Usage of acupuncture in neurosurgical conditions
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As the “innervated universe” of our body, the brain, holds the secrets determining humanity, over centuries there was a huge necessity to understand its complexity and ongoing processes. Surgical interventions for neurological diseases entered their Enlightenment Era with Modern Neurosurgery principles, works of Harvey Cushing and Ernest Sachs. Despite over two centuries of extensive research in various neuroscientific aspects, neurological conditions still await for innovative treatment options. Modern medical world complements Western medicine with traditional therapeutic options known and passed from generations to generations, with one of the most broad and oldest traditions - Traditional Chinese Medicine. The aim of this study is to present the use and effectiveness of acupuncture in treatment and rehabilitation of neurosurgical conditions. Therefore substantial articles on use of acupuncture in neurosurgery have been analyzed. Among 184 articles in PubMed Medline database from years 2008-2018, 9 articles were selected for further analysis. Most of the studies focused on reduction of need of general anesthesia in neurosurgical cases and also on influence on anti-inflamatory and immunological reactions. Another group of research investigated acupuncture as supportive therapy for thalamic hemorrhage and cerebral vasospasm post-SAH. Studies complemented and compared treatment of specific symptoms in neurosurgical conditions, such as post operative nausea and vomiting, anxiety. Reviewed research presents improvements in usage of acupuncture for neurosurgical conditions. Hopefully with introduction of quality standards of acupuncture research, as well as increased interest of medical and patient environments in supportive therapies, the scientific based proofs of acupuncture effectiveness will provide assistance in treatment of neurosurgical conditions.
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