Monday, June 30, 2014

Bee Venom, Acupuncture Prove Promising for Parkinson's Disease Patients

Bee venom, a powerful product from honey bees contains many components with incredible potential. This study reinforces recent studies which found bee venom therapy positive for treating Parkinsons, as well as other conditions, such as ALS and Alzheimer's Disease. 

Bee Venom Acupuncture Shows Promise in Parkinson's Disease
Medscape, 2014, June

Stockholm, Sweden — Both acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture showed promising results in improving symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease in a new small study.

The study was presented at the recent International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

Senor author of the study, Seong-Uk Park, MD, Stroke and Neurological Disorders Center, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Gangdong, Seoul, Korea, explained to Medscape Medical News that studies suggest acupuncture might be beneficial in Parkinson's disease by increasing the efflux and turnover of dopamine. It has also been suggested to enhance the benefits of L-dopa and alleviate the adverse effects.

Commenting on the results, Louis Tan, MD, National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore, who was not involved in the study, said, "The results showed significant improvement of movement outcomes with acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture. These results are important as it has been found that up to 70% of patients in some countries use complementary therapies for the management of Parkinson's disease."

In the study 43 patients with Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned into 3 groups: acupuncture, bee venom acupuncture, or control. Acupuncture involved insertion of needles into 10 acupuncture points at a depth of 1.0 to 1.5 cm. Needles were rotated at 2 Hz for 10 seconds and the position was maintained for 20 minutes. The treatment was repeated twice a week for 8 weeks.

During the trial, 14 patients were excluded, leaving 35 patients (13 in the acupuncture group, 13 in the bee venom acupuncture group, and 9 in the control group) for analysis. Baseline characteristics did not significantly differ between groups.

Participants in the bee venom acupuncture group showed significant improvement on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) (total score, as well as parts II and III individually), the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and the 30-meter walking time.

In the acupuncture group, the UPDRS (part III and total scores) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) improved significantly. The control group showed no significant changes in any outcome after 8 weeks.

No serious adverse events from the bee venom or acupuncture treatments occurred. One patient in the bee venom group reported itchiness.

Dr. Park acknowledged that because of the small number of patients in this study, no definite conclusion can be drawn, but he believes the results are still promising. He added that a second trial is now underway, and is expected to be completed later this year.…

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