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Acupuncture in the Treatment of Cognitive Impairment Outstanding Evidence in Cancer Patients



So today we’ll talk about a very interesting topic, which is the TCM ability to treat Cognition in Cancer.

Click here to download the transcript.  Click here to download the slides.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hello, everybody. Good to see you. I don’t see you, I always feel that I talked to people and first of all, I would like to thank the American Acupuncture Council to putting up this show and providing this information. So today we’ll talk about a very interesting topic, which is the TCM ability to treat Cognition in Cancer.

So let’s start with the slideshow and it’s quite an eutopic and in the same time, it’s all topic. I would like to follow more the research, but also to speak about the TCM diagnosis of cognition and the specialty of cognition of treating cancer patient because cancer related cognitive impairment is.

Quite as specific topic, which is relate most to the cancer and very much of the different treatments starting from chemotherapy. Everyone now knows the chemo brain which people sometimes suffer for years or definitely months, the difficulty in concentrating differently in doing the cognitive things that they were able to do before they would feel.

Head is foggy. No, he’s like foggy and they find it really difficult to do the tasks that they were able to do before, even just read newspaper or to do mathematics, et cetera. So it’s a, quite the debilitating aspects of cancer and cancer care and cancer related cognitive impairment is huge topic in breast cancer.

Three out of four survivors was suffering for some degree. Of cognitive impairment. So we’re talking about quite a large numbers of cancer patients. So especially chemotherapy is the one that is effecting the cognition. And I would like to start with a recent research. Or a few research that has been coming up on that topic.

And I must say from an Chinese medicine point of view, cognition is very specific. It relates added to deficiencies, and we’ll talk about spleen and kidney deficiency, spleen more for the short term and kidney more for the longterm, but there is other, also other deficiencies like blood or cheat and chemotherapy can create this deficient.

There’s also access and access will usually relates to dampness and phlegm, but a lot of time to toxins. And that means that many of the drugs that are using captains are more related to the toxins part and they’re causing this kind of problems in cognition. So there are some more type of access. And the last things is more to consider the heart, the Shen and.

And I’ll come to this topic of the diagnosis and treatment. When we look at the research. So this is a research that looked at the effect of acupuncture in treating cognitive impairment in cancer patients. And what is interesting about this research? They actually monitored the effect of the research through some questionnaires about also BDNF, the Saron brain derived.

No Tropic factor. And so they evaluated both the cognition as you do, like in different tests, but they also look at biomarkers in the ceremony, this patient to see if there is a difference. So this study and gain, there were like 39 and 36 people in the real group and the treatment. And they look evaluated the difference between the two groups.

This is the point the use. And here we are coming back to the diagnosis. Some studies, especially research, we’ll go deeper into the Chinese medicine diagnosis and some research is more like symptomatic. I’ve I have a lot of interest in cancer care both in treating cancer, patient producing research.

Really teaching worldwide acupuncture and especially oncology acupuncture help in then I’ll talk a little bit more about teaching. So if you look at this research, what they, if you look at it poisoned, they choose. So they choose do 20. So this is more related to the. The city St. John, this is four points around two 20, so also relates to the Shen, relates to the mind, do 24 chanting.

This one, especially relate to the Shen, but also other points to strengthen the cheeky, like stomach that is six, the strengths and the kidney three, kidney four and gallbladder 39. Interesting point because it works on their domain, but more on them. Because it’s the viewpoint for marrow. So you sees a kind of interestingly designed combination that treats all the different facets and aspects of.

Cognitive impairment in patients. We are more focusing on the cancer patient that obviously some of these ideas are relevant to other people who have cognitive impairment. So in this research, they did the whole battery of questions, and this is like the different questions to. The cognition of the patients and they check the BDNF in the serum of this patients perceive the difference between the real droop grid group and the control group of this cancer patient BDNF by itself is very interesting factor because it’s it is secreted by the narrows and it is a significant component in the synaptic pluses.

So it’s secreted, eh, primarily in the brain, but also in other areas. And it’s been very, a recognized biomarker to show cognition and the higher the numbers. The more you can find in this. The better the condition is, and the whole idea of checking biomarkers, I’ll discuss also, it’s very interesting to monitor the effect of acupuncture.

And this is just to do as BDNF. It’s been evaluated in the huge range. Disease from depression, outsider, Parkinson, and think tone disease. And again, as they say, the higher, the BDNF level, it shows the better cognitive function, even in also bipolar disorders and others. So there’s a lot of reference to the relationship of the BDNF levels in the serum.

And. So in this study, they had this two groups, the control and the real group, and this were the results. Very interesting and promising cause they look both on the questionnaires and they show that they could commit cognitive functions were ameliorated in the acupuncture. They also showed that the serum BDNF level was elevated.

And if you compare it before and after treatment, and there was a very strong correlation between both. So people who scored more on the test also had a higher BDNF level. So you can see, again, the relationship between somebody is scoring well on tests and the BDNF. And this was compared to the control group.

The 10, no. Before treatment and after if you compare it to the acupuncture group. So the conclusion was that acupuncture is effective therapy in the treatment of cancer related cognitive impairment. And this was in breast cancer patient. And the mechanism may be related to this release of BDNF for activating neurons in the brain.

I was quite surprised to see more and more studies related. Yes, acupuncture studies related to biomarkers. And here’s specifically when we talk about cognition related to BDNF, this is like a hard core, very promising evidence. It’s not subjective, it’s not objective biomarker that you can also monitor it later on after even few months or a year.

Here is another study that was done with a bigger, eh, number of participants, 160 participants. It wasn’t just not just focused on cognition, but also on sleep problems. And it was a comparison between the insomnia comparison between as psychological intervention. And acupuncture and randomized trials.

So very good trial and again, published in cancer. And again, there was acupuncture was significantly increasing the BDNF level and had a positive effect on cognition. Recently, there’s going a big trial. Then you can see the clinical trial. Golf a registry on the effect of acupuncture and cancer related cognitive difficulties.

And so I believe in few years we will see a larger tries and focusing on different aspects, both biomarkers and other aspects to show the effect. And it’s a very promising effect of acupuncture on this very serious condition. And it goes far more than effecting cancer patient. It also talks to. People who have other disease, like Alzheimer’s et cetera, that have a commissioning permit and that is study.

And I’m just going through the studies, not just to talk about this topic, but to show also where research is going. And and I think this is what will happen in the next few years. We’ll see more and more stuff. On specific topics and at the studies will be very rounded with checking different aspects, including different biomarkers.

They chose the efficacy of acupuncture and also the sustainable efficacy from some studies, biomarkers I’ve been following followed for few months, half year and sometimes longer. And there’s a difference between groups not in cognitive and other studies in. This is a very small study to real pilot study of gynecological cancer survivors that demonstrated a lower neurocognitive performance and lower structure.

Also a connective compared to healthy controls. The reason I’m showing this study is just really to give the idea of where the breakthrough new acupuncture research is going. So this was a pilot study, but they look at more aspects, both on biomarkers. They looked at what people like different questionnaires, so like a subjective subjective objective measurement, but also even the structure in the brain.

So in this respect, it’s a kind of very innovative study because they also look at the structure itself. If acupuncture can affect this. The led the occupant trees use different points, as you can see, all of them are in the head. In my opinion as an acupuncturist, we are missing the diagnose, the part, we don’t look anymore in the efficiency’s access.

We don’t look at the, do my, we don’t look at the way acupuncture can affect the marrow, the brain. We’re more looking at the points that potentially can increase cognition or brain function, but still the points are selected that are known. So again, we have cecinct and

like the four points around do 20 we have in tongue and young points on the head. We have a gallbladder eight, so we have gallbladder points too, that can have an effect and can increase. How would they like what to just go bloody nine personally? But gallbladder 15 gallbladder, 20 blood AGV, 20 stomach eight.

So they let the acupuncturist choose a point. According to their preferences, to the patient. As a it’s a pilot study, that’s very few people in each group. They did it twice a week for 30 days. And they followed that they did from four to six kind of cycles of treatments and then seconds per patient, 10 sessions per patients.

So as I said, very small group, eventually three in each group. So it’s a pilot of pilot, but the results are interesting because they also look at three different li. Parts of checking the difference in the patients between the treated one and the control group. So they look at the, again, neurocognitive tests and they look at the multimodal MRIs.

So it was more in MRI checking there, especially changes in the structure of the brain and they look here at the different BioMarin then. And they, the NAA, which is a game then kind of neural marker that have a correlation to a neuron density neuron function. And it’s a lot of the markers that can be checked also for cognition.

And when they looked alone in this very pilot study, they said that there is a different in the intimate, micro, structural, white matter in the brain. It was lower than in the healthy control group. When they look at the NAA, the, again, it’s specifically the left hyper Calamus. We won’t go into areas in the brain.

They compare and see that there is a again, results in difference between. Healthy controls. He was the controls were healthy to the cancer patients. This is what they’re looking at, the micro structure and really the reason I brought this very pilot studies to show that they’re trying to compare.

Acupuncture and the effect of acupuncture in disrespect on cancer patients compared to the healthy patient, also assessing cognitive function and looking at structural of the white matter in the brain and to look at different kinds of biomarkers and property. It was the NAA before the BDNF. So this is a very interesting way to assess acupuncture and I believe we will see more and more.

Future studies that have different aspects of checking the efficacy of acupuncture and. And I think this will be a great breakthrough, especially for the skeptics, because if you affect biomarkers or if you affect structure, it tends to an impact which is much greater than any subjective effect.

And especially in areas where Western medicine is very little to offer. For cognitive factors, There’s merely nothing that Western medicine can offer. So it’s, I’ve seen really by now hundreds of constipation, and I know the effect and sometime the effect is almost immediate. People will come up after our acupuncture treatment, constipation was saying, oh my head is not fogging anymore.

I can concentrate. I can read. I came from the treatment and I started reading books, which I’ve read for the last few months. So it’s also very fulfilling for us as an acupuncturist. And I think research especially this type of kind of innovative research will be very Supportive and will strengthen the effect of sending people for acupuncture, especially cancer patients.

As I say before, I’ve been heavily involved over the last years in both treating cancer patients, doing a lot of research publishing more in herbal medicine but also teaching oncology acupuncture Luckily through the zoom I can sell around the world. It was also before, but I have to travel more.

Now we have really people from four continent graduating from this course and having a lot of huge international companies. More than 500 people who can just share their experience. And as we know for cancer, there’s no borders. And also for acupuncture and teaching, there is no bones. If you’ll be interested in the program like this, you’re welcome to check it out.

And and I hope any way that you will find this information in ideas, very useful, as I say, because they’re go beyond just treating constipation, but any other patient.

I would like to thank you very much for watching this show. I would like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for putting up this show. Next week there is a Sam Collins, so we are welcomed to watch it, and I wish you all the best of health and healing. Thank you very much