Electroacupuncture, which delivers electrical stimulation through acupuncture
needles, has long been used for pain relief and stroke rehabilitation.
A recent animal study has found evidence that electroacupuncture may also
stimulate neuroprotective function after cerebral ischemia (lowered blood
flow to the brain).
The researchers found that acupuncture administered to the "Bai hui"
and " Da zhui" acupoints activated astrocytes (a critical support
cell in the brain), which in turn reduced neurodegeneration. In addition
to a physiological benefit, electroacupuncture was associated with improved
motor skills and sensory integration.
Electroacupuncture may therefore be a potentially beneficial clinical tool
for the prevention of secondary brain injury, as well as a rehabilitation
tool for motor and sensory impairments.
Han X, Huang X, Wang Y, & Chen H. A study of astrocyte activation in
the periinfarct region after cerebral ischemia with electroacupuncture.
Brain Injury. (May 2010).