What’s Old is New

September 24, 2016

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years — but a recent study suggests that it can be serve as a new tool in the struggle against dementia.

untitledResearchers in China found that the needle-based therapy can slow the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or MCI. MCI occurs in the intermediate stage before actual cognitive degenerative disease.  Approximately 10% of adults with MCI will end up with severe dementia such as Alzheimer’s.

There were three groups in the trial. The first was given acupuncture only. The second, the drug nimodipine. The third group was administered both acupuncture and nimodipine.

Those receiving only acupuncture had the best outcomes, as measured by performance on a Mini Mental State Exam (commonly known as MMSE). Second place went to the group that received a combination of acupuncture with nimodipine. Yup! The drug-only group was in last place.

Acupuncture is not for everyone, and more research has to be done, but in some ways, it should come as no surprise.   Dementia drugs do very little.   Until the pharmaceutical industry can find the solution, it’s comforting to know that other approaches can be helpful.




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