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A Study Finds a Direct Connection between Acupuncture and the Physical Mechanisms that Heal Sepsis

March 19, 2014

A mice study reveled the benefits of acupuncture in treating sepsis through the stimulation of the immune system targeted to combat inflammation.

A Rutgers New Jersey Medical School study published in Nature Medicine found that half the septic mice that received electroacupuncture survived for at least two weeks when compared to the septic mice that did not receive the treatment. It was deduced that electroacupuncture stimulates the release of dopamine from the adrenal glands to help influence the immune system that then helpes reduce inflammation, whereas adding dopamine by itself does not have an effect. With sepsis causing around 250, 000 deaths in the US each year, “in many cases the patients don’t die because of infection,” says Luis Ulloa, an immunologist are Rutgers. “Instead they die because of inflammatory disorder they develop after the infection,” which is why this study is significant. Additionally, the study also found that a drug called fenoldopam, which mimics dopamine, succeeded in reducing deaths by sepsis by 40%. The team noted that even without acupuncture, fenoldopam was able to achieve the reduction in death. In conclusion, the study provides an avenue for developing drugs for humans that could reduce sepsis death because currently there is no FDA-approved drug to treat sepsis. Ulloa adds that she does not know “whether in the future the best solution for sepsis will be electroacupuncture or some medicine that will mimic electroacupuncture.” Nevertheless, the findings opened up new roads for both acupuncture and a drug for treating sepsis.

To access the article click here.

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