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Clinical Trial Explores Acupuncture as Treatment for Anxiety in Parkinson's Patients


Clinical trial shows acupuncture alleviates anxiety in Parkinson's patients

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. One of the most common symptoms of PD is anxiety, which can have a significant impact on a patient's quality of life. While various treatments are available for anxiety, many of them come with unpleasant side effects.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. While the exact mechanisms of how acupuncture works are not fully understood, it is thought to stimulate the body's natural healing processes, release endorphins, and improve blood flow.

Clinical Trial

A clinical trial published in JAMA Network Open suggests that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for anxiety in patients with PD. The randomized clinical trial included 64 patients with PD and anxiety who underwent 8 weeks of either real acupuncture or fake acupuncture. Clinical monitoring was also included in both groups.

This study was done in a hospital and the patients were chosen at random to get either real acupuncture or sham acupuncture for 8 weeks. The people who did the acupuncture, the people who checked the results, and the people who did the math were not told which patients got which kind of acupuncture. The patients themselves also didn't know which group they were in.

The main thing the researchers wanted to know was how much anxiety the patients had, so they used a test called the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A). They also looked at some other things, like how bad the Parkinson's disease was (using a test called the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale or UPDRS), how much the disease affected the patient's daily life (using a questionnaire called the 39-item Parkinson Disease Questionnaire or PDQ-39), and some hormones in the patient's blood (called adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH, and cortisol or CORT).

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At the end of the treatment period, both real acupuncture and placebo acupuncture significantly reduced anxiety levels. However, two months after treatment, only the group that received real acupuncture continued to show a significant reduction in anxiety levels. The study's results suggest that acupuncture with clinical monitoring may alleviate anxiety in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Of the 70 eligible patients who were enrolled in the study, 64 completed the intervention and the 8-week follow-up. Four mild adverse reactions occurred during the study, but no serious adverse events were reported.

These findings are particularly noteworthy because anxiety is a common and often undertreated symptom of Parkinson's disease. By providing a non-invasive and low-risk treatment option for anxiety in PD patients, acupuncture may help improve their quality of life.


This study provides encouraging evidence for the use of acupuncture as a potential treatment option for anxiety in PD patients. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal acupuncture treatment protocol for anxiety in PD patients. In the meantime, patients with PD and anxiety may wish to discuss the possibility of acupuncture treatment with their healthcare provider.


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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.