Acupuncture with electrical stimulation may treat muscle atrophy caused by kidney disease

August 14, 2014, American Society of Nephrology

Acupuncture may help treat muscle wasting that can occur as a result of kidney and other diseases, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The technique may be an attractive non-drug strategy that could help many patients.

Muscle atrophy is a serious consequence of spinal cord injuries and other traumas as well as diseases such as heart failure, (CKD), cancer, and diabetes. While there are several drug-related strategies to help prevent or treat muscle atrophy, there are no simple and effective treatments.

Xiaonan Wang, MD, Li Hu, MD (Emory University), and their colleagues looked to see if electrical stimulation delivered through acupuncture, which any physician can learn to perform with as little as 3 months of training, might lessen muscle atrophy associated with CKD. The investigators treated CKD mice and healthy control mice with the technique, which mimics resistance exercise by inducing , for 15 days.

The researchers found that the treatment improved in mice by activating M2 macrophages, which are specialized immune cells that stimulate an anti-inflammatory response. Activation of M2 macrophages stimulates the insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway, which promotes increased and new muscle cell growth. "Our study explains how acupuncture is able to produce positive effects against muscle atrophy," said Dr. Wang. "Patients with severe disease are frequently unable to withstand routine daily physical activity, let alone therapeutic exercise. This treatment is an alternate way to achieve the benefits of exercise," she added.

The researchers noted that more work is needed to determine the optimal timing and intensity of LFES as a possible treatment for .

Explore further: Japanese researchers show that acupuncture can improve skeletal muscle atrophy

More information: The article, entitled Low-Frequency Electrical Stimulation Attenuates Muscle Atrophy in CKD—A Potential Treatment Strategy," will appear online at jasn.asnjournals.org/ on August 14, 2014.

Related Stories

Japanese researchers show that acupuncture can improve skeletal muscle atrophy

April 23, 2012
A team of Japanese researchers will reveal study results Monday at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting that show how acupuncture therapy mitigates skeletal muscle loss and holds promise for those seeking improved mobility ...

Natural compound from green tomatoes stimulates muscle growth, improves muscle strength and endurance

April 9, 2014
As unlikely as it sounds, green tomatoes may hold the answer to bigger, stronger muscles. Using a screening method that previously identified a compound in apple peel as a muscle-boosting agent, a team of University of Iowa ...

Researchers discover new path to address genetic muscular diseases

November 4, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—For decades, scientists have searched for treatments for myopathies – genetic muscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy and ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease. Now, an interdisciplinary team of ...

New possible target to combat muscle wasting

April 9, 2014
The pathological atrophy of skeletal muscle is a serious biomedical problem for which no effective treatment is currently available. The most affected populations are the elderly diagnosed with sarcopenia and patients with ...

Stem cells aid muscle repair and strengthening after resistance exercise

July 21, 2014
A new study in mice reveals that mesenchymal (mezz-EN-chem-uhl) stem cells (MSCs) help rejuvenate skeletal muscle after resistance exercise.

High–intensity training could put kidney disease on the run

May 26, 2014
The benefits of high-intensity interval training for people with chronic kidney disease is the focus of a team of researchers at The University of Queensland.

Recommended for you

A new theory on reducing cardiovascular disease risk in binge drinkers

January 23, 2018
A new study shows that binge drinkers have increased levels of a biomarker molecule—microRNA-21—that may contribute to poor vascular function.

Flu infection study increases understanding of natural immunity

January 23, 2018
People with higher levels of antibodies against the stem portion of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein have less viral shedding when they get the flu, but do not have fewer or less severe signs of illness, according ...

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.