Posted on Apr 22, 2019, 5 p.m.
Mild cognitive impairment can progress to dementia which can reduce quality of life and make it difficult to live independently. Daejeon University research has found those with MCI can have improvements with electroacupuncture supported by a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Electroacupuncture has been used in the past to treat various kinds of neurological disorders; based on their findings the team concluded electroacupuncture can safely be used as an effective treatment for mild cognitive impairment. This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the effects of electroacupuncture on patients with mild cognitive impairment in comparison to conventional treatments. 5 randomized controlled trials with a total of 257 participants of which 103 received electroacupuncture and 154 received conventional treatment were included in the study. Analysis showed treatment with electroacupuncture was more effective in improving cognitive function in those with MCI with no reported side effects.
Mild cognitive impairment can cause noticeable cognitive decline involving memory and thinking that are not severe enough to interfere with daily life and independent function, which has two classifications based on thinking skill affected: Amnestic MCI primarily affecting memory; and Non-amnestic MCI which affects thinking skills other than memory such as decision making, visual perception, or ability to judge time or sequence of steps to complete a task. 15%-20% of those aged 65+ will be affected by mild cognitive impairment. MCI will typically lead to dementia, however cognitive function of some people with MCI can return to normal, remain stable, and not progress to dementia.
There are other coping strategies other than electroacupuncture which may be helpful in slowing down cognitive deterioration such as engaging in regular activities that improve health of heart and blood vessels that nourish the brain; preventing cardiovascular risk factors to protect heart and blood vessels which aid in brain function; participating in activities that stimulate memory, think skills, and improve social skills to help sustain brain function; adhering to a healthy diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables to protect cognitive health; and adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet which are good for the heart and brain.
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This article is not intended to provide medical endorsement, advice, diagnosis or treatment.