Medical Research

Acupuncture for Experimentally Induced Epilepsy

Kristen Sparrow • May 05, 2013

A study done in China (free paper) showing that, in rats, certain acupoints are effective in mitigating experimentally induced seizures, others less.  They also find that 100Hz is better at controlling seizures, than 10 hz at all points.  An odd side note is that I had just finished reading a paper on Vagal Stimulation ( a surgical procedure) to reduce intractable epilepsy.  The points I think of as key for vagal stim in acupuncture are PC6 and LI11.  These points were specifically studied and were the least effective against seizures.  Not sure what to make of all that, but thought it was of interest.  I wonder if some of the anti-seizure points would be more effective in increasing vagal tone too?  Might be an interesting HRV study.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:149612. doi: 10.1155/2013/149612. Epub 2013 Mar 26.Electroacupuncture-induced attenuation of experimental epilepsy: a comparative evaluation of acupoints and stimulation parameters.Kang X, Shen X, Xia Y.SourceShanghai Research Center for Acupuncture and Meridians, Shanghai 201203, China ; Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China.AbstractThe efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA) on epilepsy remains to be verified because of previous controversies that might be due to the complexity of the effects induced by different acupoints and stimulation approaches adopted. Therefore, we investigated the effects of EA on epilepsy to determine the specific acupoints and optimal stimulation parameters in this work. Experimental epilepsy was induced by injecting kainic acid to the lateral cerebral ventricle of adult male SD rats. EA with a low-frequency (10 Hz/1 mA) or high-frequency (100 Hz/1 mA) current was applied to the epileptic model for 30 minutes starting at 0.5 hour after the injection. Four pairs of acupoints were tested, that is, Shuigou (DU26) + Dazhui (DU14), Jinsuo (DU8) + Yaoqi (EXB9), Neiguan (PC6) + Quchi (LI11), and Fenglong (ST40) + Yongquan (KI1). We found that (1) low- or high-frequency EA at different acupoints reduced epileptic seizures (P < 0.05 versus the control) with an exception of low-frequency EA at Neiguan (PC6) and Quchi (LI11); (2) low-frequency EA induced a better effect at Fenglong (ST40) plus Yongquan (KI1) than that of the other acupoints (P < 0.05); (3) there is no significant difference in the effects of high-frequency EA at these acupoints; and (4) the high-frequency EA elicited a greater effect than that of low-frequency EA in all groups (P < 0.05), with an exception at Jinsuo (DU8) + Yaoqi (EXB9). The EA-induced attenuation appeared 1-1.5 hours after EA with no appreciable effect in the first hour after EA in either the EEG or the behavioral tests. We conclude that EA attenuation of epileptic seizures is dependent on the stimulation parameters and acupoints and that the delay in appearance of the EA effect could be a reflection of the time required by the EA signal to regulate neural function in the central nervous system. vagal nerve stim