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J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2013 Oct;6(5):247-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Laser acupuncture improves memory impairment in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Physiology (Neuroscience Program), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Integrative Complementary Alternative Medicine Research and Development Group, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


The burden of Alzheimer's disease is continually rising globally, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Unfortunately, the efficacy of the therapeutic strategy is still very limited. Because the effect of acupuncture at HT7 can improve learning and memory, the beneficial effect of laser acupuncture, a noninvasive form of acupuncture, at HT7 on memory improvement in patients with Alzheimer's disease has been a focus of research. To elucidate this issue, we used AF64A, a cholinotoxin, to induce memory impairment in male Wistar rats, which weighed 180-220 g. Then, the animals were treated with laser acupuncture either at HT7 or at a sham acupoint once daily for 10 minutes for a period of 14 days. Spatial memory assessments were performed at 1, 7, and 14 days after AF64A administration and at the end of the experiment, and the changes in the malondialdehyde (MDA) level and in the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities in the hippocampus were recorded. The results showed that laser acupuncture significantly suppressed AChE activity in the hippocampus. Although laser acupuncture enhanced SOD and CAT activities, no reduction in MDA level in this area was observed. Therefore, laser acupuncture at HT7 is a potential strategy to attenuate memory impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease. However, further research, especially on the toxicity of laser acupuncture following repetitive exposure, is essential.


Alzheimer’s disease; acetylcholinesterase; laser acupuncture; memory impairment; oxidative stress

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