Posted on Jan 09, 2012, 6 a.m.
Acupuncture significantly reduces levels of neuropeptide Y, a marker of chronic stress, in a lab animal model.
In that chronic stress can exacerbate existing diseases, a number of previous studies have suggested acupuncture as an approach to treat chronic stress. Ladan Eshkevari, from Georgetown University Medical Center (Washington DC, USA), and colleagues studied the effect of acupuncture on blood levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), a peptide that is considered to be a marker of chronic stress. The team devised a study to test if acupuncture delivered at the acupuncture point stomach 36 (ST(36)) is effective in mitigating cold stress-induced neuropeptide Y elevation, in a lab model using rats. The team found that neuropeptide Y in the animals that received acupuncture was significantly reduced (to almost the same level as the controls), and the animals that were stressed but not treated with acupuncture exhibited elevated neuropeptide Y levels. The study authors report that: “The findings indicate [acupuncture at acupuncture point stomach 36] is effective in preventing one of the sympathetic pathways stimulated during chronic stress, and thus may be a useful adjunct therapy in stress-related disorders.”
Eshkevari L, Egan R, Phillips D, Tilan J, Carney E, Azzam N, Amri H, Mulroney SE. “Acupuncture at ST36 prevents chronic stress-induced increases in neuropeptide Y in rat.” Exp Biol Med, 2011 Dec 7.