Background: This review aims to systematically summarize and analyze recent high-quality animal research results about the use of acupuncture in Alzheimer’s disease patients. This information will be useful in providing a reference for future experimental research and an experimental basis for the clinical use of acupuncture in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Methods: We utilized and referenced various electronic libraries from their inception to November 2021. Relevant information was reviewed and information such as the journal names, publication records, animal model selections and preparations, intervention measures, acupoint selections, detection methods, and detection indicators was extracted. Results. A total of 75 eligible studies were selected for additional review. Male SAMP8 mice, APP/PS1 double transgenic mice, Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats, and Wistar rats were the four commonly used animal strains in the experiments. The animals were categorized as transgenic and surgical mouse models. Experimental interventions included manual acupuncture (MA), Electro-acupuncture (EA), Moxibustion, and EA combined with Moxibustion.
A retention time of 20 min was the optimal timing for experimental studies, with 14 sessions chosen as the most common treatment time. EA was the most prescribed acupuncture treatment type with continuous wave, 2 Hz frequency, and 1 mA electric current selected as frequently used parameters. A total of 78 acupoint prescriptions were analyzed involving 21 acupoints. The top 3 combinations of common acupoints were GV20 ⟶ EX-HN3, GV20 ⟶ BL23, and GV20 ⟶ GV26. A total of 39 articles had positive drug control groups, sham acupuncture, and/or nonacupoint control groups. Furthermore, 10 types of behavioral tests, 29 detection methods, 178 evaluation indicators, and 18 tissue samples were included in the analysis.
Conclusions: By collating these high-quality research studies systematically and comprehensively, acupuncture was found to be a viable and effective treatment in Alzheimer’s disease animal models.