A 2017 study showed promising results for the use of acupuncture to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The results of this study were published in the journal Medicine in a paper titled “Clinical effectiveness of acupuncture on Parkinson disease.”
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Parkinson’s disease is caused by a lack of dopamine, a natural substance usually found in the brain. Symptoms include tremors (shaking), stiffness, and slowness of movement. The conventional treatment for Parkinson’s disease typically involves the use of Levodopa, a pharmaceutical drug. Levodopa is in a class of medications called central nervous system agents. It works by being converted to dopamine in the brain.
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But long-term use of levodopa can lead to variability in an individual’s response to treatment, and can create mild to serious side-effects and complications.
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So researchers performed a systematic analysis and meta-analysis of multiple studies to discover if acupuncture alone, and/or acupuncture plus conventional treatment, could mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
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Researchers scoured seven major medical databases to find high-quality studies. Of particular interest were studies on the use of acupuncture alone versus conventional treatment, and the use of acupuncture plus conventional treatment versus conventional treatment alone.
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After conducting their meta-analysis, the researchers concluded that treatment protocols that included acupuncture performed better than conventional treatment alone. Also, the combination of acupuncture plus conventional treatment produced outstanding results when compared to just conventional treatment.
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Even more promising was the conclusion that acupuncture could provide relief for symptoms of early-stage Parkinson’s Disease, before the onset of drug therapy. In the initial stages, symptoms are usually mild and may be effectively addressed through acupuncture.

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Source:  Lee, S.-H., & Lim, S. (2017). Clinical effectiveness of acupuncture on Parkinson disease: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 96(3), e5836. http://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000005836 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5279085/