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January 2023

Beneficial effects of acupuncture treatment following experimental spinal cord injury: a behavioral, morphological, and biochemical study

Author(s): Korchinski, M.

Journal/Book: Acupuncture and Electro-Therapy Research. 1990; 15(1): 37-49.

Abstract: The uses and limitations of "first aid" acupuncture treatment were assessed after spinal cord injury in rats. Spinal cords were exposed to a standardized contusion lesion at T8, followed by electroacupuncture stimulation of three points: (a) B1.60 (within the depression dorsal to the lateral malleolus), (b) B1.54 (popliteal space) and (c) Gv.3 (intervertebral space between L4 and L5). Acupuncture treatment was performed at by either 15 min or 24 hrs after surgery. Control rats received spinal cord injury without acupuncture treatment. Animals were assessed at 3 days post-operatively. Results showed improved function (as assessed by a combined behavioral score) in rats which had been treated with acupuncture 15 min after injury relative to those that received no acupuncture treatment. This was accompanied by minimization of post-traumatic cord shrinkage in acupuncture-treated animals and a marked (3 fold) sparing of ventral horn neurons. Plasma cortisol levels rose over 3-fold within 2 hours post-operatively in non-acupuncture-treated rats, where these levels rose less than two fold in acupuncture treated animals. None of the above beneficial effects occurred in rats given acupuncture treatment 24 hrs after spinal cord injury. Results point to a usefulness of acupuncture as adjunct treatment during early stages after spinal cord injury.

Keyword(s): Acupuncture-Points

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