ZL Sun, J Liu, W Guo, T Jiang, C Ma, WB Li, YL Tang and SH Ling,
Psychiatry research, Oct 30 2016
Accumulating evidence supports that acupuncture has been successfully used for the treatment of neurological disorders to improve cognitive function. This study was set to evaluate the efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA, using two acupoints: Baihui and Shenting) on clinical symptoms, cognitive function and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in patients with schizophrenia. Sixty-one inpatients diagnosed schizophrenia with DSM-IV criteria were recruited. The participants were randomly divided into an experimental group (n=30) and a control group (n=31). The patients were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) at baseline and after EA treatment. There were no significant differences in the PANSS scores and serum BDNF levels between the experimental group and the control group, either at baseline or at the end of the 4-week study period. However, the EA treatment appeared to have significant benefits on memory and moderate benefits on executive functions and problem solving. Significant positive correlation was observed between the increase of BDNF levels and memory improvement after EA treatment. Our results indicated that EA treatment could improve cognitive function, and the cognitive benefits positively associate with serum BDNF levels in patients with schizophrenia.