Evaluation of acupuncture in the treatment of Parkinson's disease: a double-blind pilot study

Mov Disord. 2005 Sep;20(9):1185-8. doi: 10.1002/mds.20503.


As many as 40% of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) use some form of complementary medicine during the course of their illness, and many try acupuncture. One nonblinded study of the effects of acupuncture in PD suggested that it might be helpful for some aspects of PD. We performed a double-blind, randomized, pilot study comparing acupuncture to a control nonacupuncture procedure to determine the effects of acupuncture upon a variety of PD-associated symptoms. Fourteen patients with Stage II or III PD received acupuncture or a control nonacupuncture protocol. Before and after treatment, patients were evaluated using the Motor subscale of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), and the Geriatric Depression Scale. There were no statistically significant changes for the outcomes measured. In the patients who received acupuncture, nonsignificant trends toward improvement were noted in the Activities of Daily Living score of the PDQ-39, the PDQ-39 Summary Index(c) 2005 Movement Disorder Society.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome