Is acupuncture efficacious therapy in Parkinson's disease?



Is acupuncture efficacious therapy in Parkinson's disease?


Journal Publication





Research Type

Systematic Review



This review aims to assess the evidences from recent clinical studies regarding the efficacy of acupuncture on Parkinson's disease. Relevant literatures were searched from 13 databases under the condition "published between 2000 and 2012" with language restrictions. Eleven studies were indentified including 6 randomized clinical trials (RCTs), 4 uncontrolled open label studies, and 1 crossover trial. The number of trials, and their total sample size were not enough to prove the favorable effects of acupuncture. Five studies failed to report proper diagnostic criteria for enrollment. Two of the 6 RCTs did not include the randomization methods and whether the assessors were blinded. Drop-outs were unreported or insufficiently reported in 2 trials. Three RCTs compared the effects of acupuncture with placebo acupuncture. Two of these trials failed to show superiority of acupuncture. One RCT showed beneficial effects of constitutional acupuncture, but not needle acupuncture. Three RCTs that assessed the effects of acupuncture adjunctive to conventional drugs reported beneficial effects of acupuncture. The placebo response to acupuncture was not excluded, because there was no control acupuncture group in these studies. Two uncontrolled studies showed significant positive effects of acupuncture, while other two uncontrolled trials failed. There were no recognized validated acupuncture treatment protocols and a lack of consensus on the location of acupoints. Safety and tolerability were reported only in 5 studies. No study evaluated the long-lasting effect of acupuncture following cessation of the treatment. To date, the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating Parkinson's disease is not convincing. There are needs for further studies with improved methodological quality.



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has health condition studied

Nervous System Diseases

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