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Hindawi Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2017, Article ID 7420648, 5 pages

The Acupuncture Effect on Median Nerve

Morphology in Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: An Ultrasonographic Study

Introduction.The aim of this study was to explore the acupuncture effect on the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the median nerve at the wrist in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and, additionally, to identify whether clinical, lectrophysiological,and ultrasonographic changes show any association. Methods. Forty-five limbs of 27 female patients were randomly divided into two

groups (acupuncture and control). All patients used night wrist splint. The patients in the acupuncture group received additional acupuncture therapy. Visual analog scale (VAS), Duru¨oz Hand Index (DHI), Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire scores, electrophysiologic measurements, and median nerve CSAs were noted before and after the treatment in both groups. Results. VAS, DHI, QuickDASHscores, and electrophysiological measurements were improved in both groups.The median nerve CSA significantly decreased in the acupuncture group, whereas there was no change in the control group. Conclusion.

After acupuncture therapy, the patients with CTS might have both clinical and morphological improvement.

Fatma Gülcin Ural & Gökhan Tuna Öztürk


Clin J Pain. 2011 Jun;27(5):448-56

Subjective well-being in patients with chronic tension-type headache: effect of acupuncture, physical training, and relaxation training.


Episodic tension-type headache is a common problem affecting approximately 2 of 3 of the population. The origin of tension-type headache is multifactorial, but the pathogenesis is still unclear. In some individuals episodic tension-type headache transforms into chronic tension-type headache (CTTH). Subjective symptoms related to the central nervous system might affect patients subjective well-being and quality of life.


This study compared 3 nonpharmacologic treatments; acupuncture, relaxation training, and physical training on subjective well-being in patients with CTTH.


Ninety consecutive patients with CTTH were randomly allocated to acupuncture, relaxation training, or physical training. At baseline 88 age-matched and sex-matched healthy controls were compared with the patients with CTTH. Subjective, central nervous system-related symptoms that might affect patients' subjective well-being and quality of life were assessed with the Minor Symptom Evaluation Profile, which contains 24 self-administered standardized items with visual analog scale responses. Fifteen items are categorized into 3 dimensions: contentment, vitality, and sleep. Assessments were made before treatment, immediately after, and 3 and 6 months after the last treatment.


Baseline values of the total score of the 24 items and the 3 dimensions were generally lower in patients with tension-type headache compared with the reference group. No significant differences were found among the 3 treatment groups during the baseline period. All treatments proportionally improved the subjective, central nervous system-related symptoms in patients with CTTH. The 3-month follow-up, the total score of the Minor Symptom Evaluation Profile was significantly improved in the physical training group compared with the acupuncture group (P=0.036). Total mean over period was also highest in the physical training group compared with the acupuncture group (P=0.025). The vitality and sleep dimension was significantly improved at the 6-month follow-up in the relaxation training group compared with the acupuncture group (P=0.04).


Physical training and relaxation training seem to be preferable nonpharmacologic treatments for improvement of central nervous system-related symptoms and subjective well-being for patients with CTTH.

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Pain Med. 2017 Aug 1;18(8):1582-1592. 

Evoked Pressure Pain Sensitivity Is Associated with 

Differential Analgesic 

Response to Verum and Sham Acupuncture in Fibromyalgia.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition with few effective treatments. Many fibromyalgia patients seek acupuncture for analgesia; however, its efficacy is limited and not fully understood. This may be due to heterogeneous pathologies among participants in acupuncture clinical trials. We hypothesized that pressure pain tenderness would differentially classify treatment response to verum and sham acupuncture in fibromyalgia patients.


Baseline pressure pain sensitivity at the thumbnail at baseline was used in linear mixed models as a modifier of differentialtreatment response to sham versus verum acupuncture. Similarly, needle-induced sensation was also analyzed to determine its differential effect of treatment on clinical pain.


A cohort of 114 fibromyalgia patients received baseline pressure pain testing and were randomized to either verum (N = 59) or sham (N = 55) acupuncture. Participants received treatments from once a week to three times a week, increasing in three-week blocks for a total of 18 treatments. Clinical pain was measured on a 101-point visual analog scale, and needle sensation was measured by questionnaire throughout the trial.


Participants who had higher pain pressure thresholds had greater reduction in clinical pain following verum acupuncture while participants who had lower pain pressure thresholds showed better analgesic response to sham acupuncture. Moreover, patients with lower pressure pain thresholds had exacerbated clinical pain following verum acupuncture. Similar relationships were observed for sensitivity to acupuncture needling.


These findings suggest that acupuncture efficacy in fibromyalgia may be underestimated and a more personalized treatment for fibromyalgia may also be possible.

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September 2017

Acupuncture and Connective Tissue - Learn more about connective tissue.

Gå in och lyssna på Youtube till       Dr Helena Langevin MD             Director for Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine. 

Lyssna till hennes och kollegors forskning om Akupunktur.

February  2019

Default Mode Network as a Neural Substrate of Acupuncture: Evidence, Challenges and Strategy.

Acupuncture is widely applied all over the world. Although the neurobiological underpinnings of acupuncture still remain unclear, accumulating evidence indicates significant alteration of brain activities in response to acupuncture. In particular, activities of brain regions in the default mode network (DMN) are modulated by acupuncture. DMN is crucial for maintaining physiological homeostasis and its functional architecture becomes disrupted in various disorders. But how acupuncture modulates brain functions and whether such modulation constitutes core mechanisms of acupuncture treatment are far from clear. This Perspective integrates recent literature on interactions between acupuncture and functional networks including the DMN, and proposes a back-translational research strategy to elucidate brain mechanisms of acupuncture treatment.

Yuqi Zhang et al. 2019

Frontiers in Neuroscience 

April 2020

Activation of LXRβ Signaling in the Amygdala Confers Anxiolytic Effects Through Rebalancing Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurotransmission upon Acute Stress.

The balance of major excitatory (glutamate, Glu) and inhibitory (γ-aminobutyric acid, GABA), named as E/I neurotransmission, is critical for proper information processing. Anxiety-like responses upon stress are accompanied by abnormal alterations in the formation and function of synapses, resulting in the imbalance of E/I neurotransmission in the amygdala. Liver X receptors (LXRs), including LXRα and LXRβ isoforms, are nuclear receptors responsible for regulating central nervous system (CNS) functions besides maintaining metabolic homeostasis. However, little is known about the contribution of LXRs in E/I balance in regulating anxiety-related behaviors induced by stress. In this study, we found stress-induced anxiety led to the expression reduction of LXRβ not LXRα in mice amygdala. GW3965, a dual agonist for both LXRα and LXRβ, alleviated anxiety-like behaviors of stressed mice through activation of LXRβ, confirmed by the knockdown of LXRβ mediated by lentiviral shRNAs in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). This was paralleled by correcting the disequilibrium of E/I neurotransmission in the stressed BLA. Importantly, GW3965 exerted anxiolytic effects by correcting the promoted amplitude and frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC), and augmenting the decreased that of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current (mIPSC) in the stressed BLA. This suggests that stress-induced anxiety-like behaviors can largely be ascribed to the deficit of LXRβ signaling in E/I neurotransmission in BLA. These findings highlight the deficiency of LXRβ signaling in the amygdala linked to anxiety disorder, and LXRβ activation may represent a potential novel target for anxiety treatment with an alteration in synaptic transmission in the amygdala.

Yu W et al. 

Neurotherapeutics (2020)