Research

Electroacupuncture Promotes Central Nervous System‐Dependent Release of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (click to read full article)

In this study, we show how the use of electroacupuncture (EA) at specific points stimulates mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) release into peripheral blood through the activation of the nervous system. EA could be used to aid tissue repair through increasing the levels of circulating MSC. Moreover, MSC can be harvested directly from the blood of EA‐treated humans and animals and expanded ex vivo. Thus, EA may be a low cost, low risk method for MSC harvest for autologous stem cell therapy.

 


Acupuncture for paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation: An effective non-pharmacological tool? (click to read full article)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stimulation of the Neiguan spot has been utilized to treat palpitations and symptoms related to different cardiovascular diseases. We evaluated whether acupuncture might exert an antiarrhythmic effect on patients with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). Two sets of data are reviewed. The first included patients with persistent AF who underwent electrical cardioversion to restore sinus rhythm. The second included patients with symptomatic paroxysmal AF. All subjects had normal ventricular function. Acupuncture treatment consisted of 10 acupuncture sessions on a once a week basis with puncturing of the Neiguan, Shenmen and Xinshu spots. In patients with persistent AF, the recurrence rate after acupuncture treatment was similar to that observed in patients on amiodarone, but significantly smaller than that measured after sham acupuncture treatment or in the absence of any antiarrhythmic drugs. In a small group of patients with paroxysmal AF, acupuncture resulted in a significant reduction in the number and duration of symptomatic AF episodes. In conclusion, we observed that acupuncture of the Neiguan spot was associated with an antiarrhythmic effect, which was evident in patients with both persistent and paroxysmal AF. These preliminary data, observed in 2 small groups of AF patients, need to be validated in a larger population but strongly suggest that acupuncture may be an effective non-invasive and safe antiarrhythmic tool in the management of these patients.