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Acupuncture treatment for Dementia

Acupuncture treat the patient with dementia disorder is vary from patient to patient. The treatment
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Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is significantly enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which makes up 50% to 70% of cases. Other common types include vascular dementia (25%), Lewy body dementia (15%), and frontotemporal dementia. Less common causes include normal pressure hydrocephalus, Parkinson’s disease, syphilis, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease among others. Dementia can make patients become less interested in their usual activities. Their personalities can be affected as well. A person with dementia might therefore usually need help from friends or relatives, including help with decision making.1








The symptoms of dementia vary across types and stages of the diagnosis. The most common affected areas include memory, visual-spatial, language, attention and problem solving. Most types of dementia are slow and progressive. By the time the person shows signs of the disorder, the process in the brain has been happening for a long time. Dementia symptoms are associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Patients with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.2

Patients with dementia can become apathetic or uninterested in their usual activities, and have problems controlling their emotions. They may also find social situations challenging, lose interest in socialising, and aspects of their personality may change. Furthermore, patients with dementia might loose their language and empathy abilities, as well as their understanding and judgment capacities. Other common symptoms include emotional problems and a decrease in motivation. Although, a patient’s consciousness is usually not affected.3



There are four main causes of easily reversible dementia: hypothyroidism, vitamin B12 deficiency, Lyme disease, and neurosyphillis. All people with memory difficulty should be checked for hypothyroidism and B12 deficiency. For Lyme disease and neurosyphilis, testing should be done if there are risk factors for those diseases in the person. Because risk factors are often difficult to determine, testing for neurosyphillis and Lyme disease as well as the other mentioned factors may be undertaken as a matter of course in cases where dementia is suspected. Another possible causes of dementia include: Alzheimer’s disease, which is the leading cause of dementia, brain damage due to injury or stroke, Huntington’s disease, Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia.4



Related Acupuncture Points :

GV-14, GV-26, GV-16, CV-15, SI-3, PC-8, LI-4, PC-5, SJ-6, LV-3.

Common acupoints to treat Dementia include shenting (GV-24), shenmen (HT-7), jianshi (PC-5), hegu (LI-4), zusanli (ST-36), sanyinjiao (SP-6), and taichong (LV-3). The treatment is to be given everyday for 30 days long. However, when dealing with advanced mental illness, the acupoints involved should be the scalp points and forearm/hand points. The needles in the head directly impact the functional activity of the cerebral frontal lobe and the mind while checking the liver and calming the wind. The hand points are very important for regulating the mental state, tranquilize the mind, clear the pericardium, and help sleep. Furthermore, acupuncture can improve the blood flow in the brain, in case of a presence of brain hematoma, acupunture can promote its absorption in the brain, leading cerebral cells to be awakened and to regain its function, speeding up recovery of the injured brain tissues. Acupuncture also promotes the release of a large quantity of serotonin in the brain and noradrenalin in the spinal cord.5

In addition, controlled investigations reveal that acupuncture outperforms drug therapy for the treatment of vascular dementia. Acupuncture was found to be both safe and effective. At the same time, specific acupuncture protocols were found to be superior to conventional treatments. Multiple studies indicate that the micro-acupuncture system termed scalp acupuncture is particularly beneficial to vascular dementia patients. Vascular dementia involves deficient liver and kidney qi and blood, phlegm stagnation, and qi and blood stasis. The conventional acupoints recommended for this condition are GV-20 Sishencong, Fengchi GB-20, GV-26 Shuigou, Quchi LI-11, Zusanli ST-36, Juegu GB-39, Taixi KD-3.6

The Xing Nao Kai Qiao acupuncture treatment recommended for body and scalp acupuncture points included the following points, body style acupoints: Neiguan, PC-6, Renzhong (Shuigou), GV-26 Yintang. Whereas, for scalp acupoints: middle line of vertex at Qianding (GV-21) towards Baihui, middle line of forehead at Shenting (GV-24), both sides of the lateral line 1 of vertex at Chengguang (BL-6), emotional area (2 cm laterally to the anterior median line and 2 cm within the hairline). These acupuncture protocols are recommended once per day, six days per week, for a total of thirty days.


  1. What Is Dementia? – alz.org – 2017, http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp
  2. Dementia – wikipedia.org – 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dementia
  3. 10 Early Symptoms of Dementia – healthline.com – 2017, http://www.healthline.com/health/dementia/early-warning-signs#Symptoms2
  4. About dementia – nhs.uk – 2017, http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia-guide/pages/about-dementia.aspx
  5. Acupuncture Treatment Protocols – itmonline.org – 2017, http://www.itmonline.org/shen/chap5.htm
  6. Acupuncture Helps Dementia Patient Memory and Cognition – healthcmi.com – 2016, http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1629-acupuncture-helps-dementia-patient-memory-and-cognition