Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system where the myelin sheaths that surround neurons are attacked by the immune system forming scars which impairs signaling between the brain and spinal cord leading to a multitude of symptoms. The disease has 4 major courses that can be experienced but what course the disease is taking is not always clear. In addition as with many diseases multiple sclerosis appears to have many etiologies.
- Immune Dysregulation: It can be one of autoimmune where the body is attacking specific cells – although there is no consensus on the exact cells being attacked.
- Genetic Predisposition: MS is not a genetic disease but if a first degree relative has the disease it increases the risk of the disease. Likely this is related to epigenetics or how the environment (software) influences the individual genetics (hardware).
- Nutrient or Chemical Influence: It can be caused by environmental factors such as a lack of sunlight thereby causing a deficiency of Vitamin D. Or some clusters of MS may be related to environmental toxins or heavy metal exposure.
- Microbes: There are some theories that illnesses, especially viruses, early in life may contribute to the demyelination process.
I have seen good clinical outcome in patients reported symptom improvement by addressing both diet and nutrient imbalances. However there is no one nutritional approach that is right for everyone and sometimes it is trial and error of different approaches to find something that works. Or the something works for a while and then stops working. But with acupuncture I find that I can almost always get positive results as measured by an MS patient’s symptoms.
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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 at
A telomere is a sequence of molecules (DNA in this case) that are at the ends of chromosomes to protect it from damage during replication. A long telomere equates to a more times it can replicate without errors. Shorter telomeres mean that each time a chromosome replicates it has more of a chance of errors. This is part of the aging process at the cellular level. Short telomeres equate to fewer possible cell replications and thus shorter survival. Long telomeres equate to more cellular replication and longevity.
Telomeres are designed to shorten as we age. Each time a cell replicates the telomere shorten. Telomeres are a way to make sure creatures (human and otherwise) do not live forever. It makes sure we age and eventually our cells die (programmed cell death is known as apoptosis).
Billy Joel sang that only the good die young. However a just released study entitled “Effect of comprehensive lifestyle changes on telomerase activity and telomere length in men with biopsy-proven low-risk prostate cancer: 5-year follow-up of a descriptive pilot study” refutes those concepts.
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Saturday, September 7th, 2013 at
I often say that Chinese Medicine is one of the best modalities to treat chronic gynecological issues such as infertility, PCOS, dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea. There have been several studies recently that showed the benefit of acupuncture for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
This past spring a Swedish study compared using acupuncture to meeting with a therapist for 10-13 weeks. The author’s conclusions also showed that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for PCOS. A fantastic review article on acupuncture and PCOS was recently released. You can download the article here or get it here.
For those that are not interested in reading a research article the conclusion is that there is a lot of evidence on the benefit of acupuncture and PCOS. Given that there is also a lot of good research on diet and PCOS improvement I believe the best approach is not just using acupuncture but to incorporate diet and lifestyle changes to improve PCOS outcomes. As a dietitian I do have post graduate training in PCOS nutritional counseling and am very happy to help you improve your GYN symptoms.
Yours In Health,
George Mandler LDN LicAc
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 at
Acupuncture-Evoked Response in Somatosensory and Prefrontal Cortices Predicts Immediate Pain Reduction in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The linkage between brain response to acupuncture and subsequent analgesia remains poorly understood. Our aim was to evaluate this linkage in chronic pain patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Brain response to electroacupuncture (EA) was evaluated with functional MRI. Subjects were randomized to 3 groups: (1) EA applied at local acupoints on the affected wrist (PC-7 to TW-5), (2) EA at distal acupoints (contralateral ankle, SP-6 to LV-4), and (3) sham EA at nonacupoint locations on the affected wrist. Symptom ratings were evaluated prior to and following the scan. Subjects in the local and distal groups reported reduced pain. Verum EA produced greater reduction of paresthesia compared to sham. Compared to sham EA, local EA produced greater activation in insula and S2 and greater deactivation in ipsilateral S1, while distal EA produced greater activation in S2 and deactivation in posterior cingulate cortex. Brain response to distal EA in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and brain response to verum EA in S1, SMA, and PFC were correlated with pain reduction following stimulation. Thus, while greater activation to verum acupuncture in these regions may predict subsequent analgesia, PFC activation may specifically mediate reduced pain when stimulating distal acupoints.
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 at
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have symptoms of depression and anxiety and impaired health related quality of life (HRQoL). Here we test the post-hoc hypothesis that acupuncture and exercise improve depression and anxiety symptoms and HRQoL in PCOS women.
Seventy-two PCOS women were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of 1) acupuncture (n = 28); 2) exercise (n = 29); or 3) no intervention (control) (n = 15). Outcome measures included: change in Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS-S), Brief Scale for Anxiety (BSA-S), Swedish Short-Form 36 (SF-36), and PCOS Questionnaire (PCOSQ) scores from baseline to after 16-week intervention, and to 16-week post-intervention follow-up.
A reduction in MADRS-S and BSA-S from baseline to 16-weeks post-intervention follow-up was observed for the acupuncture group. The SF-36 domains role physical, energy/vitality, general health perception and the mental component of summary scores improved in the acupuncture group after intervention and at follow-up. Within the exercise group the role physical decreased after treatment, while physical functioning and general health perception scores increased at follow-up. The emotion domain in the PCOSQ improved after 16-weeks of intervention within all three groups, and at follow-up in acupuncture and exercise groups. At follow-up, improvement in the infertility domain was observed within the exercise group.
There was a modest improvement in depression and anxiety scores in women treated with acupuncture, and improved HRQoL scores were noted in both intervention groups. While not a primary focus of the trial, these data suggest continued investigation of mental health outcomes in women treated for PCOS.
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 at
A study out of BYU suggests that getting an infant to finish a bottle may lead to overeating later in life. The full article along with a video is here from the BYU website.
Full article below:
In the long run, encouraging a baby to finish the last ounce in their bottle might be doing more harm than good.
Though the calories soon burn off, a bad habit remains.
Brigham Young University sociology professors Ben Gibbs and Renata Forste found that clinical obesity at 24 months of age strongly traces back to infant feeding.
“If you are overweight at age two, it puts you on a trajectory where you are likely to be overweight into middle childhood and adolescence and as an adult,” said Forste. “That’s a big concern.”
The BYU researchers analyzed data from more than 8,000 families and found that babies predominantly fed formula were 2.5 times more likely to become obese toddlers than babies who were breastfed for the first six months. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at
Acupuncturist generally experience a more difficult challenge relieving PMS pain once the pain has begun its onset. It is typically more effective to treat PMS before the cramps commence. Below is a neat study that had an adequate sample size (n=600) with multiple arms that looked at that question in addition to which points provide the most effective relief.
The study concluded that one acupuncture point, pictured to the right, EX-B8, was most effective. The conclusion is that EX-B8 was more effective used a single point than a multitude of points. The study also demonstrated that it is more effective to treat acupuncture pain before the onset of symptoms.
We learned the name of it as Josen in acupuncture school. My teacher Kiiko Matsumoto always used this point and referred to it as ‘hormones’.
2013 Jul 9;148(2):498-504. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.04.045. Epub 2013 May 15.
Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong, Jinan 250355, China.
To observe the clinical therapeutic effects of acupuncture at single point Shiqizhui (EX-B8) and multi-points in time-varying treatment for primary dysmenorrhea.
Monday, April 15th, 2013 at
This is a meta-analysis which means that gather many different research papers and focus on combining and contrasting different studies to draw a conclusion. In this paper they showed the via functional MRI (fMRI) the brain response for needling is different than other stimulation at the same point.
Acupuncture is a therapeutic treatment that is defined as the insertion of needles into the body at specific points (ie, acupoints). Advances in functional neuroimaging have made it possible to study brain responses to acupuncture; however, previous studies have mainly concentrated on acupoint specificity. We wanted to focus on the functional brain responses that occur because of needle insertion into the body. An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis was carried out to investigate common characteristics of brain responses to acupuncture needle stimulation compared to tactile stimulation. A total of 28 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, which consisted of 51 acupuncture and 10 tactile stimulation experiments, were selected for the meta-analysis. Following acupuncture needle stimulation, activation in the sensorimotor cortical network, including the insula, thalamus, anterior cingulate cortex, and primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, and deactivation in the limbic-paralimbic neocortical network, including the medial prefrontal cortex, caudate, amygdala, posterior cingulate cortex, and parahippocampus, were detected and assessed. Following control tactile stimulation, weaker patterns of brain responses were detected in areas similar to those stated above. The activation and deactivation patterns following acupuncture stimulation suggest that the hemodynamic responses in the brain simultaneously reflect the sensory, cognitive, and affective dimensions of pain.
This article facilitates a better understanding of acupuncture needle stimulation and its effects on specific activity changes in different brain regions as well as its relationship to the multiple dimensions of pain. Future studies can build on this meta-analysis and will help to elucidate the clinically relevant therapeutic effects of acupuncture.