A total of 120 patients with aMCI were divided into a moxibustion group and a medication group using a random number table, 60 patients in each group. In the moxibustion group, 6 cases were dropped out and 5 cases were withdrawn, and then 49 cases accomplished the trial finally. In the medication group, 8 cases were dropped out and 6 ceases were withdrawn, thus 46 cases finally accomplished the trial. In the moxibustion group, moxibustion therapy was provided at Baihui (GV20), Shenque (CV8) and bilateral Yongquan (KI1), once every other day, 20 minutes each time, totally for 8 weeks. In the medication group, donepezil hydrochloride tablets were administered orally, 5 mg once a day, consecutively for 8 weeks. The scores of Rivermead behavioral memory test (RBMT) and Monterey cognitive assessment (MoCA) scale were adopted as the indicators to evaluate the therapeutic effect after treatment in the two groups. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect the changes of the levels of serum protein marker levels, i.e. Aβ1-42, Tau and P-tau before and after treatment in the patients of two groups.
Results: Compared with the scores before treatment, RBMT score and MoCA score all increased after treatment in the patients of two groups (P<0.05). Compared with the medication group at the same time points, RBMT score increased significantly (P<0.05) in the moxibustion group after treatment. In the moxibustion group, as compared with the levels before treatment, the levels of serum Aβ1-42,Tau and P-tau decreased after treatment in the patients (P<0.05). But in the medication group, the levels of serum Aβ1-42 and P-tau were reduced (P<0.05). Compared with the medication group at the same time points, there were no significant differences in the changes of serum Aβ1-42,Tau and P-tau in the moxibustion group (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Moxibustion therapy based on “sancai yizhi” theory improves the cognitive function in the patients with aMCI and it affects the levels of serum Aβ1-42, Tau and P-tau, which may be the reason for the improvement of cognitive function in the patients with aMCI.