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Curr Neurovasc Res. 2013 Aug;10(3):216-21.

Electroacupuncture reduces hemiplegia following acute middle cerebral artery infarction with alteration of serum NSE, S-100B and endothelin.

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Department of Neurology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, and Center for Cerebral Vascular Diseases, Medical College of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China.


Acupuncture may help motor recovery in chronic stroke survivors, but it is unclear whether it is useful for acute or subacute stroke patients. This study aimed to assess the effiency of electroacupuncture on hemiplegic patients caused by acute first-ever middle cerebral artery infarction. Ninety-eight patients with hemiplegia after first-ever middle cerebral artery infarction were divided into the observation group and the control group. Electroacupuncture was applied once daily for three weeks seven days after symptom onset. The motor functions of the limbs and the activities of daily living (ADL) were evaluated by Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA) and Barthel index (BI). Serum neuron-specific enolase (NSE), soluble protein-100B (S-100B) and endothelin (ET) were quantified before and after treatment.After treatment, the FMA and BI scores were improved in comparison to before treatment scores in the same group (P<0.01 or P<0.05), with a more significant improvement in the observation group (with electroacupuncture) than in the control group (P<0.01). After treatments, the amounts of serum NSE, S-100B and ET in the observation group were significantly decreased when compared with those of the control group (P<0.01 or P<0.05). No adverse reactions occurred during electroacupuncture. This study showed that motor functions of the limbs and the activities of daily living in hemiplegic patients caused by acute cerebral infarction were improved significantly after treatment with electroacupuncture and this improvement was associated with reduced serum levels of NSE, S-100B and ET.

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