Study: Acupuncture is safe and effective Method in Improving the Cognitive Function, Global Clinical Status of Alzheimer’s Disease

A study updated the evidence regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for patients who are afflicted with mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s disease. It determined that the traditional Chinese medical treatment was indeed safe to use and that it improved cognitive function for patients.

The study was held under the auspices of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • A group of 87 patients with mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s disease were enrolled in the study. Seventy-nine completed the trial and follow-up process.
  • Participants were given with either acupuncture or donepezil hydrochloride treatment for 12 weeks. The acupuncture group underwent the process thrice per week; the drug treatment group took five milligrams per day (mg/day) during the first four weeks and 10 mg/day.
  • Participants were surveyed for the effectiveness of their respective treatments. After completing the trial, the participants were studied for 12 weeks as part of the follow-up process.
  • The acupuncture group received good marks in Assessment Scale-Cognitive and Clinician’s Interview-Based Impression of Change-Plus. Their scores were significantly different when compared to the drug treatment group.
  • No patient discontinued acupuncture treatment. Four members (9.09 percent) of the drug group dropped out due to adverse reactions to the procedure.

Based on their findings, the researchers confirmed that acupuncture bolstered the cognitive function and overall clinical status of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It can do this safely as well as effectively, being well-tolerated by the participants.

The full study can be reviewed at this link.

You can also read more articles about treatments for Alzheimer’s disease at Alzheimer’

Journal Reference:

Jia Y, Zhang X, Yu J, Han J, Yu T, Shi J, Zhao L, Nie K. ACUPUNCTURE FOR PATIENTS WITH MILD TO MODERATE ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 29 December 2017;17(556).



Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. However, none of medical treatment can stop or reverse the underlying neurodegenerative of AD at present. Acupuncture has attracted more and more attention in recent years due to its efficacy and very few side effects. Lately, a systematic review has thought that the evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture in improving the cognitive function of AD patients was not powerful enough. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in patients with mild to moderate AD.


This was a randomized, controlled, parallel-group, exploratory study with 4-week baseline (T0), 12-week treatment phase (T1) and 12-week follow-up period (T2). Patients with mild to moderate AD meeting the included criteria were randomly allocated into either acupuncture or donepezil hydrochloride groups. The acupuncture group(AG) was given acupuncture treatment three times per week and the donepezil hydrochloride group(DG) group was administered donepezil hydrochloride once daily (5 mg/day for the first 4 weeks and 10 mg/day thereafter). Primary efficacy was measured using Alzheimer’s disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive (ADAS-cog) and Clinician’s Interview-Based Impression of Change-Plus (CIBIC-Plus). The second outcomes were measured with 23-Item Alzheimer’s disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Scales (ADAS-ADL23) and Neuropsychiatric Index (NPI).


Of 87 participants enrolled in the study, 79 patients finished their treatment and follow-up processes. The ADAS-cog scores for AG group showed obvious decreases


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