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Acupuncture has been making headlines in the news

ABC News with Diane Sawyer : Acupuncture relieves menopause symptoms?
Watch Video (March 1, 2011)

Wall Street Journal: Decoding an Ancient Therapy
High-Tech Tools Show How Acupuncture Works in Treating Arthritis, Back Pain, Other Ills
Read Article | Watch Video (March 22, 2010)

The Point About Pain: New Study Sheds Light On Acupuncture
Most research on acupuncture has focused its effect on the central nervous system. A study published by the journal Nature Neuroscience examines acupuncture's effect on the peripheral nervous system and has discoverd a mechanism that releases a natural molecule, adenosine, that reduces pain in the limbs. Read Article (May 30, 2010)

Wall Street Journal: Acupuncture Benefit Seen In Pregnancy (Feb 23, 2010)

Reuters: Acupuncture eases tamoxifen-related hot flashes (Jan 8, 2010)

Reuters: Acupuncture beats aspirin for chronic headache (Dec 1, 2008)

USA Today: Fringe Science No More (May 9, 2005)

RESEARCH ABSTRACTS

Dougherty DD, Kong J, Webb M, Bonab AA, Fischman AJ, Gollub RL. A combined [11C]diprenorphine PET study and fMRI study of acupuncture analgesia. Behav Brain Res. 2008 Nov 3;193(1):63-8. Epub 2008 May 2.

Functional neuroimaging studies suggest that a lateral network in the brain is associated with the sensory aspects of pain perception while a medial network is associated with affective aspects. The highest concentration of opioid receptors is in the medial network. There is significant evidence that endogenous opioids are central to the experience of pain and analgesia. We applied an integrative multimodal imaging approach during acupuncture. We found functional magnetic resonance imaging signal changes in the orbitofrontal cortex, insula, and pons and [11C]diprenorphine positron emission tomography signal changes in the orbitofrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, insula, thalamus, and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings include brain regions within both the lateral and medial pain networks

Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis
BMJ336 : 545 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39471.430451.BE (Published 7 February 2008)

Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation.

Michael Hollifield, Nityamo Sinclair-Lian, Teddy D. Warner, and Richard Hammerschlag, "Acupuncture for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial." The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, June 2007; 195(6):504-13

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the potential efficacy and acceptability of accupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People diagnosed with PTSD were randomized to either an empirically developed accupuncture treatment (ACU), a group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or a wait-list control (WLC). The primary outcome measure was self-reported PTSD symptoms at baseline, end treatment, and 3-month follow-up. Repeated measures MANOVA was used to detect predicted Group X Time effects in both intent-to-treat (ITT) and treatment completion models. Compared with the WLC condition in the ITT model, accupuncture provided large treatment effects for PTSD (F [1, 46] = 12.60; p < 0.01; Cohen's d = 1.29), similar in magnitude to group CBT (F [1, 47] = 12.45; p < 0.01; d = 1.42) (ACU vs. CBT, d = 0.29). Symptom reductions at end treatment were maintained at 3-month follow-up for both interventions. Accupuncture may be an efficacious and acceptable nonexposure treatment option for PTSD. Larger trials with additional controls and methods are warranted to replicate and extend these findings.

Acupuncture for Depression During Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial Obstetrics & Gynecology: March 2010 - Volume 115 - Issue 3 - pp 511-520 doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181cc0816

The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

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