Recent research has shown that electroacupuncture possesses benefits as an antidepressant and can even prevent atrophy of brain cells.
has shown that electroacupuncture possesses benefits as an antidepressant and can even prevent atrophy of brain cells.
The researchers hypothesize that the antidepressant benefit of electroacupuncture may be because of its capacity to prevent “glial atrophy in the hippocampus.”
Glial cells provide nourishment and oxygen to brain neurons, and are known to form myelin, a dialectric material required for the correct function of the central nervous system.
The researchers studied model rats whose depression was induced by chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). The researchers discovered that a “daily session of EA [electroacupuncture] treatment significantly reversed the behavioral deficit of these depression model rats.”
Electroacupuncture was applied to acupuncture points Du20 (Gv20, BaiHui) and AnMian (Ex17) unilaterally daily for three consecutive weeks. The antidepressant benefit of the treatment was calculated through physical state analysis and open field test measurements.
The protective effects of electroacupuncture on brain cells was measured by “immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.”
Researchers determined that electroacupuncture helped prevent atrophy of glial cells in the hippocampus of the rats; they also reported that there is an accumulation of data showing that major depressive disorder is linked to glia cell atrophy.