Acupuncture Reduces Post-Stroke Depression, Restores Function
Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers find acupuncture effective for the alleviation of post-stroke depression and the restoration of neurological functions. The research, conducted at the university’s Shuguang Affiliated Hospital, compared outcomes from two groups: acupuncture and control. Both groups received treatment according to the China Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Cerebrovascular Disease. This included medications to control blood pressure, improve cerebral circulation, reduce inflammation, promote neuronal regeneration, and for secondary complications such as respiratory infections and pressure sores. In addition, the acupuncture group received a pre-selected set of acupuncture points.
The incidence of depression in each group was also taken into consideration. At baseline, 22 patients in the acupuncture group and 24 in the control group were classified as suffering from depression. After one week of treatment, these figures fell to 17 and 22 respectively. After four weeks of treatment, just seven patients in the acupuncture group were classified as depressed compared with 20 patients in the control group (p<0.05).
The outcomes of this study indicate that acupuncture reduces both the incidence and severity of post-stroke depression while simultaneously improving neurological recovery, and is more effective than usual care alone. Treatment may be more effective when administered as early as possible once cerebral bleeding has stopped and the patient is in a stable condition.
Chen Aiwen, Gao Yuan, Wang Guantao, Li Jia, Shen Weidong (2018) “Effect of early acupuncture on post-stroke depression: a randomized controlled trial” Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion Vol.38 (11) pp. 1141-1144.