News Release

EMBARGOED until Sunday, June 8, 2014
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Elizabeth Clausen, +1 414-276-2145, eclausen@movementdisorders.org

Acupuncture and Bee Venom Acupuncture Are Beneficial Alternative Therapies for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease


STOCKHOLM – Both acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture are promising alternative therapies for Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, according to a study released today at the 18th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

Seung-Yeon Cho and colleagues at Kyung Hee University Hospital in Seoul, investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture (BVA) as a complementary and alternative therapy in patients with PD. Forty-three adult PD patients were evaluated, who had been on a stable dose of antiparkinsonism medication for at least one month. Patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: acupuncture, BVA, or control. The groups underwent stimulation of ten acupuncture points using acupuncture or BVA twice a week for eight weeks, with the control group receiving no treatment during this period.

Participants in the BVA group showed significant improvement in Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores, the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and time taken to walk 30 meters. Compared to the control group, the BVA group demonstrated significantly greater improvement in UPDRS scores. In the acupuncture group, the UPDRS and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores showed significant improvement. And the control group showed no significant changes in any outcome measure after the first eight weeks.

Louis Tan, Senior Consultant Neurologist at the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore states, “The results showed significant improvement of movement outcomes in the bee venom acupuncture group which was superior to the results with acupuncture treatment alone. 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 PD.” Tan adds that “In addition to traditional acupuncture, the Korean group has ventured into a new field of bee venom acupuncture treatment. Such carefully planned clinical studies are important to the Parkinson’s community, as they provide much needed evidence to guide the recommendation of such therapies to our PD patients.”
 

About the 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders:
Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Over 4,000 physicians and medical professionals from more than 80 countries will be able to view over 1,600 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society:
The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), an international society of over 4,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit www.movementdisorders.org.