Clinical effects of scalp electrical acupuncture in stroke: a sham-controlled randomized clinical trial

Item

Title

Clinical effects of scalp electrical acupuncture in stroke: a sham-controlled randomized clinical trial

Author(s)

Journal Publication

Date

2012

volume

18(4)

pages

341-346

Research Type

RCT

Keywords

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The majority of individuals who survive a stroke are disabled because of persisting neurological impairments. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous electrical stimulation of the scalp in spontaneous functional recovery of patients with chronic ischemic stroke, by evaluating clinical, neurological, and functional findings. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Sixty-two (62) subjects who were at least 18 months postdiagnosis of ischemic stroke were randomized to receive 10 sessions of placebo or active low-frequency electrical stimulation (2/100 Hz) using subcutaneous acupuncture needles over the scalp. Functional and neurological evaluations were indexed by the Barthel, Rankin, and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). RESULTS: Results show that there was a significant difference in functional improvement between the sham and active group as indexed by NIHSS scale. The active group had a larger functional improvement after 10 sessions of scalp electrical acupuncture. The other two functional scales (Rankin and Barthel) failed to show significant differences between the two treatment groups. CONCLUSIONS: These results support further testing of scalp electrical acupuncture for the treatment of stroke as well further mechanistic studies to understand mechanisms associated with the observed improvement. Further studies need to consider longer follow-up assessments to investigate potential functional changes associated with electrical acupuncture.

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Frequency of Treatment

>1/WK

Time in Treatment

5 Weeks

has health condition studied

Stroke

has study population number

62

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