Acupuncture Eases Cerebral Palsy - New CT/MRI Research

on 06 July 2013.

New research reveals that adding acupuncture treatments to conventional rehabilitative training significantly improves the efficacy of treatment for children with cerebral palsy. Acupuncture treats cerebral palsy and is confirmed by this and other studies. A special approach to the acupuncture treatment involved the application of the clearing the governing vessel technique and the refreshing the mind technique. The addition of these two acupuncture protocols to conventional rehabilitative training increased the effective rate of medical care from 55% for children receiving only rehabilitative training to 87% for children receiving both acupuncture and rehabilitative training.

The results tested for increases in motor function, improvements in development and improvements in the brain. CT (CAT Scan) and MRI neuroimaging confirmed that acupuncture enhanced improvements in anatomical structures in the brain. These improvements were higher in the acupuncture group than in the control group receiving only the rehabilitative care.

The sample size was comprised of 200 children with cerebral palsy. They were randomized into two equally sized groups. Group 1 received acupuncture plus rehabilitative training and group 2 received only standard rehabilitative training. The acupuncture techniques used in the study involved the application of 13 acupoints located on the Governing Vessel (Du Channel) combined with UB23 (Shenshu), K3 (Taixi), GB34 (Yanglingquan), ST36 (Zusanli) and SP6 (Sanyinjiao). The application of this series of acupuncture points was labeled the clearing the Governing Vessel procedure. The refreshing the mind technique was added as well. This involved the threading of GV24 (Shenting) towards GV21 (Qianding), GV21 towards GV20 (Baihui) and GV20 towards GV17 (Naohu). In addition, needling Sishengcong (Ex-HN-1) was applied to complete the refreshing the mind procedure.

Cerebral palsy is a movement, muscle and postural disorder due to brain dysfunction. This is caused by injury and/or developmental issues of the immature brain. Often, the brain issues are caused prior to birth. In general, treatment is focused on improvements in functional abilities such as improvements in walking, reflexes and rigidity issues of the limbs and trunk. Secondary conditions are often associated with cerebral palsy and may include a variety of disabilities associated with brain development issues. The discovery of acupuncture as an effective treatment modality for the treatment of cerebral palsy conclusively demonstrates improvements in the brain and functional abilities for children with cerebral palsy. This is confirmed by an earlier CT and nuclear medicine investigation.

An earlier study of 100 children with cerebral palsy divided the subjects into two equal groups. The design of the this prior study was similar to that of the new study. The children in group 1 received the application of the same acupuncture procedures that were used in the new study combined with rehabilitative training. Group 2 received rehabilitative training only. SPECT, a form of nuclear medicine tomographic imaging using gamma rays, and CT were used to evaluate improvements in the brain. The acupuncture plus rehabilitative training group had a total effective rate of 84% whereas the rehabilitative only group had a 52% effective rate. The improvement rates in brain development, reductions of brain atrophy and neuronal brain metabolic functions were significantly higher in the acupuncture group as confirmed by CT and SPECT brain neuroimaging.

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References:
LIU, Zhen-huan, Yan-chao QI, Pei-guang PAN, Mei-mei MA, Xu-guang QIAN, and Wen-jie FU. "Clinical Observation on Treatment of Clearing the Governor Vessel and Refreshing the Mind Needling in Neural Development and Remediation of Children with Cerebral Palsy." Chin J Integr Med 19, no. 7 (2013): 505-509.

Liu, Zhen-huan, Yan-chao Qi, Pei-guang Pan, Mei Mei Ma, Xu-guang Qian, Wen-jie Fu, and Hong-yan Zhang. "Clinical observation on effect of clearing the governor vessel and refreshing the mind needling on head SPECT and CT scanning of kids with cerebral palsy." Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science 5 (2007): 209-212.