Neurocircuitry of acupuncture effect on cognitive improvement in patients with mild cognitive impairment using magnetic resonance imaging: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.Trials. 2019 May 30; 20(1):310.T
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is defined as a decline in cognitive state with preservation of activities of daily living. Medications such as donepezil and rivastigmine have been commonly prescribed for MCI, but their use is controversial. Acupuncture has been widely used in Korea and has been shown to improve cognitive function. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture for MCI and investigate the effect of acupuncture on structural and functional brain changes in patients with MCI.
This study is a randomized, assessor-blinded, sham-controlled trial. Fifty participants with MCI will be randomly assigned to the acupuncture group (n = 25) or sham acupuncture group (n = 25). The acupuncture group will receive acupuncture treatment at nine acupuncture points (GV20, EX-HN1, bilateral LI4, and ST36) twice a week for 12 weeks. The sham acupuncture group will receive sham acupuncture treatment at the same points with non-penetrating sham needles. Both groups will be restricted from all other treatments for the improvement of cognitive function. The primary outcome measure is the Digit Span Test (DST). The secondary outcome measures are the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), Korean version of Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-K), Seoul Neuropsychological Screening Battery-II (SNSB-II), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), working memory (WM) task performance score, and structural/functional brain changes. Outcomes will be assessed at screening, baseline, 4 and 8 weeks, and after the end of treatment. We will also observe adverse events. In the statistical analysis, a full analysis set and per-protocol analysis will be performed.
This randomized clinical trial aims to examine the efficacy of acupuncture treatment for MCI. Neuropsychological tests, psychological inventories for measuring depression and anxiety, and magnetic resonance imaging will be performed to investigate the underlying neurological mechanisms and the association between cognition, emotion, and brain networks following acupuncture treatment. The results of the trial will provide evidence supporting the efficacy of acupuncture and also add to the neurobiological understanding of acupuncture treatment for MCI.
Clinical Research Information Service, KCT0002896 . Registered on 25 May 2018.