Navigation Links
Acupuncture reduces protein linked to stress in first of its kind animal study
Date:12/19/2011

Washington, DC Acupuncture significantly reduces levels of a protein in rats linked to chronic stress, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have found. They say their animal study may help explain the sense of well-being that many people receive from this ancient Chinese therapy.

Published online in December in Experimental Biology and Medicine, the researchers say that if their findings are replicated in human studies, acupuncture would offer a proven therapy for stress, which is often difficult to treat.

"It has long been thought that acupuncture can reduce stress, but this is the first study to show molecular proof of this benefit," says the study's lead author, Ladan Eshevari, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Georgetown's School of Nursing & Health Studies, a part of GUMC.

Eshkevari, who is also a nurse anesthetist as well as a certified acupuncturist, says she conducted the study because many of the patients she treats with acupuncture in the pain clinic reported a "better overall sense of wellbeing and they often remarked that they felt less stress."

While traditional Chinese acupuncture has been thought to relieve stress in fact, the World Health Organization states that acupuncture is useful as adjunct therapy in more than 50 disorders, including chronic stress Eshevari says that no one has biological proof that it does so.

So she designed a study to test the effect of acupuncture on blood levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), a peptide that is secreted by the sympathetic nervous system in humans. This system is involved in the "flight or fight" response to acute stress, resulting in constriction of blood flow to all parts of the body except to the heart, lungs, and brain (the organs most needed to react to danger). Chronic stress, however, can cause elevated blood pressure and cardiac disease.

Eshevari used rats in this study because these animals are often used to research the biological determinants of stress. They mount a stress response when exposed to winter-like cold temperatures for an hour a day.

Eshevari allowed the rats to become familiar with her, and encouraged them to rest by crawling into a small sock that exposed their legs. She very gently conditioned them to become comfortable with the kind of stimulation used in electroacupuncture an acupuncture needle that delivers a painless small electrical charge. This form of acupuncture is a little more intense than manual acupuncture and is often used for pain management, she says, adding "I used electroacupuncture because I could make sure that every rat was getting the same treatment dose."

She then selected a single acupuncture spot to test: Zuslanli (ST 35 on the stomach meridian), which is said to help relieve a variety of conditions including stress. As with the rats, that acupuncture point for humans is on the leg below the knee.

The study utilized four groups of rats for a 14-day experiment: a control group that was not stressed and received no acupuncture; a group that was stressed for an hour a day and did not receive acupuncture; a group that was stressed and received "sham" acupuncture near the tail; and the experimental group that were stressed and received acupuncture to the Zuslanli spot on the leg.

She found NPY levels in the experimental group came down almost to the level of the control group, while the rats that were stressed and not treated with Zuslanli acupuncture had high levels of the protein.

In a second experiment, Eshevari stopped acupuncture in the experimental group but continued to stress the rats for an additional four days, and found NPY levels remained low. "We were surprised to find what looks to be a protective effect against stress," she says.

Eshevari is continuing to study the effect of acupuncture with her rat models by testing another critical stress pathway. Preliminary results look promising, she says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Acupuncture Might Ease Chemotherapy Pain
2. Acupuncture Safe for Children, Review Finds
3. UT MD Anderson study finds acupuncture can prevent radiation-induced chronic dry mouth
4. Acupuncture of benefit to those with unexplained symptoms
5. Acupuncture May Help Ease Hot Flashes Tied to Prostate Cancer Treatment
6. Acupuncture relieves hot flashes from prostate cancer treatment
7. Acupuncture is equally effective with simulated needles
8. Acupuncture for pain no better than placebo and not without harm
9. UT MD Anderson receives grant for study of acupuncture in cancer
10. Acupuncture May Take Edge Off Menopause Symptoms
11. Women with PCOS benefit from acupuncture and exercise
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... Coral Springs, FL (PRWEB) , ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... on the environmental impact of American businesses. , The increasingly modern world of ... rely more often on non-renewable energy sources such as oil and coal, which pollutes ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... February 13, 2016 , ... In ... foot forward. They’ll groom themselves to perfection, go out of their way to be ... date – just take a look at any online dating profile. , A ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The law firm of Morrow, ... Parishes. The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue a ... seek employment within these two parishes. , “We have available jobs in St. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, ... ... in Store?, Feb. 29, 2016 — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, ... burner issue in the life cycle of pharmaceutical products, garnering increased attention from ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... T.E.N., a technology and information ... ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and winners of the ISE® Awards for both ... and Awards Gala on March 15, 2016 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016 Potrero Medical, Inc., the ... to announce the appointment of George M. Rapier, III ... San Antonio, TX , WellMed is one of the ... patients and HMO members in Texas ... 1990 out of his own internal medicine practice, he has ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the ... other birth tissues, human skin and bone, and patent-protected ... products and therapies, announced today that it will present ... in New York , NY.  Parker ... Senken , Chief Financial Officer and Chris Cashman ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  AfterPill.com is reporting ... recommend alcohol abstinence for all women who are at ... the U.S. each year and raises the risks of ... --> According to the Guttmacher Institute, ... of women of child-bearing age, who have sex without ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: