Acupuncture is effective to attenuate stress and stimulate lymphocyte proliferation in the elderly

Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Research, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre (RS), Brazil.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.03). 10/2010; 484(1):47-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.08.016
Source: PubMed


Acupuncture has increasingly been used to treat many conditions, including psychiatric disorders and immunological-related disorders. However, the effects of acupuncture as stress management and immune functions in the elderly are largely unclear. Here we investigated the effects of acupuncture on stress-related psychological symptoms and cellular immunity in young adults and elderly subjects. The acupuncture treatment consisted of six sessions and the procedures included the insertion of needles at bilateral acupoints LI4, SP6 and ST36. Psychological variables (depression, anxiety and stress) were investigated by means of self-assessment inventories. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and cultured in vitro to measure mitogen-induced T-cell proliferation as well as cellular sensitivity to dexamethasone. All data were assessed before and after the intervention. Acupuncture was able to significantly reduce depression (p<0.001), anxiety (p<0.001) and stress (p<0.001) scores. The intervention also increased T-cell proliferation, with greater intensity in the elderly group (p=0.004). No changes in cellular sensitivity to dexamethasone were observed following acupuncture. We conclude that acupuncture was efficient to attenuate the psychological distress as well as to increase an important feature of cellular immunosenescence.

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    • "PSS, perceived stress scale; BDI, Beck depression inventory. our group, using a similar protocol, showed that acupuncture was highly effective for restoring T-cell proliferation, an important feature of cellular senescence, to those levels found in young adults [38]. However, no changes in peripheral lymphocyte subsets were observed here following the intervention. "
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    ABSTRACT: Poor sleep in elderly populations is associated with detrimental neuropsychological, and physiological changes including premature immunosenescence and reduced brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Here, we evaluated the effects of acupuncture on sleep quality, psychological distress and immunosenescence in elderly, as well as effects on BDNF levels. Forty-eight community-dwelling elderly were randomized into true or placebo acupuncture, and intervention consisted of ten sessions. Sleep quality, depression and stress scores were evaluated by the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI), beck depression inventory (BDI II) and perceived stress scale (PSS), respectively, before and after the intervention. Lymphocyte subsets commonly associated with stress, sleep impairment and immunosenescence were phenotyped by flow cytometry. BDNF plasma levels were assessed by ELISAs. Acupuncture was highly effective for improving sleep quality (-53.23%; p<0.01), depression (-48.41%; p<0.01), and stress (-25.46%; p<0.01). However, neither lymphocyte subpopulations nor BDNF levels changed following the intervention. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Neuroscience Letters 12/2014; 587. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2014.12.016 · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    • "This alternative therapy is known to modulate biochemical balances in the central nervous system (CNS) and to maintain homeostasis [13]. SP6 (Sanyinjiao) is one of the most commonly used acupoints in acupuncture treatment to alleviate psychic and psychosomatic dysfunction such as depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders [14]. Recent animal studies have found that acupuncture and low frequency electroacupuncture stimulation exhibit antidepressant-like activity in the forced swimming test (FST), reduce anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM) test, and restore the expression levels of neuropeptide Y and c-Fos in the brain [15] [16] [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether acupuncture stimulation attenuates withdrawal-induced behaviors in the rats during protracted abstinence following chronic morphine exposure. To do this, male rats were first exposed to morphine gradually from 20 to 100 mg/kg for 5 days, and subsequently naloxone was injected once to extend despair-related withdrawal behaviors for 4 weeks. Acupuncture stimulation was performed once at the SP6 (Sanyinjiao) acupoint on rat's; hind leg for 5 min during protracted abstinence from morphine. The acupuncture stimulation significantly decreased despair-like behavior deficits in the forced swimming test and low sociability in the open-field test as well as increased open-arm exploration in the elevated plus maze test in the last week of 4-week withdrawal period. Also the acupuncture stimulation significantly suppressed the increase in the hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) expression, the decrease in the tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the locus coeruleus, and the decrease in the hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA expression, induced by repeated injection of morphine. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the acupuncture stimulation of SP6 significantly reduces withdrawal-induced behaviors, induced by repeated administration of morphine in rats, possibly through the modulation of hypothalamic CRF and the central noradrenergic system.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:216503. DOI:10.1155/2014/216503 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Acupuncture, a mind-body technique that is also classified as manipulative body-based technique and energy-based technique, has been shown to ameliorate distress in healthy adults [107]. It has also been found to reduce fatigue and distress in patients with advanced breast and ovarian cancer [108]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A cancer diagnosis elicits strong psychophysiological reactions that characterize stress. Stress is experienced by all patients but is usually not discussed during patient-healthcare professional interaction; thus underdiagnosed, very few are referred to support services. The prevalence of CAM use in patients with history of cancer is growing. The purpose of the paper is to review the aspects of cancer-related stress and interventions of commonly used complementary and alternative techniques/products for amelioration of cancer-related stress. Feasibility of intervention of several CAM techniques and products commonly used by cancer patients and survivors has been established in some cancer populations. Efficacy of some CAM techniques and products in reducing stress has been documented as well as stress-related symptoms in patients with cancer such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, acupuncture, energy-based techniques, and physical activity. Much of the research limitations include small study samples and variety of intervention length and content. Efficacy and safety of many CAM techniques and some herbs and vitamin B and D supplements need to be confirmed in further studies using scientific methodology. Several complementary and alternative medicine therapies could be integrated into standard cancer care to ameliorate cancer-related stress.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2012; 2012(2):979213. DOI:10.1155/2012/979213 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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