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October 2021

Am J Chin Med. 1980 Spring-Summer; 8(1-2): 154-9.

Immunoassayable beta-endorphin level in the plasma and CSF of heroin addicted and normal subjects before and after electroacupuncture.

Wen HL, Ho WK, Ling N, Mehal ZD, Ng YH.

The present study was undertaken to evaluate if plasma or CSF beta-endorphin level can be induced to rise during the treatment of heroin addiction by electroacupuncture. Based on the examination of 30 addicts, we obtained no evidence indicating an increase of beta-endorphin level in either the plasma or the CSF after 30 min of acupuncture. In spite of this, the majority of the addicts experienced a reduction of withdrawal symptoms during treatment. Since electroacupuncture may only induce a highly localized secretion of beta-endorphin in the brain, our results cannot unequivocally exclude the possibility that this peptide is involved in mediating the action of acupuncture.


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