Acupuncture-related treatments improve cognitive and physical functions in Alzheimer's disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Author: Chuan-Ju Lin1, Mei-Ling Yeh2, Shu-Fang Wu2, Yu-Chu Chung3, Justin Chen-Hao Lee2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> 145469Hsinchu Cathay General Hospital, Hsinchu, Taiwan; National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei. <sup>2</sup> 38028National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan. <sup>3</sup> 117141Yuanpei University of Medical Technology, Hsinchu.
Conference/Journal: Clin Rehabil
Date published: 2022 Mar 1
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/02692155221079117. , Word Count: 240

To determine acupuncture-related treatments' effects and duration on improving cognitive function, physical function, and quality of life in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Data sources:
Eight electronic databases were searched for eligible randomized controlled trials from database inception to January 2021, including Medline, PubMed, EBSCO, Embase, Cochrane, Airiti Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and China Journal Full-text Database.

Review methods:
A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted on acupuncture types, cognitive function, activity of daily life, muscle strength and quality of life.

Sixty-six studies in total with 4191 participants, the overall risk of bias was classified 60% as low and 24% as high. Acupuncture-related treatments for cognitive function and self-care ability revealed a moderate effect size, with a significant difference in noninvasive and invasive remedies (p < 0.001). Cognitive function showed significant differences in 6, 8, 12, and 24 weeks while self-care ability in the latter two weeks (p < 0.001). Meta-regression analysis showed cognitive function increased by 0.05 points (p = 0.002) and self-care ability decreased by 0.02 points (p = 0.04) after weekly treatment. There was a significant difference in muscle strength (p = 0.0003).

Acupuncture-related treatments effectively improved cognitive function with the treatment lasted 6 weeks at least, but self-care ability started showing effects after 12 weeks of treatment. The improvement of muscle strength was also confirmed. Acupuncture-related treatments, particularly noninvasive ones, have few complications and high safety, perhaps providing patients and caregivers diversified choices and clinical care guidelines for reference.

Keywords: Acupuncture; Alzheimer's disease; activities of daily living; cognitive function; muscle strength.

PMID: 35229686 DOI: 10.1177/02692155221079117