HealthDo acupuncture and homeopathy help treat Parkinson's? | we answer

    Do acupuncture and homeopathy help treat Parkinson’s? | we answer

    A man receives an acupuncture session.
    A man receives an acupuncture session.

    There is no single answer to this question, as acupuncture and homeopathy are two very different areas. On homeopathy, the answer is emphatically no. Homeopathy is called pseudomedicine (false medicine) or pseudoscience, but in my opinion the term medicine or science should be removed from any explanation related to it. What homeopathy does is fool people. Homeopathic compounds contain, if it can be considered that after all dilutions some molecule remains, an infinitesimal quantity of the active principle. These are dilutions of dilutions of dilutions of what is supposed to be the active ingredient. Homeopathy is based on three so-called scientific assumptions, but they really have no science at all: like cures like, in other words, a substance that causes disease-like symptoms in healthy people will be an effective therapeutic agent in healthy people. sick at infinitesimal doses. The second principle is that of dilutions and dynamization. In homeopathic products, the terminology 3CH, 10CH, etc… means the degree of dilution.

    After innumerable dissolutions, practically nothing remains of the supposed active principle, and here we go with the third principle: the memory of water. Homeopaths defend that the water of the initial tincture (mother tincture) in which these solutions have been made remembers that active principle, that is, that the water can physically remember the chemical properties of substances that have been diluted in it, so seen forever. The experiments that have been done, and published, to demonstrate the memory of water, have subsequently been shown to be erroneous and full of malpractice.

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    In conclusion, homeopathic compounds do not cure diseases such as Parkinson’s. What they use is the placebo effect and often the anguish of the sick and their desperation to find something to cure them.

    Acupuncture plays in a different field. There are clinical trials, that is, scientific evidence, which show that, together with the different treatments used against Parkinson’s, acupuncture can produce some improvement. However, the meta-studies that have been carried out on these clinical trials are insufficient and much more rigorous analyzes are needed, such as the use of the double-blind method. This system is used to guarantee that clinical trials offer real results and consists in the fact that neither the people who carry out the research nor those who participate in the trial know if what the patients are receiving is the drug or the placebo. In this way, possible biases in the interpretation of the results are avoided. This is easy to do if the treatment to be tested in a clinical trial is, for example, a pill, but if we are talking about acupuncture it is much more complicated. Some have been done with a double-blind attempt where the acupuncturist performs sham acupuncture on some of the participants, but the acupuncturist knows whether he is using real or sham acupuncture. In other words, it is much more difficult to do a sufficiently rigorous clinical trial than when you are doing a clinical trial on a drug.

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    In addition, another aspect to take into account is that Parkinson’s is a chronic disease and with the trials that have been carried out, what has been determined was the relief produced by acupuncture immediately, but it has not been studied whether this relief follows medium and long term. That’s why meta-analyses on these clinical trials say they need to be more rigorous and include more people. But in them it has been seen that acupuncture, together with current treatments, seems to help alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Although it is very important to be clear that in no case can acupuncture replace treatment.

    Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease. It occurs when neurons do not produce enough of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It mainly affects movement and that is why its symptoms are tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement and also some balance problems. It is estimated that it affects between 1% and 2% of the population over 60 years of age and up to 5% of the population over 65 years of age. According to data from the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), some 150,000 people suffer from this disease in Spain. There are treatments to alleviate the symptoms, but we do not have a definitive cure for it.

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    Nuria E. Campillo She is a senior researcher at the CIB Margarita Salas (CSIC). She is currently seconded to the ICMAT (CSIC) and works on the development of neuropharmaceuticals for diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s or ALS.

    Question sent via email by Norma Patricia Saucedo Villalba

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    we answer is a weekly scientific consultation, sponsored by the Dr. Antoni Esteve Foundation and the program L’Oreal-Unesco ‘For Women in Science’, which answers readers’ questions about science and technology. They are scientists and technologists, partners of AMIT (Association of Women Researchers and Technologists), which answer those questions. Send your questions to [email protected] or on Twitter #nosotrasrespondemos.

    The advice in this office is of a general nature and is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have questions about your specific problem, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

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    Source: EL PAIS

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