Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Centre for Complementary Medicine Research, Department of Internal Medicine II, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 05/2005; 293(17):2118-25. DOI: 10.1001/jama.293.17.2118
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Acupuncture is widely used to prevent migraine attacks, but the available evidence of its benefit is scarce.
To investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture and with no acupuncture in patients with migraine.
Three-group, randomized, controlled trial (April 2002-January 2003) involving 302 patients (88% women), mean (SD) age of 43 (11) years, with migraine headaches, based on International Headache Society criteria. Patients were treated at 18 outpatient centers in Germany.
Acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or waiting list control. Acupuncture and sham acupuncture were administered by specialized physicians and consisted of 12 sessions per patient over 8 weeks. Patients completed headache diaries from 4 weeks before to 12 weeks after randomization and from week 21 to 24 after randomization.
Difference in headache days of moderate or severe intensity between the 4 weeks before and weeks 9 to 12 after randomization.
Between baseline and weeks 9 to 12, the mean (SD) number of days with headache of moderate or severe intensity decreased by 2.2 (2.7) days from a baseline of 5.2 (2.5) days in the acupuncture group compared with a decrease to 2.2 (2.7) days from a baseline of 5.0 (2.4) days in the sham acupuncture group, and by 0.8 (2.0) days from a baseline if 5.4 (3.0) days in the waiting list group. No difference was detected between the acupuncture and the sham acupuncture groups (0.0 days, 95% confidence interval, -0.7 to 0.7 days; P = .96) while there was a difference between the acupuncture group compared with the waiting list group (1.4 days; 95% confidence interval; 0.8-2.1 days; P<.001). The proportion of responders (reduction in headache days by at least 50%) was 51% in the acupuncture group, 53% in the sham acupuncture group, and 15% in the waiting list group.
Acupuncture was no more effective than sham acupuncture in reducing migraine headaches although both interventions were more effective than a waiting list control.

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Available from: Wolfgang Weidenhammer, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "It differed from the ‘full’ or ‘true’ acupuncture intervention with regard to point location, needling depth, and the avoidance of ‘de qi’ and manual needle stimulation. Similar interventions have been used in a variety of previously published trials including all ART trials [18,19,23]. We think a pragmatic comparison between an acupuncture treatment lege artis and a form that is clearly not following standard acupuncture theory and practice appears to be an acceptable compromise. "
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    ABSTRACT: In a large randomised trial in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), acupuncture was superior compared to sham acupuncture and rescue medication. The aim of this paper is to describe the characteristics of the trial's participating physicians and to describe the trial intervention in accordance with the STRICTA (Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture) guidelines, to make details of the trial intervention more transparent to researchers and physicians. ACUSAR (Acupuncture in Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis) was a three-armed, randomised, controlled multicentre trial. 422 SAR patients were randomised to semi-standardised acupuncture plus rescue medication (RM, cetirizine), sham acupuncture plus RM or RM alone. We sent a questionnaire to trial physicians in order to evaluate their characteristics regarding their education about and experience in providing acupuncture. During the trial, acupuncturists were asked to diagnose all of their patients according to Chinese Medicine (CM) as a basis for the semi-standardised, individualized intervention in the acupuncture group. Every acupuncture point used in this trial had to be documented after each session RESULTS: Acupuncture was administered in outpatient clinics by 46 (mean age 47 +/- 10 years; 24 female/ 22 male) conventionally-trained medical doctors (67% with postgraduate specialization such as internal or family medicine) with additional extensive acupuncture training (median 500 hours (1st quartile 350, 3rd quartile 1000 hours with 73% presenting a B-diploma in acupuncture training (350 hours)) and experience (mean 14 years in practice). The most reported traditional CM diagnosis was 'wind-cold invading the lung' (37%) and 'wind-heat invading the lung' (37%), followed by 'lung and spleen qi deficiency' (9%). The total number of needles used was higher in the acupuncture group compared to the sham acupuncture group (15.7 +/- 2.5 vs. 10.0 +/- 1.6). The trial interventions were provided by well educated and experienced acupuncturists. The different number of needles in both intervention groups could be possibly a reason for the better clinical effect in SAR patients. For future trials it might be more appropriate to ensure that acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups should each be treated by a similar number of needles.Trial registration: NCT00610584.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 04/2014; 14(1):128. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-14-128 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    • "There are several limitations in this study. The decision of an appropriate control procedure for clinical studies on acupuncture is a particular challenge [7]. Previous acupuncture RCTs suggested that needling of acupoints was as effective as nonacupoints, in particular for pain relief, although both interventions were more effective than a waiting list control [21,33,34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Deqi is a central concept in traditional Chinese acupuncture. We performed a secondary analysis on data from a larger randomized controlled trial (RCT) in order to assess the effect of acupuncture on deqi traits and pain intensity in primary dysmenorrhea. A total of 60 primary dysmenorrhea patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. Acupuncture was given at SP6, GB39 or nonacupoint. Subjective pain was measured by a 100-mm visual analogue scale (VAS) before and after acupuncture. The Massachusetts General Hospital acupuncture sensation scales (MASS) with minor modification was used to rate deqi sensations during acupuncture. The results showed that VAS scores of pain after acupuncture were significantly decreased comparing to before acupuncture treatment in all three groups (P = 0.000). However, no significant differences were found among three groups at the beginning or end of acupuncture treatment (P = 0.928, P = 0.419). There was no statistical difference among three groups in terms of intensity of deqi feeling. The types of sensation were similar across the groups with only minor differences among them. Trial registration number: ISRCTN24863192.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 02/2014; 14(1):69. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-14-69 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    • ") [14] "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. The objective of this study was to identify potential biomarkers of electroacupuncture (EA) on relieving acute migraine through metabolomic study. Methods. EA treatments were performed on both acupoints and nonacupoints on the nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced migraine rat model. NMR experiments and multivariate analysis were used for metabolomic analysis. Results. The number of head-scratching, the main ethology index of migraine rat model, was significantly increased (P < 0.01) after NTG injection. The plasma metabolic profile of model group was distinct from that of the control group. Glutamate was significantly increased (P < 0.01), whereas lipids were significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in model rats. After EA at acupoints, the metabolic profile of model rats was normalized, with decreased glutamate (P < 0.05) and increased lipids (P < 0.01). In contrast, EA at nonacupoints did not restore the metabolic profile, but with six metabolites significantly different from acupoints group. Interestingly, the number of head-scratching and glutamate level were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) after receiving EA at both acupoints and nonacupoints. Conclusions. EA at acupoints may relieve acute migraine by restoring the plasma metabolic profile and plasma glutamate, while EA at nonacupoints may modestly relieve acute migraine by decreasing plasma glutamate.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:659268. DOI:10.1155/2014/659268 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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