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Posts Tagged: memory

“The Long Goodbye” — Acupuncture Beneficial for Alzheimer’s Sufferers

 

Acupuncture Can Help with Alzheimer's

Acupuncture Can Help with Alzheimer’s

There is good news for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and someone develops it every 67 seconds. It is the sixth leading cause of death.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia diagnosed in the aging population worldwide. 

It is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. The cause of Alzheimer’s is still not clear, and there is no cure.  The search for new treatment is made ever more urgent due to increasing population aging.

But there is help and hope for those who suffer from it. Researchers around the world are working on a number of treatment strategies that might change the course of the disease. And acupuncture is one of them.

A new study using MRI imaging revealed that acupuncture enhances brain activity in Alzheimer disease patients. Researchers investigated the effects of two important acupuncture points on the human brains of Alzheimer disease patients using fMRI imaging with a SIEMENS verio 3-Tesla scanner. After acupuncture, MRI imaging revealed that AD patients had significant improvements in connectivity for both frontal and lateral temporal regions of the hippocampus. The researchers note, “Due to the cognitive impairment associated with AD, acupuncture on specific acupoints can modulate the cerebral blood flow and strengthen the hippocampal connectivity in AD patients.” The study suggests that acupuncture may provide important clinical benefits to AD patients.

Acupuncture can also assist with the emotional toll of Alzheimer’s. Another study conducted  by a senior scientist, Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo at Wellesley College concluded that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for anxiety and depression in persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

The subjects in the study were 11 patients, average age 76 years, diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease or Vascular Dementia. Assessments were completed by the research team neurologist, psychologist, and acupuncturist, as well as by family caregivers and the subject. A number of standardized tests were used to measure pre- and post-treatment anxiety, depression, and cognitive functioning. Researchers concluded that acupuncture is very helpful for reducing anxiety and depression associated with Alzheimer’s. They also found that the patients had a positive change in mood, experienced more energy, and received relief for age-related pain complaints like arthritis. Decrease the Pain of Arthritis and Increase Mobility with Acupuncture

Knowledge is power. Check over this list from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease 

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2. Challenging in planning and solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality

If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or someone you know, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. If the disease is detected early, medical intervention can extend the period during which patients and their families can enjoy a relatively high quality of life.

Interested in how acupuncture can help you or a loved one? Please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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References:
Wang, Zhiqun, Peipeng Liang, Zhilian Zhao, Ying Han, Haiqing Song, Jianyang Xu, Jie Lu, and Kuncheng Li. “Acupuncture Modulates Resting State Hippocampal Functional Connectivity in Alzheimer Disease.” PloS one 9, no. 3 (2014): e91160.

Emerson Lombardo N, et al, Acupuncture to treat anxiety and depression in people with Alzheimer’s disease and with vascular dementia: a pilot feasibility and effectiveness trial. Presented at World Alzheimer’s Conference, Washington DC, July 9-18, 2000 and at Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley, Massachusetts, June 7, 2000.

Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org

Photo by: Rhoda Baer

Don’t Want Your Memories All Alone in the Moonlight? Acupuncture Smartens Your Brain and Decreases Stress!

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Smarten Your Brain with Acupuncture!

Brain power is awesome until it fails you. Who hasn’t spaced on a name right before an important introduction?  And almost everyone has locked themselves out of either their car or their home. Stress, anxiety, or depression can make a person more forgetful, as well as exhaustion.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine the mind (Shen) embodies consciousness, emotions and thought. Shen influences long term memory, the ability to think clearly, contributes to wisdom and presides over activities that involve mental and creative functions. When the mind is healthy we are able to think clearly. And remember things like our mother’s birthday.

When the mind is unhealthy or unbalanced we experience confusion, poor memory, and clouded thinking. Disharmony of the mind often manifests as anxiety, insomnia, muddled thinking, forgetfulness and chronic restlessness. It has been found that acupuncture has proved to be helpful for improving memory function, and assist in maintaining balance and reducing stress. And reduces the need for sad Moms and bouquets of apology flowers.

In fact, a new study measures that acupuncture biochemically reduces memory loss due to chronic stress. Researchers applied acupuncture at acupuncture point P6, near to the center of the wrist crease on the anterior surface of the forearm. The researchers measured biochemical and behavioral changes in laboratory rats. It was found that acupuncture stimulation at P6 increased AchE (acetylcholinesterase) chemical reaction activity in the brain.

AchE is an enzyme that converts the neurotransmitter acetylcholine into choline and acetate and plays an important role in synaptic transmission. The study shows that rats exposed to chronic mild stresshad significantly lower AchE activity in the hippocampus of the brain. It was discovered that acupuncture at P6 increased chemical reactivity of AchE in the hippocampus compared with the control group.

The researchers also conducted a passive avoidance test (PAT) to compare the biochemical findings with behavioral examination. The acupuncture group performed better than the control group for the PAT. The researchers concluded that acupuncture at P6 improves memory, increases AchE reactivity in the hippocampus and restores learning and memory after biochemical and behavioral impairments due to chronic mild stress.

Now when we apply that to humans, we can see improvement in reducing stress, remembering your wife’s name and walking out the door with keys in hand!

Improving your diet can also help with improving memory function. Here are some suggestions!

Nutritional Therapy for Poor Memory

  • Vitamin C and Vitamin E are important antioxidants that can improve cell functioning in the brain and protect it by reducing oxidative damage.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help protect nerve cell membranes.
  • Zinc helps with proper nerve functioning. Take with Vitamin B6 for a synergistic effect.
  • Ginkgo Biloba (40 mg three times a day) helps support circulation in the brain.
  • Flavonoids can protect against oxidative damage (and may reverse) in the brain.

People who are worried about memory problems should see their doctor. If the doctor believes that the problem is serious, then a thorough physical, neurological, and psychiatric evaluation may be recommended.

For more information about how acupuncture may help you, visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Sources:

“The effects of acupuncture (PC6) on chronic mild stress-induced memory loss.” Hyunyoung Kima, Hyun-Jung Parkb, Hyun Soo Shimd, Seung-Moo Hanc, Dae-Hyun Hahmd, Hyejung Leed, Insop Shimd. Neuroscience Letters. Volume 488, Issue 3, 25 1-2011, p 225-228.

Photo: Reading Girl by Kathrym Bennett