Electroacupuncture improves cognitive function in Alzheimer’s

Background: Metabolic defects play a crucial role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) development. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has been identified as a novel potential therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease due to its unique role in energy metabolism. Electroacupuncture (EA) shows promise in improving cognitive ability and brain glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease, but its effects on peripheral and central metabolism are unclear.

Methods: In this study, SAMP8 mice (Alzheimer’s disease model) received electroacupuncture stimulation at specific acupoints. Cognitive abilities were evaluated using the Morris water maze test, while neuronal morphology and tau pathology were assessed through Nissl staining and immunofluorescence staining, respectively. Metabolic variations and brown adipose tissue thermogenesis were measured using ELISA, HE staining, Western blotting, and infrared thermal imaging.

Results: Compared to SAMR1 mice, SAMP8 mice showed impaired cognitive ability, neuronal damage, disrupted thermoregulation, and metabolic disorders with low brown adipose tissue activity. Both the electroacupuncture and DD groups improved cognitive ability and decreased tau phosphorylation (p<0.01 or p<0.05). However, only the electroacupuncture group had a significant effect on metabolic disorders and BAT thermogenesis (p<0.01 or p<0.05), while the DD group did not.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that electroacupuncture not only improves the cognitive ability of SAMP8 mice, but also effectively regulates peripheral and central metabolic disorders, with this effect being significantly related to the activation of brown adipose tissue thermogenesis.

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38283741/

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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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