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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Jan 2024 - 2 Feb 2024

2024 Jan 16

J Integr Neurosci




The Neuroprotective Effects of Electroacupuncture on Parkinson’s Disease and the Underlying Molecular Mechanisms.


Han Q, Chen P, Chen X, Wang L, Huang R, Li W, Liu G


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease whose main pathological features are the degeneration of dopamine neurons and deposition of α-synuclein in neurons. At present, the most important treatment strategy for PD is drugs, and one of the most used drugs is levodopa. However, this therapy shows many problems, such as tolerance and long-term effects, so other treatment strategies need to be explored. As a traditional Chinese medicine treatment method with effective and few side effects, electroacupuncture is considered a non-drug therapy. It serves as a novel, promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of PD. In this review, the application and the effects of electroacupuncture on PD have been described. Besides, the underlying molecular mechanisms of electroacupuncture on PD that contribute to protecting dopaminergic neurons and reducing α-synuclein levels have been illustrated, including ① anti-oxidant stress response, ② anti-neuroinflammatory response, ③ up-regulation of neurotrophic factors and reduction of nerve cell apoptosis, ④ down-regulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress and improvement of mitochondrial function, ⑤ improvement of the function of the ubiquitin-proteasome system, ⑥ anti-excitatory toxicity response, ⑦ activation of autophagy, and ⑧ modulation of gut microbiota. Achieving a better understanding of the neuroprotective effects of electroacupuncture on PD will provide a theoretical basis and facilitate the application of electroacupuncture on PD.