May 30, 2010
Acupuncture’s Molecular Effects Pinned Down
Scientists found that the chemical adenosine is very active in deeper tissues affected by acupuncture. The Rochester researchers looked at the effects of acupuncture on the peripheral nervous system – the nerves in our body that aren’t part of the brain and spinal cord.
The team made a number of observations regarding adenosine:
·In mice with normal functioning levels of adenosine, acupuncture reduced discomfort by two-thirds.
·In special “adenosine receptor knock-out mice” not equipped with the adenosine receptor, acupuncture had no effect.
·When adenosine was turned on in the tissues, discomfort was reduced even without acupuncture.
·During and immediately after an acupuncture treatment, the level of adenosine in the tissues near the needles was 24 times greater than before the treatment.
“It’s clear that acupuncture may activate a number of different mechanisms,” said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. “This carefully performed study identifies adenosine as a new player in the process. It’s an interesting contribution to our growing understanding of the complex intervention which is acupuncture.”
Abstract: Nature Neuroscience May 30, 2010
Posted by mpence at May 30, 2010 03:16 PM