Randomized Control Trial of Using Tongue Acupuncture in Autistic Spectrum Disorder Using PET Scan for Clinical Correlation
We aimed to use Tongue Acupuncture (TAC) to assess for any change in brain function.
Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting language, communication, social interaction and behavior. Autism is a heterogeneous disorder makes the assessment of treatment difficult. Only few measures have been used in a standardized way to document the outcome of different modalities of treatment in autism. Most claims of treatment effect in autism have been quite anecdotal.
In Traditional Chinese acupuncture, nearly 400 acupoints on the body surface are interrelated to various functions. Acupuncture had been practiced in China for over 2 millennia. The surface acupoints are linked through 14 meridians to various organs or viscera of the human body. The approach in TCM, in sharp contrast to western medical concept, is a “holistic” approach with a more philosophical background of balancing the “Yin-and-Yang”. The main objective of TCM is to improve health of body and mind.
The pathophysiological basis of TCM aimed to improve “energy” or “body-flow” [“de-qui” in Chinese]. Even a normal human subject will respond to acupuncture due to the flow of energy. The effect of acupuncture was hypothesized and proven in animal and human studies to be due to direct neural stimulation, changes in neurotransmitters such as endorphin, immunological markers and endocrinological signals. Thus, acupuncture is Thus, acupuncture is effective in chronic disorders, especially in neurological disorders.
We had demonstrated clinical efficacy of acupuncturing the surface or base of the tongue in specific acupoints in improving various functional modalities in patients with chronic neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, stroke and drooling problems. In our experience, TCM approach for autism is more holistic. Autism is postulated as part of the spectrum of lower intelligence. Thus, the approach to autism is considered as lower intelligence due to "Heart-meridian and Kidney-meridian yin-yang imbalance” resulting in communication problem and “Liver-meridian yin-yang imbalance “ leading to behavioral problems.
We attempted to use a different approach in looking at autism and to assess the efficacy of an innovative method in TCM in improving the functional status of these children. Specific acupoints in the tongue corresponding to various organs and meridians were used for autism. The organ and meridian concept in TCM model has been assumed as a fundamental basis to improve the behavior, cognition and communicative ability in children with autism. The objective is to study the efficacy of a short course of TAC in improving the overall functional status of autism.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment
Tongue Acupuncture (Procedure)
Duchess of Kent of Children Hospital
The University of Hong Kong
Results (where available)
- Source: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00355329
- Information obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov on July 15, 2010
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
A childhood disorder predominately affecting boys and similar to autism (AUTISTIC DISORDER). It is characterized by severe, sustained, clinically significant impairment of social interaction, and restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. In contrast to autism, there are no clinically significant delays in language or cognitive development. (From DSM-IV)
A type of massage in which finger pressure on specific body sites is used to promote healing, relieve fatigue, etc. Although the anatomical locations are the same as the ACUPUNCTURE POINTS used in ACUPUNCTURE THERAPY (hence acu-), no needle or other acupuncture technique is employed in acupressure. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed). Shiatsu is a modern outgrowth that focuses more on prevention than healing.
Analgesia produced by the insertion of ACUPUNCTURE needles at certain ACUPUNCTURE POINTS on the body. This activates small myelinated nerve fibers in the muscle which transmit impulses to the spinal cord and then activate three centers - the spinal cord, midbrain and pituitary/hypothalamus - to produce analgesia.
Acupuncture therapy by inserting needles in the ear. It is used to control pain and for treating various ailments.
Designated locations along nerves or organ meridians for inserting acupuncture needles.
This is a study of the efficacy of acupuncture in children with autism.
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