Objective: To compare the differences in the clinical efficacy on Alzheimer's disease between acupuncture and medicine.
Methods: One hundred and forty-one patients were randomized into an acupuncture group (72 cases) and a medicine group (69 cases). In the acupuncture group, the needling technique for benefiting qi, promoting blood circulation, regulating mind and improving intelligence was used at Shenting (GV 24), Baihui (GV 20), Fengchi (GB 20), Wangu (GB 12), Danzhong (CV 17), Zhangwan (CV 12), Qihai (CV 6), Xuehai (SP 10) and Zusanli (ST 36). The supplementary acupoints were selected according to the symptoms and physical signs. Acupuncture was given once a day and 6 treatments were required for a week. In the medicine group, the choline sterase inhibitor, donepezil (aricept) was prescribed for oral administration, 1 tablet (5 mg) each time, once every night. Four weeks later, the dose was increased to 2 tablets (10 mg) each time. In the two groups, the treatment of 4 weeks made one session and 4 sessions were required. The changes of scores before and after treatment in the minimum mental state examination (MMSE), the activity of daily living scale (ADL), Alzheimer's disease assessment scale-cognition (ADAS-cog) and the digit span (DS) were observed.
Results: After treatment, scores of MMSE and DS were increased as compared with those before treatment (both P < 0.05) and scores of ADL and ADAS-cog were reduced as compared with those before treatment. The score differences in MMSE, ADL, ADAS-cog and DS before and after treatment were significant in the two groups (all P < 0.01).
Conclusion: The needling technique for benefiting qi, promoting blood circulation, regulating mind and improving intelligence significantly improves the overall function, cognition and activity of daily life in the patients of Alzheimer's disease and the efficacy is better than donepezil.