Acupuncture & Neurology

Acupuncture is a valuable method of complementary medicine with broad application in neurology. It is based on the experiences of traditional Chinese medicine as well as on experimentally proven biochemical and neurophysiological effects. Acupuncture-induced analgesia is mediated by inhibition of pain transmission at a spinal level and activation of central pain-modulating centers by release of opioids and other peptides that can be prevented by opioid antagonists like naloxone. Modern neuroimaging methods (functional MRI) confirmed the activation of subcortical and cortical centers, while transcranial Doppler sonography and SPECT showed an increase of cerebral blood flow and cerebral oxygen supply in normal subjects.  Appropriate techniques, knowledge of contraindications and hygiene safeguards will minimize the risks of rare side effects of acupuncture which represents a valuable adjunction to the treatment repertoire in modern neurology


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