Chronic fatigue syndrome brain anoxia treatment

The cause of the syndrome remains poorly understood, but hypotheses include endocrine and immunological abnormalities, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, abnormal pain processing and certain infectious illnesses, such as Epstein-Barr virus and viral meningitis (Gur 2008, White 2001). People who have had a prior psychiatric disorder are nearly three times more likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome later in life than those who have not (Harvey 2008).

Prognosis is poor, with only around 5% of adults returning to pre-syndrome levels of functioning (Cairns 2005). Aims of treatment are to reduce levels of fatigue and associated symptoms, to increase levels of activity, and to improve quality of life.


Conventional approaches include graded exercise therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and antidepressant drugs (DTB 2001).

There are consistent positive results from observational studies (Wang 2008, Huang 2008, Guo 2007), but very few randomised controlled trials as yet (Wang 2009a, 2009b; Yiu 2007; Li 2006) (see Table overleaf). In the meantime, given the often unsatisfactory outcomes from conventional treatments, acupuncture may be a worthwhile option to consider, probably as part of a combined approach. There is evidence to support its effectiveness for some of the common symptoms – chronic pain, insomnia, depression (refer to the relevant Fact Sheets for details), but for chronic fatigue syndrome as a whole there is a need for more, and higher quality, research.

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurotransmitters. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for insomnia (Wu 1999).

Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of traditional medicine, which has been used in China and other eastern cultures for thousands of years to restore, promote and maintain good health. Its benefits are now widely acknowledged all over the world, and in the past decade traditional acupuncture has begun to feature more prominently in mainstream healthcare in the UK. In conjunction with needling, the practitioner may use techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, massage or electro-acupuncture. They may also suggest dietary or lifestyle changes.

Traditional acupuncture takes a holistic approach to health and regards illness as a sign that the body is out of balance. The exact pattern and degree of imbalance is unique to each individual. The traditional acupuncturist’s skill lies in identifying the precise nature of the underlying disharmony and selecting the most effective treatment. hypoxic brain damage symptoms The choice of acupuncture points will be specific to each patient’s needs. anoxic encephalopathy pathophysiology Traditional acupuncture can also be used as a preventive measure to strengthen the constitution and promote general wellbeing.

An increasing weight of evidence from Western scientific research (see overleaf) is demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating a wide variety of conditions. From a biomedical viewpoint, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system, influencing the production of the body’s communication substances – hormones and neurotransmitters. The resulting biochemical changes activate the body’s self-regulating homeostatic systems, stimulating its natural healing abilities and promoting physical and emotional wellbeing About the British Acupuncture Council

With over 3000 members, the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is the UK’s largest professional body for traditional acupuncturists. Membership of the BAcC guarantees excellence in training, safe practice and professional conduct. To find a qualified traditional acupuncturist, contact the BAcC on 020 8735 0400 or visit www.acupuncture.org.uk

A systematic review of studies on the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome with acupuncture and moxibustion in China. All studies concluded that acupuncture treatment is effective, with response rates ranging from 78.95% to 100%. However, the qualities of the studies were generally poor, and none of them were randomised controlled trials.

A randomised controlled trial to observe effects of acupuncture on quality of life in 70 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients were allocated to treatment with ‘real’ acupuncture or sham acupuncture, three times a week. Individuals’ own perception of their health condition and total score were significantly improved after treatment in the observation group (all P<0.05). There were no adverse effects reported. The researchers concluded that acupuncture can improve the quality of life of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

In the same trial, the researcher observed the effects of acupuncture on the amount of fatigue experienced by the patients. After the treatments, this had decreased significantly from baseline in both groups. Real acupuncture resulted in a greater reduction in mental fatigue than sham acupuncture, but the change in physical fatigue was similar in the two groups. nanoxia deep silence 120mm The researchers concluded that acupuncture can relieve physical and mental fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

A randomised controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture in 99 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients were allocated to ‘real’ or sham acupuncture. Improvements in physical and mental fatigue and quality of life were seen in both groups, but the improvements in the treatment group were significantly bigger than in the control group (p<0.01 to <0.05). No adverse events occurred. The researchers concluded that acupuncture is a safe, effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.

A randomised controlled trial to compare the therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture and auricular-plaster therapy against oral hydrocortisone in 64 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The total effective rates were 93.75% in the acupuncture group and 75.00% in the control group, with a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P<0.05). The researchers concluded that electro acup uncture and auricular-plaster therapy may show a better anti- fatigue effect than that of hydrocortisone.

An observational study on the effect of acupuncture in 40 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Treatment was given once a day for 2 weeks, and scores for symptoms and fatigue were compared before and after treatment. After treatment, scores for symptoms, mental condition and neural feeling associated with fatigue were significantly reduced (P<0.01-0.05). The researchers concluded that acupuncture has a good general effect on the complex symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, especially on lassitude, anorexia, insomnia, amnesia, diarrhoea, and general pain.

An observational study on the clinical therapeutic effect of acupuncture and moxibustion combined with a psychological approach on chronic fatigue syndrome in 310 patients. In all, 275 patients (88.7%) were clinically cured, 28 cases (9%) improved, and 7 cases (2.3%) did not get better . The researchers concluded that acupuncture plus moxibustion combined with a psychological approach is an effective therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Animal study investigating the involvement of the NTS opioidergic system in electroacupuncture-induced alterations in sleep, the findings of which suggested that mechanisms of sleep enhancement may be mediated, in part, by cholinergic activation, stimulation of the opiodergic neurons to increase the concentrations of beta-endorphin and the involvement of the µ-opioid receptors.

Study in 18 anxious adults with insomnia that found a significant (p = 0.002) nocturnal increase in endogenous melatonin secretion after 5 weeks of acupuncture, as well as significant improvements in polysomnographic measures of sleep onset latency (p = 0.003), arousal index (p = 0.001), total sleep time (p = 0.001), and sleep efficiency (p = 0.002).

Review article that suggests a hypothesis for anti-inflammatory action of acupuncture: Insertion of acupuncture needles initially stimulates production of beta-endorphins, CGRP and substance P, leading to further stimulation of cytokines and NO. While high levels of CGRP have been shown to be pro-inflammatory, CGRP in low concentrations exerts potent anti-inflammatory actions. Therefore, a frequently applied ‘low-dose’ treatment of acupuncture could provoke a sustained release of CGRP with anti-inflammatory activity, without stimulation of pro-inflammatory cells.

Experimental study using fMRI to characterise the central nervous system pathway for acupuncture stimulation, which found that acupuncture activates structures of descending antinocioceptive pathway and deactivates areas mediating pain modulation.

Needle activation of A delta and C afferent nerve fibres in muscle sends signals to the spinal cord, where dynorphin and enkephalins are released. Afferent pathways continue to the the midbrain, triggering excitatory and inhibitory mediators in spinal cord. Ensuing release of serotonin and norepinephrine onto the spinal cord leads to pain transmission being inhibited both pre- and postsynaptically in the spinothalamic tract. anoxia meaning in hindi Finally, these signals reach the hypothalamus and pituitary, triggering release of adrenocorticotropic hormones and beta-endorphin.

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