Sunday, March 22, 2009

Acupuncture Treatment of Senile Dementia

Excerpt from an article by Yemeng Chen, President of New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, on acupuncture treatment for senile dementia, which was treated by Traditional Chinese Medicine in the 18th century if not before.

"In traditional Chinese medicine, the terms "Jian Wang (amnesia)" and "Dian Zheng (depressive psychosis syndrome)" have appeared in different volumes wherein the symptoms described are similar to those of dementia cases. The records of Emperor's Cannon of Medicine indicated that the brain is a sea of marrow and deficiency of the brain leads to vertigo and dizziness. Li Shizhen (1518- 1593)of the Ming Dynasty clearly explained that the human brain is the place of the mind. In the Qing Dynasty, Wang Qingren (1768- 1831)in the book Revision of Medical Classics advanced the theory that memory impairment in the aged is due to deficiency of brain marrow.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the etiology of the disease is attributed to deficiency of kidney-essence in the aged, as a result of which the kidney-essence and kidney Qi cannot go upward to nourish the brain. In the mean time, owing to the phlegm stagnation and blood stasis, blocks in the brain are formed and in due course, spiritual disturbance and other pathological symptoms will follow.

According to the traditional meridian theory, the Governor Vessel goes upward to vertex and enters the brain. So the acupoints of Baihui (GV 20) and Shuigou (GV 26) should be selected. According to traditional etiology, Ganshu (BL 18), Shenshu (BL 23) and Zusanli (ST 36) should be selected to invigorate the liver, kidney and to tonify the vital energy. Omura reported that acupuncture improves not only local circulation but also brain circulation. (7, 8) Another experiment shows that acupuncture on certain specific acupoints in the head region of the Governor Vessel may activate the cerebral cortex function. Acegulutamidi solution injected into such acupoints can go through the blood-brain barrier, improve the cerebral tissue metabolism as well as brain function, and maintain its good excitable function."

To read full article: Acupuncture Treatment of Senile Dementia

Yemeng Chen, L. Ac., FICAE,
President, New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine