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Acupunct Electrother Res. 2012;37(1):1-12.

Contra-lateral needling in the treatment of hemiplegia due to acute ischemic stroke.

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Department of Neurology, People's Hospital ofNingxia Hui Autonomous Region, PR China.


Contra-lateral Needling, a traditional acupuncture technique, means contra-lateral acupuncture by inserting needles into acupoints on the relative healthy side of the body opposite to the injured side to treat diseases such as apoplexy with high efficacy. However, there are not many well-designed and controlled clinical evidences found in the literature. Therefore the present study was designed to assess its therapeutic responses in the treatment of hemiplegia due to acute ischemic stroke. A clinical study was conducted with randomly selected 106 patients who have acute ischemic stroke confirmed by MRI. The subjects were assigned into 3 groups: 45 in the contra-lateral needling group received acupuncture on the unaffected limbs; 45 in the conventional acupuncture group received acupuncture on the hemiplegic limbs; and 16 in the non-acupuncture group received the similar medical and nursing care as subjects in other two groups but no acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture was given daily for 45 minutes for 30 days. The clinical therapeutic responses rate, Neurological Deficits Score (NDS), Modified Barthel Index (MBI) and Fugl-Meger Assertion (FMA) were used to evaluate the effectiveness of 30 days treatment. The therapeutic response rate of the contra-lateral needling group was 46.67%, while 31.11% in the conventional acupuncture group, and 18.75% in the non-acupuncture group. The NDS of Contra-lateral needling group decreased more significantly than that of the conventional acupuncture group (p < 0.01). The study also found that the MBI and FMA of Contra-lateral needling group increased more significantly than those of the conventional acupuncture group (p < 0.01, respectively). Contra-lateral needling might be more effective than the conventional acupuncture in the treatment of hemiplegia due to acute ischemic stroke in terms of increasing the recovery of neurological functions, promoting ADL (activities for daily living) rehabilitation and the limbs motor function.

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