ACUPUNCTURE’S ROLE IN MANAGING EPILEPSY Presented by Maoshing Ni, Ph.D., D.O.M., L.Ac. Ban B. Wong, M.S., L.Ac. TAO OF WELLNESS
Can Acupuncture Help Epilepsy?
Acupuncture May Reduce the Frequency and Severity of Epileptic Seizures
Acupuncture May Decrease Post-Seizure Symptoms
Acupuncture May Also Reduce Side-Effects of Anti-Seizure Medications
A study of 1,315 patients treated with acupuncture along with herbal medicine over a two year period, conducted by Fushan Epilepsy Hospital in China, as published by its director, Dr. Shoyin Wei
1,087 (82%) cases received complete remission.
170 (13%) cases experienced substantial decrease in frequency and rate of seizure episodes.
58 (4%) cases experienced no change.
One German study involved 98 people with epilepsy over 12-18 months, 65 people showed marked improvements with an absence of seizures during a one-year period without drugs. Afterwards, patients received acupuncture maintenance treatments once a week over 2-3 months. Relapses occurred in 5 cases.
Epilepsia, May/June 1991, pp. 289-302. 2. Fisher, M.V., "Acupuncture Therapy in the Outpatient Department of the Heidelberg University Clinic." Anaesthetist. 31(1):25-32, 1982.
One U.S. study of acupuncture on 5 dogs with seizure disorder, all had decreased numbers of seizures after being treated with acupuncture. Three continued to have fewer seizures with lower levels of anticonvulsants; the other two dogs also had a reduction in seizures.
Klide, A.M. et al. "Acupuncture Therapy for the Treatment of Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy in Five Dogs." Acupuncture Electrotherapy Research, 12 (1), 1987, pp. 71-4.
What is Acupuncture?
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Studies have shown acupuncture to produce endocrine and neurological responses as well as helpful in counteracting the effects of stress
fMRI study of P6 at Harvard Medical School showed direct hypothalamus activities
fMRI study of G37 at UCI showed direct visual cortex activities
Studies show acupuncture increases cholecystokinin level in the central nervous system--a deficiency of which can cause seizure
A 7-year-old female patient in the pediatric intensive care unit with intractable seizures for 6 weeks.
ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT OF PEDIATRIC STATUS EPILEPTICUS
Y.C. Lin, MD, MPH, Dept of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine
and G. Hong, MD, Oregon Academy of Medical Acupuncture ,
Acupuncture: 3 treatments for the first week, then 2 times weekly for 4 weeks. Each treatment was 10 minutes long, and electrical stimulation was performed at low frequency.
Before Acupuncture : EEG showed periods of burst suppression alternating with periods of continuous seizure activity.
After Acupuncture : EEG showed moderate generalized cortical dysfunction with no electrographic seizures, and no overt seizure activity was noted; more obvious change at the second treatment.
Result : Patient was weaned off phenobarbital drip and was transferred to the regular ward. Following discontinuation of her tracheotomy tube, she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility.
Seizure is viewed in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
1. One of the four major disorders affecting children
2. The first known documentation of epilepsy appeared in the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine (700-221 B.C.)
3. TCM considers Seizure as “Wind” generated by extremes of Heat or Cold
Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Epilepsy were the topic of a recent three-day course at New York University School of Medicine in New York City
“ There are many approaches to complementary and alternative therapies and that many patients [with epilepsy] benefit from the additional treatments.”
Orrin Devinsky, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, Director NYU-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
“ Alternative therapies can include …. aromatherapy to yoga, hypnosis to massage therapy, pet therapy to magnetic stimulation, or acupuncture to herbs.”
Traditional Chinese Herbs
Raises Seizure Threshold and inhibits development of epilpsy signs on EEG
Duration of effect in stopping seizure after halting treatment is longer than phenobarbital
Stopped seizure in induced epilepticus in guinea pigs
Regulates blood pressure
Current Research on Herbal Medicine
Dr. Steven Schachter, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Associate Director of Clinical Research at the HMS Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, recently received a research grant from The Epilepsy Project to lead a study on East Asian herbs as a potential source of new anti-seizure medications.
“ The main goal of the study is to scientifically study herbs and combinations of herbs that have traditionally been used over a number of centuries in East Asia to treat seizures.The ultimate goal is to discover new compounds that could possibly undergo further testing in people with epilepsy.”
- Steven Schachter, MD
China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Keio University, Japan.
Harvard Medical School Division for Research and Education in Complementary & Integrative Medical Therapies (David Eisenberg, M.D., Steve Schachter, M.D.)