Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis’ (ALS) treatment has been sought through means other than the general medication of using herbal medicine or oriental medical treatment.
Oriental Medicine effects & treatment
A series of studies have been conducted and can subsequently be found that there is an effect of the oriental medicine and treatments on ALS. One such study that investigated these effects found that the patients who were treated through the use of herbal medication, acupuncture, bee venom pharmacopuncture and other treatments like these have shown improvements.
These patients who showed improvements after a 30-day trial were between the ages of 51-60 years the subjects and had bulbar-onset and a disease duration of 24-48 months.
ALS causes many complications which along with respiratory dysfunction are considered to be amongst the common leading causes of fatalities in the patients with ALS.
A pilot study that studied 18 ALS patients receiving acupuncture treatment twice a day for 5 days observed the effects of acupuncture on the changes in respiratory physiology. The partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the respiratory gases, oxygen saturation in the peripheral blood, the respiration rates and pulse rate assessment and measurements through capnography and oximetry (both 15 minutes before and after treatment) showed that the effects were more positive and pronounced in the patients who had early stages of ALS
Other study cases
There are other studies which also seek to assess the effects of respiratory management of an ALS patient on respiratory failure. One such study tested this effect by observing a patient receiving non-invasive BiPAP ventilator, in addition to, Korean medical treatments like acupuncture, pharmacopuncture and herbal medicine for a long period (i.e. 2 years and 7 months). The result showed that expiratory tidal volume (Vte) and oxygen saturation of the patient was not assessed to have gone worse and were maintained in the duration of the studies and the aforementioned treatments (Lee J. C., 2014). These effects of the Korean or oriental medicament and treatments in either maintaining or improving the major and minor symptoms of ALS has been reviewed in similar studies.
Chinese herbs for ALS
Other treatments alternative to the mainstream medication is Chinese herbal medications. Herbal therapies for ALS are aimed at regenerating the damaged nerves, vitalizing blood to soften sclerosis, and getting enough blood to the affected muscles.
The research has shown that one of the most active ingredients of ginseng, Ginsenoside Re, has potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and protective effect on nerve cells in symptomatic ALS animal model. It also decreased specific, death-related protein levels in affected cells.
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2. Jiang, J.H. (2011) Anti-inflammatory effects of electroacupuncture in the respiratory system of a symptomatic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis animal model. Neurodegenerative Disorders, 504-14
3. HealthCmi. Acupuncture Found Effective for Progressive Bulbar Palsy Treatment. 19 May 2018
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5. Kim, S.-C., Na, W.-M., Lim, N.-R., Lee, D.-S., Jang, E.-H., & Song, B.-K. (2009). A pilot clinical study on the Traditional Korean Medicine treatment of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Journal of Pharmacopuncture, 53-65
6. Lee, J. C. (2014). A Clinical Case Study on the Long-Term Respiration Management of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patient with Respiratory Failure. Case Report. The Acupuncture, 67-73
7. Lee, S. a. (2013). The effects of sa-am acupuncture treatment on respiratory physiology parameters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a pilot study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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