Electroacupuncture Found More Effective Than Nimodipine for Mild Cognitive Impairment

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Acupuncture and Research

Some cognitive decline is expected with aging.  Mild cognitive impairment, however, is an early middle ground between the more serious dimension and those changes that are expected with aging.  Some of these changes may also be brought on by vascular changes such as head trauma or a stroke.  In western medicine the medication nimodipine is used to help patients recover from stroke and other vascular issues with the brain and has been researched and used as a way to slow cognitive decline.

Researchers from Chengdu University of TCM in China recently conducted a study evaluating the use of electroacupuncture for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) vs. a standard treatment of Nimodipine (Nimotop®).  Chinese Medicine and acupuncture are commonly used to aid patients in stroke recovery as well as treating a wide range of age related declines (memory, balance, etc.).  Here researchers recruited 192 patients with MCI and divided them evenly into a electroacupuncture treatment group and a western medicine treatment group.

Electro Acupuncture was used on the following points once every other day for 8 weeks.

Patients were initially evaluated with the minimum mental state examination (MMSE) and the graphic recognition test (GRT) at the 1st and 2nd session, then followups on the MMSE scale were at 1, 3, and 6 months.

Researchers found a total effective rate for the EA group at 50% which outperformed the nimodipine treatment group at 34.4%.  They also found better long-term scores in the EA group than in the western medicine group.  They concluded that "compared with the nimodipine group, the electroacupuncture therapy improves the comprehensive cognitive and the short-term memory abilities much more significantly".

Electroacupuncture Found More Effective Than Nimodipine for Mild Cognitive Impairment

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 17 December 2012

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