Electroacupuncture improves ADHD in children

Little is known about the effects of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Here, we carried out a 4 week randomized clinical trial in which patients aged 6-12 years old with an ADHD diagnosis received TEAS or sham TEAS.

The primary outcome measure was the investigator-rated Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) score at week 4. Secondary outcomes included changes from baseline to week 4 in the investigator-rated Clinical Global Impression-Severity of Illness (CGI-S) score, the Conners’ Parent/Teacher Rating Scales-Revised: Short Form (CPRS-R: S/CTRS-R: S) score, go/no-go task performance, and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)-based oxygenated hemoglobin level within the prefrontal cortex. At week 4, the CGI-I score indicated improvement in 33.3% of the TEAS group compared with 7.7% of the sham group (P = 0.005). The TEAS group had a greater decrease in the mean CGI-S score (-0.87) than the sham TEAS group (-0.28) (P = 0.003).

A greater enhancement in the mean cerebral oxygenated hemoglobin within the prefrontal cortex was found in the TEAS group (0.099 mM mm) compared with the sham TEAS group (0.005 mM mm) (P < 0.001). CPRS-R: S score, CTRS-R: S score, and go/no-go performance exhibited no significant improvement after TEAS treatment. The manipulation-associated adverse events were uncommon in both groups, and events were very mild.

Our results show that noninvasive TEAS significantly improved general symptoms and increased prefrontal cortex blood flow within 4 weeks for children with ADHD. Further clinical trials are required to understand the long-term efficacy in a larger clinical sample. 

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35449191/

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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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