Author(s): Song Y, Zhou D, Fan J, Luo H, Halbreich U
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Electroacupuncture (EA) has been used to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). However, its efficacy is inconclusive and the mechanism is still unclear. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the therapeutic effect of EA on GTP-binding-protein (G protein) in platelet membrane using fluoxetine as a comparison. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed on 90 MDD patients, who were divided into three groups treated with fluoxetine, EA and sham EA respectively. Antibodies were utilized to quantify the levels of G protein alpha subtypes in the platelet membrane before and after 6-week anti-depressive treatment. Thirty age and sex-matched normal individuals were used as controls. RESULT: All the treatments had the same therapeutic effects in treating moderate depression. Both levels of Galphai and Galphaq in depression patients were significantly higher than those in controls and were not reduced by treatments, although the severity was considerably relieved. LIMITATIONS: The duration of treatment was limited to six weeks only. CONCLUSION: EA might be served as an alternative treatment for moderate depression and we further demonstrate that the abnormal levels of Galpha protein in platelet membrane might be a potential risk factor for MDD.
This article was published in J Affect Disord
and referenced in Alternative & Integrative Medicine