Electroacupuncture for older adults with mild cognitive impairment: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.Trials. 2015 May 27; 16:232.T
Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediary state between normal aging and clinical Alzheimer's disease. Early intervention of mild cognitive impairment may be an important strategy in the management of Alzheimer's disease. The proposal aims to evaluate if electroacupuncture would optimize cognitive function in subjects with mild cognitive impairment and understand the role of electroacupuncture in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
A randomised patient- and assessor-blind sham-controlled trial is designed to assess whether electroacupuncture intervention decreases the rate of cognitive decline amongst older adults with mild cognitive impairment. One hundred and fifty subjects aged 65 years of age or over with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment are recruited from the community and elderly centre in Hong Kong. All subjects are randomly allocated into two groups (75 subjects each group): the electroacupuncture group and sham control. Participants in the electroacupuncture group receive electroacupuncture stimulation by sterile, disposable acupuncture needles inserted to the acupoints with a depth of 1 to 3 cm. The acupuncture needles are subjected to 2 Hz electroacupuncture with an intensity of 5 to 10 mA. Each participant receives electroacupuncture for 8 weeks (once a day, 3 days a week) and the treatment lasts for 30 minutes each time. For sham electroacupuncture, needles are inserted to a depth of 1 to 2 mm, and connected to the electroacupuncture device without any current passing through. Outcome measures (including primary and secondary outcome measures) are collected at baseline, at the end day of intervention, and months 4 and 6 after intervention. The primary outcome is measured by the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale. Secondary outcomes are measured by the mini-mental state examination, category fluency text and the Short Form 12.
The study will provide evidence for evaluating and understanding the role of electroacupuncture in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
This trial is registered with chictr.org (registration number: ChiCTR-TRC-12002414 . Registration date: 11 August 2012.