The effects of sa-am acupuncture treatment on respiratory physiology parameters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a pilot study.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013 ;2013:506317. Epub 2013 Sep 11. PMID: 24101939
Respiratory dysfunction and complications are the most common causes of death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This is a pilot study to observe the changes in respiratory physiology parameters after Sa-am acupuncture treatment. Eighteen ALS patients received Sa-am acupuncture treatment twice a day for 5 days. The EtCO2, SpO2, RR, and pulse rate were measured for 15 min before and during treatment, using capnography and oximetry. Correlation of K-ALSFRS-R scores against measured parameters showed that patients who had high K-ALSFRS-R scores had greater changes in pulse rate after acupuncture stimulation; they also showed a decrease in EtCO2, RR, and pulse rate and an increase in SpO2. A comparison of the mean values of these different parameters before and after Sa-am acupuncture stimulation revealed statistically significant differences (P<0.05) in SpO2 and pulse rate, but none in EtCO2 and RR. Sa-am acupuncture treatment on ALS patients seems to be more effective in the early stages of the disease. In light of increased SpO2 values, Sa-am acupuncture appears to have a greater effect on inspiration rather than on expiration. As a pilot study of acupuncture on ALS patients, this study could be used as a basis for future research.