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Int Rev Neurobiol. 2013;111:141-58. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-411545-3.00007-9.

Current development of acupuncture research in Parkinson's disease.

Author information

1
Neurodegenerative Disease Research Group, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, School of Biomedical Sciences, King's College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: b.zeng@kcl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Parkinson's disease is an age-related progressive neurodegenerative disease. The etiology and pathogenetic mechanisms that cause PD are still not fully understood. The available treatments to PD are only symptomatic relief. Acupuncture is used to treat many medical conditions for 1000 years in China and has gained wider and increasing acceptance within both public and medical profession because it has been a very safe and well-tolerated treatment. In this chapter, we reviewed relevant laboratory findings regarding acupuncture mechanism on Parkinson's. We showed that acupuncture stimulation in Parkinson's models had generated valuable mechanistic insight of Parkinson's and showed that acupuncture treatment is in fact a neuroprotective therapy that increase the release of various neuroprotective agents such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and cyclophilin A. In addition, acupuncture therapy slows cell death process and attenuates oxidative stress to dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Further, acupuncture therapy modulates neuronal activity of the basal ganglia output structures. These results suggest that early application of acupuncture therapy to Parkinson's patients may be helpful for the best efficacy of acupuncture treatment. It is hopeful that translation of achievement in acupuncture research in Parkinson's models will maximize the potentials of acupuncture treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Acupuncture; Brain imaging; Models; Molecular mechanism; Parkinson's disease

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