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

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.


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

Page: 1 2

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