Acupuncture Could Be a Solution for Memory Loss - Dispatch Weekly

August 5, 2016 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Research by Wuhan University has found that acupuncture when used on its own or with other treatments for mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia, can improve memory.

The Research

A review that was published in Acupuncture in Medicine discovered that acupuncture could have positive benefits for those suffering with pre-dementia.

Researchers examined Western and Chinese databases to compare acupuncture and medical treatment until July 2015.

The ages of participants were 26-94 and in total there were ten trials. These included: five studies of 568 people (published in 2012 and 2013), three that compared acupuncture with nimodipine and two that looked at acupuncture combined with nimodipine.

Two tests were conducted including a mini mental state exam and picture recognition. One group received acupuncture for three to five times per week for eight weeks and one trial lasted three months.

In the two most important tests examining AMCI and dementia, those receiving acupuncture did better than those on nimodipine alone.

Those who combined acupuncture with nimodipine improved in the minimum mental state exams compared to those using just nimodipine.

Small Study

Neurologists asserted that in the future a larger population should be used to validate claims. The present study only used 600 people.

Different types of acupuncture could also be used to fully understand how therapy and memory loss were connected.

Dr Remy Coeytaux, an associate professor in community and family medicine was positive about the findings saying, “the studies suggest that acupuncture is effective, but my degree of confidence in this finding is low, (but) it’s not zero.”

He said, “the quality of the studies really was poor, so that puts a damper on the findings.”

The Positive Aspect Of Findings

However, despite being a small study of 600 and the criticisms of low quality, the findings give hope for those suffering with AMCI and pre-dementia.

The authors write, “In conclusion, the results of this meta-analysis suggest that acupuncture therapy has a significant positive effective on cognitive and memory function in patients with AMCI compared with nimodipine alone. The results also show that acupuncture is effective as an adjunctive treatment to nimodipine for AMCI.”

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.