Friday, 9 November 2012

Research: electroacupuncture for quality of life

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune disease mediated by an immune response to central nervous system antigens. Modern immunomodulatory therapies, however, do not ameliorate many of the symptoms, such as pain and depression. Patients thus seek alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, although the benefits of such treatments have not been objectively evaluated. The present study was thus designed to evaluate the effect of the use of acupuncture in the alleviation of the symptoms of patients with MS.

METHODS: Thirty-one patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis undergoing treatment with immunomodulators were randomly distributed into sex-stratified experimental and placebo groups in a patient- and evaluator-blind design; they received either true or sham electroacupuncture during regular visits to the doctor in the university hospital outpatient clinic. Standardized questionnaires were used to evaluate the effect of electroacupuncture on the quality of life of these patients. Initial and follow-up assessment included the evaluation of clinical status (Expanded Disability Status Scale), pain (Visual Analogue Scale) and quality of life (Functional Assessment of multiple Sclerosis) to ascertain the impact of electroacupuncture on the quality of life of these patients.

RESULTS: Electroacupuncture improved various aspects of quality of life, including a reduction in pain and depression. The self-report scales were more sensitive to improvement than was the more objective clinical measure.

CONCLUSION: This paper provides evidence that electroacupuncture can significantly improve the quality of life of such patients. The results suggest that the routine use of a self-report scale evaluating quality of life should be included in regular clinical evaluations in order to detect changes more rapidly.
Trial Registration RBR-58yq52.

I guess you can read the conclusions. Maybe Prof G can comment on whether this would convince him to recommend electroacupuncture.

1 comment:

  1. Hi all,

    Interesting read, my wife has recently been having treatment at a private pain clinic to try and get on top of excruciating pain in her shoulder which she has had on and off for about the past 3 years.

    After the years of below par treatment on the NHS and a total lack of understanding of how much pain she is in, we hope we have come across someone who can get on top of the problem.

    Her pain was first dismissed by her then Neurologist as having no connection to her MS (?) and hence the battle commenced. She has been to see numerous physios, private and on the NHS and
    after many visits to various people and trying pre gabalin, gaberpentin tens, acupuncture etc etc ,she was referred to a specialist by her GP , £200 for 40 minutes to tell her it wasn't muscular or skeletal. Luckily the specialist did advise her GP that she should have an MRI as he was incredulous to the fact her pain wasn't connected to her MS and the results showed a lesion on or near her spine at the place of pain.

    The latest treatment does involve amongst others electro acupuncture and it is by no means a wonder cure, but we finally feel she is on the right track to easing some of the pain. I'm not saying it has any influence on her MS and I'm guessing it will be dismissed on here due to the self reporting results, but in my opinion not listening to the patient is a major hurdle to overcome.

    Maybe the good Dr's on here could advise in general terms what's on offer to someone who has ppms and has reached the dizzy heights of 7.5 on the EDSS in 5/6 years. I'm by no means saying desperate people will turn to anything, most are well read, it's just an observation that if you haven't got rrms and are not offered dmd's then Neurologists don't want to see you.

    So for now she will continue with electro acupuncture and we'll see how it goes, I'll report back.

    Regards as always.


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