Acupuncture has therapeutic effects on cerebral ischemia, dementia, epilepsy and other brain diseases, and also functions to repair the nervous system. Dazhui (GV14) and Baihui (GV20) are the preferred acupoints for treatment. However, whether acupuncture can treat addiction and prevent readdiction through changes to brain cell ultrastructure remains unknown. A research team from Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China pointed out that cell apoptosis was observed in the hippocampus and frontal lobe of heroin readdicted rats by electron microscopy, and immunohistochemical staining displayed a reduction in Bcl-2 expression and an increase in Bax expression in the hippocampus and frontal lobe. The researchers from this team found that acupuncture at Dazhui and Baihui can prevent brain cell apoptosis in heroin readdicted rats, which exerted a similar effect with methadone, a commonly used drug for the clinical treatment of drug addiction. Their study, which has been published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 2, 2014), has provided a partial mechanism for the neuroprotective effect of acupuncture on brain cell death in heroin readdicted rats, and provided insights on the possibility of using acupuncture for the treatment of heroin readdiction.
Article: " Acupuncture at Baihui and Dazhui reduces brain cell apoptosis in heroin readdicts," by Xiaorong Hou1, Rongjun Zhang2, Hang Lv3, Xinghui Cai1, Guangchuan Xie3, Xiaoge Song1(1 Research Institute of Acupuncture and Meridian, Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Anhui Key Laboratory of Foundation and Technology of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Cultivating Base), Hefei 230038, Anhui Province, China; 2 Department of Human Anatomy, School of Integrated Traditional Chinese & Western Medicine, Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hefei 230038, Anhui Province, China; 3 Department of Acupuncture and Tuina, School of Acupuncture & Osteology, Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hefei 230038, Anhui Province, China)
Hou XR, Zhang RJ, Lv H, Cai XH, Xie GC, Song XG. Acupuncture at Baihui and Dazhui reduces brain cell apoptosis in heroin readdicts. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(2):164-170.