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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 514610, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/514610
Research Article

Electroacupuncture and Acupuncture Promote the Rat’s Transected Median Nerve Regeneration

1School of Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, 404 Yuh-Der Road, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
2Departments of Family Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, 404 Yuh-Der Road, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
3Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Science, China Medical University Hospital, 404 Yuh-Der Road, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
4Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, 404 Yuh-Der Road, Taichung 40447, Taiwan

Received 26 December 2012; Accepted 9 February 2013

Academic Editor: Yueh-Sheng Chen

Copyright © 2013 C. Y. Ho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture treatments of damaged nerves may aid nerve regeneration related to hindlimb function, but the effects on the forelimb-related median nerve were not known. Methods. A gap was made in the median nerve of each rat by suturing the stumps into silicone rubber tubes. The influences of acupuncture and electroacupuncture treatments on transected median nerve regeneration were evaluated from morphological, electrophysiological, and functional angles. Results. Morphologically, the group receiving acupuncture and electroacupuncture treatments had larger total nerve area and blood vessel number compared with the controls. Electrophysiologically, the group receiving electroacupuncture had significantly larger amplitude and larger area of the evoked muscle action potentials compared with the controls. Functionally, the acupuncture and electroacupuncture treatments enhanced the injured paw’s ability to regain its grasping power and resulted in a faster efficiency to a new bilateral balance. Conclusion. Our findings provide multiapproach evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture and electroacupuncture treatments to the regeneration of median nerve. Indeed, acupuncture and electroacupuncture appear to have positive effects on the regeneration processes. This platform is beneficial to further study the clinical application of acupuncture and electroacupuncture alternative treatments on nerve-injured patients.