Acupuncture appears to be effective for the mild cognitive impairment that is a precursor for dementia, when used as an alternative or in combination with other treatment, a new study finds.
Previous studies have provided evidence that acupuncture is beneficial for the treatment of dementia or AMCI by reducing the symptoms. The researchers aimed to analyze current evidence to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of acupuncture as a straightforward and reliable technique for AMCI.
Included in the analysis were relevant clinical trials from Western and Chinese databases comparing acupuncture and medical treatment published up to July 2015.
Results from all pooled data showed that participants receiving acupuncture had better outcomes than those receiving nimodipine. They achieved better scores on two of the principal tests used to assess AMCI and dementia: the mini-mental state exam and picture recognition.
Acupuncture in conjunction with nimodipine significantly improved mini-mental state exam scores when compared with nimodipine alone.
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.”