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expert reaction to acupuncture for alcohol dependence in rats

Research, published in Science Advances, reports that acupuncture has reduced alcohol dependency symptoms in alcohol-dependant rats.


Prof Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Professor of Complementary Medicine, University of Exeter, said:

“I would advise caution in using this study to inform our clinical practice.

“It is an animal experiment that does not necessarily translate into humans. The researchers were not blind to group allocation and could have thus inadvertently influenced the results. The study comes from Korea, and close to 100% of acupuncture studies from Asia produce a positive finding.

“The totality of the reliable evidence to date does not suggest that acupuncture is effective for alcohol withdrawal.”


‘Acupuncture attenuates alcohol dependence through activation of endorphinergic input to the nucleus accumbens from the arcuate nucleus’ by Suchan Chang et al. was published in Science Advances at 19:00 UK time Wednesday 4 September. 


Declared interests

None received. 

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