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Table 4 Original investigations of acupuncture therapy effects in nicotine-dependent subjects

From: Acupuncture therapy for drug addiction

Publication year; first author Objectives Subjects Stimulated acupoints (acupuncture type, acupoints, frequency) Assessments Outcomes
2004 Chae [21] To investigate the acupuncture effects on the functional alterations of the mesolimbic dopaminergic systems 35 Male Sprague–Dawley rats Acupuncture at Zusanli (ST36), Shenmen (HT7), or Taiyuan (LU9) for 4 days Nicotine-induced FLI in the striatum and the nucleus accumbens acupuncture had a therapeutic effect on nicotine addiction
2005 Park [65] To examine whether the DRD2 TaqI A polymorphism is associated with the response to acupuncture 231 Healthy Korean male smokers AA at lung, throat, Shenmen (HT7), and endocrine
points for 96 s, 3 times for a week
Cigarette consumption, the desire to smoke, and Genomic DNA extracted from blood samples Acupuncture was effective to influence the DRD2 TaqI A polymorphism
2008 Chae [20] To investigate the effect of acupuncture on anxiety-like behavior and corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA expression in the amygdala during nicotine withdrawal 38 Male Sprague–Dawley rats, n = 18 acupuncture Acupuncture at Zusanli (ST36), Shenmen (HT7), 30 s for 3 days The anxiogenic response by using an elevated plus maze. CRF and NPY mRNA levels by using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis acupuncture attenuated anxiety-like behavior following nicotine withdrawal
2008 Bonnette [15] To explore the effects of ATENS in combination with addiction education, behavioral training and coaching 6 Smokers Acupuncture at 5 NADA protocol or 1-3 points, 5 times a week for 8 weeks In-depth interviews for withdrawal symptoms, anxiety and stress levels auriculotherapy relieved withdrawal symptoms and reduced anxiety and stress levels during the detoxification
2009 Yeh [83] To evaluate the effects of a 6-week acupoint stimulation program for quitting 59 Smokers Acuouncture at Shenmen (HT7), lung, stomach, mouth and endocrine and Tim mee for 20 min, once a week for 6 weeks Demographic factors, serum cotinine, carbon monoxide exhalation, daily tobacco consumption, and quit smoking rate of participants before and after the 6-week intervention Acupuncture showed no statistically significant effect on quitting smoking
2010 Thanavaro [72] To explore the efficacy of ATET as an adjunctive treatment to intensive individual counseling on smoking cessation 29 Subjects Auricular transcutaneous electrostimulation therapy at 10 areas on the pinna The “Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence,” the “What Are Your Triggers Test” and the “Why Do I Smoke Quiz.” individual counseling may produce smoking cessation rates comparable to counseling with pharmacotherapy
2010 Chae [18] To investigate the effect of acupuncture on the selective attention to smoking-related visual cues 29 Smokers Acupuncture, Shenmen (HT7), (NA) The attentional bias and cigarette withdrawal scale Acupuncture ameliorated the smoking withdrawal symptoms as well as the selective attention to smoking-related visual cues
2011 Chae [19] To investigate effects of acupuncture on ameliorating cigarette withdrawal symptoms 29 Smokers, n = 15 acupuncture Acupuncture at Shenmen (HT7) or Shousanli (LI10), 20 min for 3 days The cigarette withdrawal scale (CWS), comparing the low-frequency/high-frequency (HF/LF) ratio in the HRV of the RA and SA groups acupuncture attenuated withdrawal symptoms and smoking cues-induced autonomic responses
2013 Kang [38] To investigate acupuncture effects on ameliorating cravings induced by smoking-related visual cues 25 Male smokers Acupuncture at Shenmen (HT7) for 1 min fMRI and craving scores to smoking-related visual cues were assessed before and after RA or sham treatment acupuncture alleviated cue-induced cravings through the regulation of activity in brain regions involved in attention, motivation, and reward
  1. Acupoints in NADA protocol are located at (sympathetic: in the deltoid fossa at the junction of the infra-antihelix crus and the medial order of the helix, lung: in the center of the cavum concha, liver: located in the posterior to upper portion of the helix crus, kidney: in the cleft between the upper plateau, and the helix)