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Posted by on May 12, 2018 in Stroke | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This meta-analysis reviewed the effect of electroacupuncture at treating motor dysfunction in stroke patients. The authors concluded that electroacupuncture combined with rehabilitation and/or drugs could help improve motor dysfunction in stroke patients.

Some background

Motor dysfunction is a common occurrence after stroke. Post-stroke motor dysfunction (PSMD) negatively affects a patient’s independent, quality of life and ability to carry out activities of daily life. Treatment for PSMD usually involves a combination of different therapies including drugs, rehabilitation therapy and nursing care.

Electroacupuncture (EA) is a type of acupuncture where an electric current is passed between acupuncture needles. It has been shown to be beneficial in treating some types of paralysis including facial paralysis. It is possible that EA may be effective at treating PSMD.

Methods & findings

This meta-analysis assessed the effectiveness and safety of using EA to treat PSMD. 19 trials were included with a combined 1434 participants. In the trials, patients were treated with EA combined with rehabilitation and/or conventional drugs, or treated with rehabilitation and/or conventional drugs alone.

Motor function was measured by a scoring test called the Fugl-Meyer assessment scale (FMA score). This measures motor function, balance, sensation and joint function.

After treatment, FMA scores were significanlty higher in patients treated with EA compared to patients in the non-EA treatment group. An improvement in FMA score in the EA group was seen for both upper and lower limb function. Patients treated with EA also had improved ability to carry out activities of daily living.

No trial reported adverse effects from any of the treatments used.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that EA combined with rehabilitation therapy and/or conventional drugs could be beneficial at treating PSMD.

The fine print

The authors cautioned that further clinical trials with more patients would be necessary.

Published By :

BMJ open

Date :

Jan 24, 2018

Original Title :

Electroacupuncture as an adjunctive therapy for motor dysfunction in acute stroke survivors: a systematic review and meta-analyses.

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