Explaining the Effects of Acupuncture Post-Stroke

One American dies every four minutes due to a stroke, one out of every twenty deaths. Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability. There may be resulting paralysis, speech and swallowing difficulty, pain and numbness, memory loss and depression. Blockage or narrowing of a blood vessel will disrupt blood flow to part of the brain, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die causing the resulting dysfunctions. Aside from blockage of a vessel, bleeding in the brain is the cause of the stroke 15% of the time. By arriving at the emergency room with three hours of the first symptoms, there is a greater chance of reduced disability after three months than those who have delayed care.

In China acupuncture post stroke has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years to help the healing process after a stroke. A study this year in the lab may have found why. Scientists were studying the reaction of Angiopoietin, which is integral in remodeling the brain after a stroke, with acupuncture. The study examined how electro-acupuncture worked at two points believed to help up-regulate angiopoietin, points Ang-1 and Ang-2. The experiment produced results

that suggest a strong causational relationship between the administered electro-acupuncture and an increase in Angiopoietin. This study brings science even closer to confirming the long held belief that acupuncture post stroke is highly recommended.

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