The results showed an decrease in mild cognitive impairment for those patients who used the treatment but other scientists are not wholly convinced of the results.
For the many people who suffer from mild cognitive impairment – commonly experienced before the onset of dementia – could be helped through the process of acupuncture, a new study suggests.
Researchers in China reviewed previous published studies to conclude that acupuncture, whether alone or alongside medication such as nimodipine, may help in assisting memory retention according to the review published in the BMJ journal Acupuncture in Medicine.
Min Deng and Xu-Feng Wang, both from Wuhan University in China, reviewed the results from the study and focused on patients who received treatment three to five times a week for eight weeks in four trials. Another fifth trial lasted for months. They found that the patients who were on a combination of acupuncture and nimodipine, did better in terms of memory loss – assessed through various memory tests – than those on nimodipine alone.
However, many scientists are reluctant to believe the results from the studies are reliable. According to a report by Web MD, Dr. Remy Coeytaux who is a professor and researcher in family medicine and an acupuncture at Duke University believes the results came from poor studies, suggests there is even bias in the interpretations and even the placebo effect could have a role in the results.
“The studies suggest that acupuncture is effective, but my degree of confidence in this finding is low, [but] it’s not zero,” Coeytaux said. “The problem is that “the quality of the studies really was poor, so that puts a damper on the findings, because it’s hard to trust the data from the original studies.”
Despite the reluctance, scientists studying the effects of acupuncture are not ruling out its benefits and are recommending the treatment if properly executed alongside other methods such as meditation which has been known to help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.