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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 Jan 8;19(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s12906-018-2407-2.

Cognitive improvement effects of electro-acupuncture for the treatment of MCI compared with Western medications: a systematic review and Meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Oriental Neuropsychiatry, College of Korean Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Yongun-dong, Dong-gu, Daejeon, South Korea.
2
Clinical Trial Center, Dunsan Korean Medicine Hospital of Daejeon University, Daejeon, South Korea.
3
Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, College of Oriental Medicine, DaeJeon University, Daejeon, South Korea.
4
Department of Circulatory Internal Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, DaeJeon University, Daejeon, South Korea.
5
Department of Oriental Neuropsychiatry, College of Korean Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Yongun-dong, Dong-gu, Daejeon, South Korea. npjeong@dju.kr.
6
Clinical Trial Center, Dunsan Korean Medicine Hospital of Daejeon University, Daejeon, South Korea. npjeong@dju.kr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Almost half of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients progress to dementia, which is associated with decreased quality of life and obstacles to independent living. Relevant management is expected to prevent MCI patients from progressing to dementia. In recent years, electroacupuncture (EA) has been used to treat various kinds of neurological disorders including MCI. This study evaluates the use of EA for MCI patients to increase cognitive function through a comparison with Western medications.

METHODS:

Randomized controlled trials (RCT) or systematical reviews (SR) of EA versus Western medications for MCI were searched using the following 10 databases: Pubmed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, EMBASE, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), National Digital Science Library (NDSL), Journal of Oriental Neuropsychiatry (JON), Korean Medical Database (KMBASE), KoreaMed, and OASIS, from October 2007 to August 2017, without language restriction. A methodological quality assessment of RCTs or SRs that met inclusion criteria was conducted using Cochrane Risk of bias (RoB) tool and a meta-analysis by RevMan (Review Manager) 5.3.5 version of Cochrane collaboration.

RESULTS:

Five RCTs with 257 patients met inclusion criteria and those were randomly divided into two groups: the EA group (n = 103) and Western medications group (n = 154). The methodological quality of the included studies showed high risk or/and unclear of risk of bias. The meta-analysis of five studies reported that the EA group was better than the Western medications group, improving the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score by 0.65 [95% CI 0.28~1.01] higher mean difference, Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score by 0.66 [95% CI 0.00~1.32] higher mean difference. Adverse effects were not reported in the selected studies.

CONCLUSION:

Electroacupuncture was an effective treatment for MCI patients by improving cognitive function. However, the included studies presented a low methodological quality and no adverse effects were reported. Thus, further comprehensive studies with a design in depth are needed to derive significant results.

KEYWORDS:

Electroacupuncture (EA); Mild cognitive impairment (MCI); Mini mental; Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA); Randomised controlled trials (RCT); State examination (MMSE); Systematical reviews (SR)

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