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Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2011 Jan;31(1):3-6.

[Acupuncture for post-stroke depression: a randomized controlled trial].

[Article in Chinese]

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Psychiatric Department, Affiliated Mental Health Center of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.



To explore the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for post-stroke depression (PSD).


The randomized, double-blind control study was designed. 43 post-stroke patients with current major depression episode (DSM-IV) were randomly assigned to an observation group (23 cases) and a control group (20 cases). The conventional symptomatic, supportive and anti-infection treatment in neurological internal medicine was applied to all of the cases in two groups. In observation group, acupuncture was applied to Baihui (GV 20), Yintang (EX-HN 3), Sishencong (EX-HN 1), Taichong (LR 3), etc. Additionally, the placebo was taken orally. In control group, acupuncture was applied to non-acupoint spots (5 mm lateral to the acupoints selected in observation group) with shallow needling technique. Moreover, Fluoxetine was taken orally. The treatment lasted for 6 weeks. Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD), Asberg antidepressant side effect scale (ASES), adverse response of acupuncture and efficacy were compared between two groups.


The total effective rate was 73.9% (17/23) in observation group and was 80.0% (16/20) in control group, indicating equivalent efficacy between two groups. After treatment, HAMD score was reduced remarkably as compared with that before treatment in two groups (P < 0.05). ASES scores in 4 weeks of treatment and after treatment in observation group and ASES score after treatment in control group were reduced remarkably as compared with those before treatment (all P < 0.05). ASES scores in 4 weeks of treatment and after treatment in observation group were reduced much more remarkably as compared with those in control group (both P < 0.05). The incidences of adverse response of acupuncture were 13.0% (3/23) and 15.0% (3/20) respectively in observation group and control group, indicating that the adverse response was transient and had not recurred after symptomatic measures.


Acupuncture for PSD is as effective as fluoxetine, without obvious drug-induced adverse reaction involved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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