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Acupuncture May Help Chemo-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

(HealthDay News) – The addition of acupuncture to best medical care for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) may have a positive effect, according to a pilot study published online December 5, 2011 in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Sven Schroeder, PhD (of the HanseMerkur Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University Medical Center in Hamburg, Germany) and colleagues evaluated the therapeutic effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy by measuring the changes in nerve conduction studies. Six patients were treated with acupuncture for 10 weeks, along with best medical care, and five patients were given best medical care with no specific treatment for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (control group).

The investigators found an improvement in the nerve conduction study after treatment in five of the six patients treated with acupuncture. In the control group, one patient showed improvement, one showed impairment, and three showed no difference in the nerve conduction study.

“The data suggest that acupuncture has a positive effect on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy as measured by objective parameters nerve conduction study,” the authors write. “This pilot study shows encouraging results for the application of acupuncture in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, justifying a randomized controlled trial.”

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