Research: WU and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 158


WU and colleagues, Department of Neurology, Beijing Children's Hospital, The Capital Medical University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, have conducted a randomized controlled trial of acupuncture and tui na massage in patients with cerebral palsy.


The objective of this study was to observe for any change in baseline seizure frequency with acupuncture in children with cerebral palsy.


A randomized controlled study was conducted: Group I consisted of integrated acupuncture, tuina, and rehabilitation (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and hydrotherapy) for 12 weeks; and Group II consisted of rehabilitation (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and hydrotherapy) for 12 weeks. After a washout period of 4 weeks, Group II then received acupuncture and tuina for 12 weeks. Each subject received 5 daily acupuncture sessions per week for 12 weeks (total = 60 sessions). All children were assessed for any change in seizure frequency during treatment.


One hundred and sixteen (116) children were recruited and randomized into Group I (N = 58) and Group II (N = 58). Thirty-three (33) children withdrew (9 from Group I and 24 from Group II). Of the remaining 83 children, Group I consisted of 49 and Group II of 34 children. For baseline, 5 children (6%; 5/83) had seizures. During phase 1 (12 weeks) of integrative treatment and subsequent 4-week follow-up, 3 children in Group I had seizures. Among those 3 children with seizures, 1 child with prior history of recurrent febrile seizure had 3 more recurrent febrile seizures during acupuncture treatment and 2 children without any prior history of seizures had new-onset seizures (1 with 3 recurrent febrile seizures and 1 with afebrile seizure). For Group I, 2 children with epilepsy had no increase in seizure frequency during acupuncture treatment. For Group II during the phase 2 acupuncture period, none had increase in seizure frequency. In both groups, 4 of 5 children (80%; 2 in Group I and 2 in Group II) with seizures had no increase in seizure frequency during acupuncture treatment and follow-up.


The risk of increasing seizure is not increased with acupuncture treatment for cerebral palsy.


Wu Y.  Zou LP.  Han TL.  Zheng H.  Caspi O.  Wong V.  Su Y.  Shen KL.   Randomized controlled trial of traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture and tuina) in cerebral Palsy: part 1--any increase in seizure in integrated acupuncture and rehabilitation group versus rehabilitation group. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 14(8):1005-9. Oct 2008.

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