Acupuncture effect on ALS (Lou Gehrig's) in animal models

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a progressive motor neuron condition that leads to serious disability and, in most cases, is ultimately fatal.  Acupuncture is used clinically to help manage the symptoms of ALS and patients often do very well with treatment - often prolonging their lives by minimizing current symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.

 

A recent study from Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine uses hG93ASOD1 mice (mice commonly used to study ALS) to look at the effect of acupuncture on inflammation and the underlying causes of motor neuron death in ALS and other related conditions.  Using electro acupuncture on ST 36, a point with well understood effects on the immune system generally, researchers found that motor activity was significantly improved and the levels of neuronal cell loss were less in the treatment group vs. the control model.  

These types of studies, while limited, help to illustrate some of the processes we find in clinical situations around the world.  Certainly any positive change for conditions as detrimental as ALS are greatly welcomed particularly if they come easily and free of side effects as acupuncture provides.

The study discussed in this note is:  J Neuroimmunol. 2010 May 9.  Electroacupuncture reduces neuroinflammatory responses in symptomatic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model.  Yang EJ, Jiang JH, Lee SM, Hwang HS, Lee MS, Choi SM.  Department of Standard Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 483 Expo-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-811, Republic of Korea.


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