Mild cognitive impairment can be relieved with continuous electroacupuncture treatment
04/19/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has a high possibility of progressing to dementia, which reduces the quality of life of affected individuals and makes it difficult for them to live independently. Fortunately, this condition can be prevented with proper treatment. Studies have shown that the cognitive function of people with MCI can still be improved with electroacupuncture. This claim is supported by a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

In the systematic review and meta-analysis, a team of researchers at Daejeon University in South Korea looked at the effects of electroacupuncture on people with mild cognitive impairment in comparison to conventional treatments. Electroacupuncture has previously been used to treat various kinds of neurological disorders including MCI. (Related: Electroacupuncture helps older people regain their cognitive function after surgery.)

The research team included five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a total of 257 participants: 103 participants received electroacupuncture, while the remaining 154 participants received conventional treatments. After analyzing the findings of these RCTs, the research team found that treatment with electroacupuncture was more effective in improving the cognitive function of people with mild cognitive impairment than conventional treatments. In addition, there were no reported side effects in groups that received electroacupuncture. These findings suggest that electroacupuncture effectively improves cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment without causing side effects.


Based on these findings, the research team concluded that electroacupuncture can be used as a safe and effective alternative treatment for MCI.

Things you need to know about MCI

MCI causes noticeable cognitive decline involving memory and thinking problems. However, they are not severe enough to interfere with daily life or independent function. There are two classifications of MCI, which are based on the thinking skills affected. One is called amnestic MCI, which primarily affects memory. A person with this MCI may start to forget essential information that he or she would previously have remembered easily. This includes appointments, conversations, or recent events. The other classification of MCI is called non-amnestic MCI. This affects thinking skills other than memory, such as the ability to make sound decisions, visual perception, or the ability to judge the time or sequence of steps needed to complete a complex task.

MCI occurs in about 15 to 20 percent of people age 65 years old and above. Although MCI typically leads to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, the cognitive function of some people with MCI can return to normal or remain stable and not progress to dementia.

Other treatments for MCI

In addition to electroacupuncture, there are other coping strategies that may be helpful in slowing down deterioration. These include:

  • Engaging in regular physical activities that improve the health of the heart and blood vessels, including those that nourish the brain.
  • Preventing cardiovascular risk factors to protect your heart and blood vessels, including those that aid in brain function.
  • Participating in activities that stimulate your memory and thinking skills and those that improve your social skills to help sustain brain function.
  • Adhering to a diet low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables can help protect cognitive health. Adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can also be good for your brain and heart.

You can find more news articles about natural ways to improve brain function and prevent dementia at

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