Points - Recent Research
Acupuncture on Renal Function in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
Effects of Acupuncture on Gait of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis
Lyophilized Powder of Catalpol and Puerarin Protected Cerebral Vessels from Ischemia by Its Anti-apoptosis on Endothelial Cells

Acupuncture on Renal Function in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Yu JS1,2,3, et al.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility effect of acupuncture on renal function in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
METHODS: In total, 59 patients with CKD were randomized into acupuncture (AG; n = 30) and sham acupuncture (CG; n = 29) treatment groups. In the AG, acupuncture was applied to bilateral Hegu (LI4), Zusanli (ST36), and Taixi (KI3) to obtain qi, and electroacupuncture (2 Hz) was applied to two acupoint pairs (right Zusanli and Taixi and left Zusanli and Taixi) once per week for 12 weeks. In the CG, the acupuncture methods were identical to in the AG, and the acupuncture needle was applied to the subcutaneous layer at 1.5 cm lateral to the aforementioned acupoints, without electrical discharge. The levels of serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were measured at 3 months (observation period; O), immediately before the acupuncture treatment (baseline; B), at 12 weeks (after treatment completion; T12), and at the 3-month follow-up (postacupuncture treatment; P).
RESULTS: In total, 53 patients (AG, n = 28; CG, n = 25) with CKD completed the trial. The serum creatinine levels at baseline (B) were 1.45 mg/dL in the AG and 1.67 mg/dL in the CG (p = 0.1298). Furthermore, the change in serum creatinine levels after the acupuncture treatment (T12) was 1.41 mg/dL in the AG and 1.65 mg/dL in the CG (p = 0.0489). The eGFR at baseline was 51.85 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the AG and 42.50 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the CG (p = 0.0855). The change in the eGFR after the acupuncture treatment was 54.50 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the AG and 43.60 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the CG (p = 0.0470).
CONCLUSION: Acupuncture at bilateral Hegu, Zusanli, and Taixi for 12 weeks reduced creatinine levels and increased eGFR levels. The study only provided a feasibility method for the treatment of patients with CKD. However, the results of this preliminary study warrant further investigation.

J Altern Complement Med.2017 Apr 19. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0119. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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Effects of Acupuncture on Gait of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Criado MB1, et al.

Multiple sclerosis is considered a complex and heterogeneous disease. Approximately 85% of patients with multiple sclerosis indicate impaired gait as one of the major limitations in their daily life. Acupuncture studies found a reduction of spasticity and improvement of fatigue and imbalance in patients with multiple sclerosis, but there is a lack of studies regarding gait. We designed a study of acupuncture treatment, according to the Heidelberg model of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), to investigate if acupuncture can be a useful therapeutic strategy in patients with gait impairment in multiple sclerosis of relapsing-remitting type. The sample consisted of 20 individuals with diagnosis of multiple sclerosis of relapsing-remitting type. Gait impairment was evaluated by the 25-foot walk test. The results showed differences in time to walk 25 feet following true acupuncture. In contrast, there was no difference in time to walk 25 feet following sham acupuncture. When using true acupuncture, 95% of cases showed an improvement in 25-foot walk test, compared with 45% when sham acupuncture was done. Our study protocol provides evidence that acupuncture treatment can be an attractive option for patients with multiple sclerosis, with gait impairment.

J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Apr 14. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0355. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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Lyophilized Powder of Catalpol and Puerarin Protected Cerebral Vessels from Ischemia by Its Anti-apoptosis on Endothelial Cells

Liu Y1, et al.

Catalpol and puerarin are two monomers of Rehmannia glutinosa and Lobed Kudzuvine Root, which are two herbs commonly used together in ancient prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine for cerebral ischemia. Our previous study shows that the lyophilized powder of the two monomers improved the outcome of cerebral ischemia excellently in rodents. However, if it protects vessels from ischemia is unknown. The present research studied the protection of lyophilized powder of catalpol and puerarin (CP) on endothelial cells and the relative mechanism in vivo and in vitro. Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats were used to study the improvement of CP on neurological deficiency, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), and infarct volume. The morphology of vessels and the apoptosis of brain vascular endothelial cells (BVECs) were observed and detected by immunohistochemistry approaches. To study how CP protected primary BVECs (pBVECs) from ischemic penumbra, oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD)-damaged pBVECs were cultured in the condition of insufficient nutrition and low oxygen which recapitulate the low perfusion of ischemic penumbra. Using the cell model, the mechanism by which CP protected pBVECs was studied by shRNA and pathway inhibitors. CP at the dose of 65.4 mg/kg increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), reduced infarct volume, protected vessel integrity and inhibited endothelial cell apoptosis in vivo. But it only improved rCBF, vessel integrity and BVECs apoptosis at the dose of 32.7 mg/kg. In vitro, the protection of CP on pBVECs was proved to be ERK/HIF-1a- and PI3K/AKT/mTOR/HIF-1a-dependent. This study indicates a possibility of CP being a new drug for cerebral ischemia. Besides, this research provides an alternative cell model for penumbra ECs study.

Int J Biol Sci. 2017 Feb 25;13(3):327-338. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.17751. eCollection 2017.

Source: PubMed

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