[Long-term efficacy and safety of electroacupuncture on improving MMSE in patients with Alzheimer's disease].
Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2019 Jan 12 ;39(1):3-8. PMID: 30672248
OBJECTIVE: To observe the efficacy and safety of electroacupuncture (EA) on improving mini-mental state examination (MMSE) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and to evaluate the efficacy during follow-up visit.
METHODS: Forty patients were randomly divided into a treatment group and a control group, 20 patients in each one (3 patients dropped off in the treatment group and 4 patients in the control group). The patients in the treatment group were treated with acupuncture at Baihui (GV 20), Fengfu (GV 16), Shenting (GV 24), Taiyang (EX-HN 5), Shangyintang (Extra 3) and Dazhong (KI 14); besides, EA was applied at Taiyang (EX-HN 5), Baihui (GV 20) and Shenting (GV 24) with dilatational wave, 10 Hz/50 Hz in frequency, 0.5 to 5.0 mA in intensity, once every two days, three treatments per week. The patients in the control group were treated with oral administration of donepezil hydrochloride tablets, once a day, taken before sleep. The treatment was given for 12 weeks in the two groups. The MMSE was evaluated before treatment, 12 weeks±3 days into treatment, and 24 weeks±7 days after treatment, respectively.
RESULTS: The difference of total score of MMSE before and 12 weeks±3 days into treatment was not significant between the two groups (>0.05); the total score of MMSE after treatment was higher than that before treatment (both<0.05); compared before treatment, the short-term memory score was increased in the treatment group (<0.05), and the increasing range was superior to that in the control group (<0.05). Compared before treatment, the total score of MMSE in the two groups were reduced 24 weeks±7 days after treatment (both<0.05), and the reduction in the treatment group was less than that in the control group (<0.05); the differences of short-term memory score before and after treatment was significant between the two groups (<0.05). No adverse reaction occurred in the two groups.
CONCLUSION: The effect of EA on improving MMSE in patients with AD is similar to donepezil supported by evidence-based medicine. The effect of EA may have a certain continuous effect, and may have advantages in instantaneous memory. In addition, the EA is safe.