Points - Recent Research
Can Acupuncture Improve Objective Sleep Indices in Patients With Primary Insomnia?
The Effect of Acupuncture on Glucose Metabolism and Lipid Profiles in Patients with PCOS
Herb Pair of Ephedrae Herba-Armeniacae Semen Amarum Alleviates Airway Injury in Asthmatic Rats

Can Acupuncture Improve Objective Sleep Indices in Patients With Primary Insomnia?

Fei-Yi Zhao, et al.

Background: The efficacy of acupuncture for treating primary insomnia (PI) has been explored in several meta-analyses where the outcomes measures were based on subjective self-reported sleep rating scales. Sleep state misperception is common in PI and self-reports underestimate sleep duration and quality. No systematic reviews or meta-analyses have investigated the efficacy of acupuncture in improving objective sleep measures in PI.
Objective: To perform a systematic review to determine whether objective sleep parameters are improved by acupuncture in patients with PI.
Methods: Randomized controlled trials treating PI via verum-acupuncture versus sham-/placebo-acupuncture or waitlist control were searched for in English [MEDLINE (via PubMed), Sciverse ScienceDirect, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), AMED, Springer, EMBASE (Elsevier), Ebsco Medline, and PsycINFO (ProQuest)] and Chinese (SinoMed, CNKI, Wanfang and CQVIP) databases, from the dates of the databases' inception to January 2020. The parameters of polysomnography (PSG), actigraphy, or micromovement sensitive mattress/pillow sleep monitoring systems were considered as the primary outcome measures. Revman 5.3 and Stata 16.0 software were used to conduct the meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was examined by using I2 statistics and publication bias was assessed via Egger's test.
Results: Eleven studies involving 775 patients met the inclusion criteria. The results of meta-analysis suggested that acupuncture can increase total sleep time [MD = 55.29, 95%CI (29.16, 81.42), p < 0.01], increase sleep efficiency [MD = 8.96, 95%CI (3.97, 13.95), p < 0.01], decrease wake after sleep onset [MD = -49.54, 95%CI (-82.98, -16.09), p < 0.01], and reduce number of awakening times [MD = -6.29, 95%CI (-10.75, -1.82), p < 0.01] compared with either sham-/placebo-acupuncture or waitlist control. Subsequent analysis indicated a superior effect for verum-acupuncture in comparison with sham-/placebo-acupuncture or waitlist-control when the recommended lowest threshold dosage (12 sessions) was met. Despite positive outcomes, most studies reviewed were heterogeneous and at risk of bias due to methodological issues.
Conclusions: Despite limited evidence, acupuncture was significantly associated with improvements in several objective sleep parameters (increases in total sleep time and sleep efficiency, and reductions in wake after sleep onset and number of awakening times) as well as subjective sleep quantity and quality in patients with PI. A minimum therapeutic threshold dosage (=12 sessions) is recommended. Well-designed RCTs using PSG are required to clarify the influence of acupuncture on sleep architecture/structure and to promote better application of acupuncture as a treatment for PI.

Sleep Med.2021 Apr;80:244-259.doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2021.01.053. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Source: PubMed


The Effect of Acupuncture on Glucose Metabolism and Lipid Profiles in Patients with PCOS

Ruqun Zheng, et al.

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture on glucose metabolism and lipid profiles in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Methods: Databases, including the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), the China Science and Technology Journal Database (VIP), Wanfang, PubMed, and the Cochrane Library were searched for the relevant literature, with the retrieval deadline being February 2020. Two reviewers independently screened, selected, and extracted the data and validated the results. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated with the risk of bias tool, and the meta-analysis was performed using the RevMan 5.3.5 software.
Results: A total of 737 patients with PCOS from 10 randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. A pooled analysis showed significant decreases in body mass index (mean difference (MD) = -1.47, 95% CI -2.35 to -0.58, P < 0.001) and waist-to-hip ratio (MD = -0.04, 95% CI [-0.06, -0.02], P < 0.001) in the acupuncture group along with significant improvements in fasting plasma glucose (MD = -0.38, 95% CI [-0.70, -0.07], P = 0.02), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (MD = -0.22, 95% CI [-0.41, -0.02], P = 0.03), and triglycerides (MD = -0.26, 95% CI [-0.48, -0.04], P = 0.02). No significant differences were observed in the Ferriman-Gallwey score, 2 h fasting plasma glucose, fasting insulin, 2 h fasting insulin, serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Conclusion: Acupuncture is relatively effective and safe in improving glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in patients with PCOS. The included studies were generally of not bad methodological quality, but further large-scale, long-term randomized controlled trials with rigorous methodological standards are still warranted.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2021 Mar 22;2021:5555028. doi: 10.1155/2021/5555028. eCollection 2021.

Source: PubMed


Herb Pair of Ephedrae Herba-Armeniacae Semen Amarum Alleviates Airway Injury in Asthmatic Rats

Jia-Xin Ma, et al.

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Ephedrae Herba (EH, Ephedra sinica Stapf.) and Armeniacae Semen Amarum (ASA, Prunus armeniaca L. var. ansu Maxim.) have been used to treat asthma, cold, fever, and cough in China for thousands of years.
Aim of the study: In this study, we aimed to investigate the optimal ratio of EH and ASA compatibility (EAC) to reduce airway injury in asthmatic rats and its possible mechanism.
Methods: Rats were sensitized with a mixture of acetylcholine chloride and histamine bisphosphate 1 h before sensitization by intragastric administration of EAC or dexamethasone or saline for 7 days. Subsequently, the ultrastructure of rat airway epithelial tissue changes, apoptosis of the airway epithelial cells, and the expression of mRNA and protein of EGRF and Bcl-2 were detected.
Results: Transmission electron microscope: EAC (groups C and E) had the most prominent effect on repairing airway epithelial cells' ultrastructural changes in asthmatic rats. TUNEL: dexamethasone and EAC (groups B?C?E and F) inhibited the apoptosis of airway epithelial cells in asthmatic rats (P < 0.05). In situ hybridization: EAC (group E) inhibited the overexpression of EGFR and Bcl-2 mRNA (P < 0.05).Western Blotting: EAC (groups A?B?C?E and F) inhibited the upregulation of airway epithelial EGFR and Bcl-2 protein expression (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that EAC can inhibit abnormal changes in airway epithelial structure and apoptosis of airway epithelial cells, thereby alleviating airway injury. In this study, the best combination of EH and ASA to alleviate airway epithelial injury in asthmatic rats was group E (EH: ASA = 8: 4.5).

J Ethnopharmacol.2021 Apr 6;269:113745.doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113745. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Source: PubMed


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