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Hi everybody. Today I would like to lecture on the very interesting topic related to memory and cognition, and especially the effect of acupuncture in reduction of memory and cognition in patients with cancer or patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. And I would like to thank the American Acupuncture Consult, putting up this presentation.
This phenomena of cancer related cognition, impairment, or chemotherapy related cognition impairment are quite known. Sometimes patient describe it as chemo brain or chemo fog, which means they are, have difficulty in concentrating. So different normal tasks, even like reading a newspaper or having memorizing, simple tasks.
Are becoming a chore and becoming a really difficult situation. And it is very, the prevalence is very high. If we see three out of four breast cancer, survivals will say that they had some kind of memory impairment or cognition impairment, and it ranges from 16% to 75. And even more depends on the cancer, depends on the chemotherapy and the length and strength of the chemotherapy.
There’s been few acupuncture studies which are very promising in the result, and they’re very innovative. In the way they look at how acupuncture affects this cognition, one of them look at the effect of acupuncture in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It took 80 patients, 40 received acupuncture, 40 were in the control group, and it looked at two parameters.
One was a biomarkers, which is neurochemical peptides, which are released in the brain. The more you have them, they’re called B D N F. The higher the B D N F level in the serum level of the patient, the better cognition, the lower. The worst cognition. So it’s actually looked at the biomarker that you can see objectively the effect of acupuncture versus the control group.
And it took a battery of different tests like assessment of cognition test that the patient had to feel and looked the difference between the patient in the real group comparing to the . patients who were just in the control group and the results were very promising. There’s different things that were different that you could see that statistically are different between the group.
First of all, in the all the tests, the patients who had the acupuncturist scored my higher than the patients in the control group, but also the serum level of B D N F. This biomarkers were much higher in the patients who receive acupuncture comparing . To the control group and when you compare both, there was a good kind of relationship between the higher B D N F level and the higher score in the tests.
So this is showing that this biomarker has significance and potentially it’s another way to understand, or later on to research how acupuncture is affecting the brain and affecting condition cognition. Not just in this group of cancer patients and then going chemotherapy, but generally within the general population and in the control group, there was no significance different on both, not on the B D N F and not on the scoring for the tests.
So the conclusion was that acupuncture therapies an effective treatment for . Chemotherapy related cognition impairment in breast cancer patients, although we need to look deeper into the mechanism and look how the B D N F has affected in this group. When we look at the acupuncture point, it’s quite interesting.
You’ve seen that the group of acupuncture points are concentrated in the head and there is additional points on the leg, like stomach 36. So it affects more in Chinese medicine, we’ll say the spleen, the E. The ability to digest information. Gallbladder 39 will affect the gallbladder, which also and nourishes the brain, but it’s also a point for the marrow, which is reduced during chemotherapy and kidney point and kidney as we know.
And the disease of the kidney is especially important for a long-term memory. So the design was quite interesting. Some point on the head that the fact . Memory and points that affect the postnatal and prenatal chi. Another interesting study was on it’s a very small it’s a kind of very pilot study or initial study, but it was very interesting in the way it was designed and it was in cancer related cognition, impairment in Chinese group gynecological cancer patient.
But the reason I want to bring this study, because they looked already at three parameters. So they look at the assessment like patient has to fill in the forms. They looked also at the micro structural of the white matter in the brain because there is a certain reduction in a certain area in the brain.
When cognition is lowered. So they look at the difference and also in the wide matter itself, in the brain and look at the different neurochemical peptides in the brain, the n a and also in the small group, there was a big difference between control group and between the real, these are the different points, all of them on the head, as you can see.
So it has its advantage and this advantage. And the patient can determine which points he’s choosing according to the patient’s condition. This is example for Tang Point on the head, which can also used for other headaches and other problems in the head when we use it normally in acupuncture. And the results were very interesting because again, there was a better scoring on the test, although the group was very small.
But also there was a difference in this micro structural Side of the brain that is related to cognition, especially the apo colonus and the bdnf. The n a level was also higher, so also this peptide, which you can isolate from the serum was higher. So we are moving into kind of a new era of research, and first, let me say a word about acupuncture and cognition and memory.
In acupuncture, we look at the body, mind, spirit approach. So in the body we, it very much relates to the kidney and to the gene and the strength of the body and the vitality of the body. The stronger the vitality of the body, the better the memory on the mind level. We’ll look at the E, we’ll look at the spleen, we’ll look at the different aspects of ability to think and to assimilate memory and bring things from memory.
But additionally, in Chinese medicine, which is not , Difficult to put in research. We also look at the spirit and Duchenne and the heart, which gives this kind of coherence of cell up awareness and general coherence. Although, we can, when we look into chemotherapy, we need to look also in other aspects of phlegm and toxins.
We can, which we, I will touch on in a minute, a little bit more. So now we are looking at a different paradigm of research. When actually the researchers look at the body of, like in functional MRIs, we look at brain fractures, biomarker pathways, and different neurological system, which are affected by acupuncture.
On the mind. Patients will do the cognition tests and can be compared, but still, hopefully in the future we’ll also give space to something which is more in Chinese medicine, we’ll say, the spirits, the presence, the ability of . Self awareness and being in, in a good awareness, not just in a, for cognition, for tests.
So this integration of Chinese medicine into especially oncology, has a very promising future. I would like to mention that we are doing looking at the, very much at the skills. That acupuncturist needs in order to treat cancer patients. And in the T C M Academy, we’ve developed a very unique and international course, very deep course that looks into the core competence that ones need in order to treat cancer patients.
And as you can see, like cognition and memories is just one aspect. Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, has been shown . With evidence to help in many other conditions. And when we are looking at teaching the core competence, we are looking at the Western medicine understanding and research. We are looking at the Chinese medicine understanding and also generally we can look at the evidence that are available there and see how we can conclude for evidence.
So in this International Oncology Acupuncture certificate course, We go deeper into understanding this and covering many conditions, especially many conditions, that there is already evidence for them, helping acupuncturists to become a well equipped to treat cancer patients. So we look at different conditions such as pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dry mouth.
And a big list of others in order to equip acupuncturists with the best knowledge and the core best core competence to treat cancer patients. So I hope you enjoyed this presentation. I would like to thank you very much. If you have further questions, you can write to me and all the very best. Be healthy and well.
Thank you very much. . . .