I don’t usually link to these kinds of articles because false promises made for debilitating diseases is the last thing that acupuncture should be associated with. This new Brazilian study was well done, however, and well powered. The subjects received electroacupuncture treatment weekly for 6 months. That time frame seems realistic to me with a condition that progresses over time, and a treatment regimen that most patients would be willing to undertake. The point prescription was a very basic one,(free article here). The patients were on immunomodulatory therapy (interferon and glatiramer acetate.) Their results showed that electroacupuncture improved various aspects of quality of life compared to sham acupuncture, including a reduction in pain and depression.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Nov 5;12(1):209.
Impact of electroacupuncture on quality of life for patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis under treatment with immunomodulators: A randomized study.Quispe-Cabanillas JG, Damasceno A, Glehn F, Brandão CO, Damasceno BP, Silveira WD, Santos LM.
BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune disease mediated by an immune response to central nervous system antigens. Modern immunomodulatory therapies, however, do not ameliorate many of the symptoms, such as pain and depression. Patients thus seek alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, although the benefits of such treatments have not been objectively evaluated. The present study was thus designed to evaluate the effect of the use of acupuncture in the alleviation of the symptoms of patients with MS.
This paper provides evidence that electroacupuncture can significantly improve the quality of life of such patients.