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:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... With ... pharmaceutical, medical and food industries. Aside from its GMP accreditation, Validation Center is ... of successfully certified products, services and staff. , Validation Center is ISO17025 accredited ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Louis, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... cost, quality and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member ... a focus on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... that has a significant negative impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team ... results, published online this week in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... , ... An April Gallup survey found rising health care costs to be ... Health Senior Living (SHSL) may not share those same worries thanks to a ... the year, while holding the line on increasing their contributions, including premiums, deductibles and ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... The Lung ... host a six-week smoking cessation class starting June 6 at their clinic in downtown ... http://www.gnahec.org . , Additionally, the Lung Institute has created a free downloadable 4 Week ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 ... 2016"market research report that provides an overview on ... analysis at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug ... (RoA) and molecule type, along with latest updates, ... reviews key players involved in the therapeutic development ...
(Date:5/24/2016)...   , Study met both ... superiority in , Excellent plus Good ... of the ascending colon   , ... today announced new positive data from the phase III MORA study ... 2 litre PEG with ascorbate. The study met both primary endpoints ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Celsion Corporation ... development company, today provided an update on its ... clinical trial combining GEN-1, the Company,s DNA-based immunotherapy, ... of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced ovarian cancer who ... surgery.  GEN-1 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid vector ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: