This study aimed to explore the effectiveness of both acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture as adjuvant therapies for idiopathic Parkinson's disease. We recruited 43 adults with idiopathic Parkinson's disease who had been on a stable dose of antiparkinsonian medication for at least 1 month. They were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: acupuncture, bee venom acupuncture, or control. All participants were assessed using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, the Parkinson's Disease Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Berg Balance Scale, and the time and number of steps required to walk 30 m. Treatment groups underwent stimulation of 10 acupuncture points using acupuncture or bee venom acupuncture twice a week for 8 weeks. The initial assessment was repeated at the completion of treatment. The control group did not receive any treatment. Participants in the bee venom acupuncture group showed significant improvement on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (total score, as well as parts II and III individually), the Berg Balance Scale, and the 30 m walking time. When compared to the control group, the bee venom acupuncture group experienced significantly greater improvement on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale. In the acupuncture group, the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (part III and total scores) and the Beck Depression Inventory showed significant improvement. The control group showed no significant changes in any outcome after 8 weeks. In this pilot study, both acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture showed promising results as adjuvant therapies for Parkinson's disease.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.