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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 972935, 9 pages
Review Article

Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis: A Review of the Evidence

1Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY 10010, USA
2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Integrative Health Programs, Rusk Rehabilitation, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY 10016, USA

Received 13 February 2014; Accepted 3 June 2014; Published 18 June 2014

Academic Editor: Chong-Zhi Wang

Copyright © 2014 H. I. Karpatkin 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.


Use of acupuncture to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) is fairly common, but little literature exists which studies its effectiveness. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the use of acupuncture to treat MS. A literature search resulted in twelve peer-reviewed articles on the subject that examined the use of acupuncture to treat MS related quality of life (QoL), fatigue, spasticity, and pain. The majority of the studies were poorly designed—without control, randomization, or blinding. Description of the subjects, interventions, and outcome measures as well as statistical analysis was often lacking or minimal. Although many of the studies suggested that acupuncture was successful in improving MS related symptoms, lack of statistical rigor and poor study design make it difficult to draw any conclusions about the true effectiveness of this intervention in the MS population. Further studies with more rigorous designs and analysis are needed before accurate claims can be made as to the effectiveness of acupuncture in this population.