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Lasers Surg Med. 2016 Jul;48(5):490-7. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22487. Epub 2016 Feb 14.

Therapeutic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of laser acupuncture on patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Biophysical Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Spectroscopy, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Complementary Medicine, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.



The laser acupuncture has many potential therapeutic effects. Currently, they are not evaluated for their therapeutic effects on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of laser acupuncture on the oxidative and antioxidative markers, as well as the inflammatory markers and disease activity of RA patients.


The study was conducted on 30 RA patients and 20 healthy subjects. The patients were subjected to laser acupuncture (904 nm, 100 mW power output, 1 minute irradiation time, beam area of 1 cm(2) , total energy per point 6 J, energy density 6 J/ cm(2) , irradiance 0.1 W/cm(2) , frequency 10000 Hz, duty-cycle 100%) for 3 days/week for duration of 4 weeks. The acupuncture points of exposure were LI4, TE5, LI 11, DU 14, LIV3, SP6, GB34, and S36. The levels of oxidative and antioxidant markers were determined by spectrophotometric methods whereas the inflammatory markers were determined by ELISA methods. Lastly, using DAS28 scores the disease activity was assessed.


After laser acupuncture, the study group revealed significantly increased plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase (GR), catalase activities, blood glutathione (GSH), and plasma ATP concentrations, compared to those before treatment (P < 0.0005). Moreover, the results revealed significantly reduced plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), serum nitrate and nitrite, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and significantly reduced glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in laser exposed patients, compared to those before treatment (P < 0.0005). The RA patients subjected to laser acupuncture showed highly significant reduction in disease activity (P < 0.0005) based on DAS28 score.


Our study results confirmed the effectiveness of laser acupuncture in alleviating oxidative stress and inflammation, improving antioxidant and energy metabolic status, while also suppressing the disease activity in RA patients. Laser acupuncture is a promising treatment modality to reduce the pain and suffering of RA patients because of its efficiency in inhibiting most of the main factors involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. Lasers Surg. Med. 48:490-497, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


ATP; antioxidants; disease activity; inflammation; laser acupuncture; oxidative stress; rheumatoid arthritis

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