The Great Beyond: Acupuncture 'works in mice'
Yankees starter A.J. Burnett credits acupuncture with helping him stay healthy
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture
American Academy of Medical Acupuncture [pdf]
Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of year, but some medical scholars and health care experts remain skeptical of its benefits. Some have claimed that establishing a control group in clinical trails to prove the treatment's efficacy is difficult, if not impossible. This week, a team of researchers at the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center announced that the needle pricks involved in acupuncture might help relieve pain by triggering a natural painkilling chemical. Medical researcher and lead author Dr. Maiken Nedergaard and her colleagues reported their findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The findings were based on studies that administered half-hour acupuncture treatments to a group of mice with paw discomfort. Dr. Nedergaard and her colleagues found that adenosine (the natural painkiller in question) levels in the affected areas near the needle insertion points were 24 times greater after treatment. This particular chemical is best known for regulating sleep by inhibiting nerve signals and inflammation. While these are certainly early days for this work, the initial results are promising and it will be interesting to track follow-up studies.
The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Monday's Bloomburg Businessweek which reports on this recent study. The second link will take interested parties to an entry from the Nature blog, "The Great Beyond". The entry talks a bit about the new study and also has several additional links. The third link will lead visitors to a recent article from the Newark Star-Ledger about New York Yankee A.J. Burnett's use of acupuncture. Moving on the fourth link leads to the acupuncture information page, provided by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The fifth link will whisk users away to more information on acupuncture from MedlinePlus and the National Institutes of Health. The last link leads to the homepage of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, which has information on their professional work and the world of acupuncture.