Acupuncture as a treatment for rat stress? Watch out for bias!

Acupuncture reduces protein linked to stress in first of its kind animal study

Acupuncture significantly reduces levels of a protein in rats linked to chronic stress, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have found. They say their animal study may help explain the sense of well-being that many people receive from this ancient Chinese therapy.

Published online in December in Experimental Biology and Medicine, the researchers say that if their findings are replicated in human studies, acupuncture would offer a proven therapy for stress, which is often difficult to treat.

“It has long been thought that acupuncture can reduce stress, but this is the first study to show molecular proof of this benefit,” says the study’s lead author, Ladan Eshevari, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies, a part of GUMC.

Credit: Blue_wode via Twitter

Hmm, still wondering…. I can’t see from this article how big the study was but it was obviously NOT large and of course NOT on humans. The details are not available yet. Such a study that shows a change in a measurable variable would need to be replicated. More than once. I see no reason why it can’t be done on humans. Remember, acupuncture has no scientific plausibility as yet. So, it’s fair to remain skeptical of these claims from those who WANT the process to show positive results. (She is an acupuncturist so obviously subscribes to the idea that it works – a bit of bias there, don’t you think?)