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Power of Acupuncture to Ease Migraines Questioned in Study

Source: Yahoo!® News
By Maureen Salamon, HealthDay Reporter, HealthDay

Dr. Noah Rosen, Director of the Headache Center, Cushing Neuroscience Institute, comments on a study that questions the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraine headaches.

"Sham" acupuncture worked almost as well on migraine patients as three types of traditional acupuncture, a new study says.

Randomly assigning 480 patients to one of four groups at nine Chinese hospitals -- one sham acupuncture group and three receiving accepted types -- an international team of researchers, including Dr. Fan-rong Liang at Chengdu University in China, found that between 50 percent and 75 percent of those with migraines felt better after sham or real acupuncture, respectively, after 16 weeks.

Many prior randomized trials have supported acupuncture's effectiveness in treating migraines, which affect up to 8 percent of men and 18 percent of women in the United States and England, according to background information in the study. But the researchers noted evidence is mixed on whether the treatment produces a placebo effect in patients or actually alleviates symptoms....

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