with the in vivo ADME (absorption, disposition, metabolism, and excretion) processes of anthraquinones and flavonoids.

Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet.2017 Nov 14. doi: 10.1007/s13318-017-0444-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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