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This study was done in mice.  I’m not sure what to make of these studies, but we’re seeing more and more studies looking at the hippocampus and damage or neurotransmitter effects.  This was a simple 5 day electroacupuncture study.

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2014 Apr;39(2):142-7.

[Effect of electroacupuncture intervention at different time-points of post-modeling on hippocampal monoamine neurotransmitter levels in mice with vascular dementia].

[Article in Chinese]

Zhang HZ, Liang YL, Zhang XJ, Zhang C, Sun YH, Zhang XJ, Xu XK, Jia RG, Wang XG.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24818499

To observe the effect of electrocupuncture (EA) intervention at different time-points of post-modeling on behavior and hippocampal monoamine neurotransmitter noradrenalin (NE), dopamine (DA) and 5-hydroxytrypamine (5-HT) contents in vascular dementia (VD) mice, so as to study its mechanism underlying improvement of VD.

METHODS:

A total of 60 Kunming mice were randomized into sham-operation control (n = 20), VD model (n = 20), EA-day (D)-1 (EA treatment was given from the 1st day on after modeling, n = 10), EA-D-3 (EA was given from the 3rd day on after modeling, n = 10) groups. VD model was established by occlusion of the bilateral cervical common arteries and reperfusion. EA (2 Hz/80 Hz) was applied to “Baihui” (GV 20), “Dazhui” (GV 14),”Zusanli” (ST 36) and “Geshu”(BL 17) for 10 min, once daily for 15 days. Hippocampal NE, DA and 5-HT contents were assayed by fluorospectrophotometry. The mouse’s learning-memory ability was assessed by step-down tests.

RESULTS:

In comparison with the sham-operation control group, the learning-memory ability (marked increase of reaction time and error times, decrease of step-down latency) was apparently lowered in the model group (P < 0.01). The hippocampal NE, DA and 5-HT contents were significantly lower in the model group than in the sham-operation group (P < 0.01). Compared with the model group, the mice’s learning-memory ability (marked decrease of reaction time and error times, increase of step-down latency) was significantly increased in EA intervention groups (P < 0.01), and hippocampal NE, DA and 5-HT levels were significantly increased (P < 0.01), and the effect of EA-D-3 group was obviously better than that of the EA-D-1 group (P < 0.05, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION:

EA can improve the VD mice’s learning-memory ability, which is closely related to its effects in up-regulating hippocampal NE, DA and 5-HT contents, and the effect of later EA intervention after modeling is better.