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Mild cognitive impairment disease treated with electroacupuncture: a multi-center randomized controlled trial


Zhao, Ling, Zhang, Fu-Wen, Zhang, Hong, Zhao, Yu, Zhou, Bo, Chen, Wei-Yin, Zhu, Man-Jia


Zhongguo Zhen Jiu = Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Volume: 32, No.: 9, Pages.: 779-784

Year of Publication



Objective: To verify the clinical efficacy on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) treated with electroacupuncture (EA) intervention based on the principle as “promoting the circulation of the Governor Vessel and regulating the marrow” and plan to provide the A-grade evidence of the evidence-based medicine for the clinical treatment of this disease with acupuncture and moxibustion.; Methods: The multi-center randomized controlled trial (RCT) was adopted. One hundred and ninety-two cases of MCI were randomized into an EA group and a nimodipine group, 96 cases in each one. In the EA group, EA was applied to Shenting (GV 24), Baihui (GV 20), Sishen cong (EX-HN 1) and Fengchi (GB 20), once every other day. In the nimodipine group, Nimodipine was pre scribed for oral administration. Four weeks constituted one course, the treatment of 8 weeks was required. The minimum mental state examination (MMSE) and the graphic recognition test (GRT) were applied before and in the 1st and 2nd session of treatment separately. The follow-up visit of MMSE scale was provided in the 1st, 3rd and 6th months after treatment separately.; Results: The total effective rate was 50.0% (47/94) in the EA group, which was superior to 34.4% (32/93) in the nimodipine group (P < 0.05). At the end of the 1st session treatment, the differences in MMSE total score and the cognitive, memory and speech dimensional scores were not significant statistically between two groups (all P > 0.05). At the end of the 2nd session treatment, the MMSE total score and the cognitive, memory, visual-space skill dimensional scores were improved in comparison before treatment (all P < 0.05). The results in the EA group were superior to those in the nimodipine group (all P < 0.05). But the difference in the speech dimensional score was not significant statistically between the two groups (P > 0.05). In the EA group, the GRT score was improved significantly after 2 sessions of treatment as compared with that before treatment (P < 0.01) and was superior to that in the nimodipine group (P < 0.05). In the 1st, 3rd and 6th month after treatment, the MMSE scale total scores were different significantly in statistics between the two groups (all P < 0.01). The long-term efficacy in the EA group was superior to that in the nimodipine group.; Conclusion: Both of the EA therapy based on the principle as "promoting the circulation of the Governor Vessel and regulating the marrow" and the nimodipine program improve significantly the cognitive function of MCI patients. Compared with the nimodipine program, the EA therapy improves the comprehensive cognitive and the short-term memory abilities much more significantly and is especially advantageous at improving cognitive, memory and visual-space skill dimensions for MCI patients. In the half a year follow-up visit after the end of treatment, the long-term efficacy of EA is better than that of Nimodipine.;


aged, aged, 80 and over, cognition, electroacupuncture, female, humans, male, memory, middle aged, mild cognitive impairment, nimodipine, psychology, therapy

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment, Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions


Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Complementary therapies