Complementary Therapies against Cancer

Alzheimer

Alzheimer’s disease and Acupuncture

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To date, there is no medical treatment that stops or reverses the progress of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

The commonly used approved medications only obtain modest results of the symptoms of the disease and have been associated with numerous side effects.
With all this, the interest in alternative treatments has been increasing, with an increasing number of studies and trials on acupuncture in this field.

Many studies indicate the effectiveness of acupuncture in cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

In one of the larger studies, where a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of acupuncture and Alzheimer’s is made, the conclusions drawn are:

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1. Acupuncture can be more effective than pharmacological treatments.

2. Acupuncture can potentiate the effect of Alzheimer’s medication.

3. Acupuncture may be more effective than pharmacological treatments in improving the ability of daily routines in patients with Alzheimer’s.

4. Acupuncture has no risks for patients with Alzheimer’s.

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To better understand the mechanism of action of acupuncture in cases of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment diseases, there are studies where functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tests have been performed on subjects who underwent acupuncture, for see the changes produced in brain activity.

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The results were that several regions of the brain showed an increase or decrease in activity. The majority of affected regions belonged to the temporal and frontal lobes, which are closely related to cognitive function and memory.

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Regarding the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, the studies are not yet conclusively conclusive, since most of the studies that comply with the imposed standards, only study the effects of individual plants on Alzheimer’s, while for The treatment of this disease requires the combination of multiple medicinal plants, commonly used in formulas. Therefore, we must still wait for future studies on these groups of medicinal plants.

However, we have the information from many studies on the effects of individual plants in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, which show significant results, not only in terms of cognitive improvements (as in the scales of assessment of Alzheimer’s disease and scales for the clinical assessment of dementia), but also in the possibilities of treating the mechanisms of action of the fundamental pathophysiology of the disease.

Some of the most investigated individual plants in the studies are the following:
Ginko biloba
Ginseng
Uncaria rhynchophylla
Lycopodium serratum
Rhizoma Coptidis
Radix Polygalae

There are, however, many more medicinal plants used in a traditional way in other countries to help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, being these only a small sample that science is beginning to unveil.

Original studies

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The Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

A Systematic Review of Single Chinese Herbs for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment

Traditional Chinese medicines and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Effect of Acupuncture in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer Disease: A Functional MRI Study

 

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