The Effectiveness of Acupuncture/Acupressure in Treating Dementia

Monday, 22 July 2013: 10:45 AM

Man-Hua Yang, RN, MS
Nursing Department, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the effectiveness of acupuncture/acupressure in dementia.

Learning Objective 2: Acupuncture/acupressure is a good option of nonpharmacologic interventions, caregivers can use acupressure to daily care to promote the quality of life in dementia.


The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of acupuncture in the treatment of dementia cases.


Systematic review was conducted on randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for dementiat patients. Three databases (i.e. Medline, Cochrane Library, EBSCO) were utilized. In order to assess studies’ quality that was based on the adapted criteria of CONSORT.


 Two hundred fourteen articles were retrieved and 59 met the criteria. Significant findings are as follows:(1)animal studies: acupuncture improved cognitive impairment caused by dementia in rats. (2)human clinical trials: in dementia patients, acupuncture group showed significant differences in ADL, MMSE, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral glucose metabolism compared with control group(P<.05).


As we know, atypical antipsychotics should be used in dementia patient only after nonpharmacologic interventions have failed. Acupuncture has been applied to dementia patients in recent years. According to the findings of systematic review showed acupuncture group has significant improvement in cognitive function and learning. Furthermore, we can train caregivers to add acupressure to daily care of dementia, improving quality of life and decreasing the antipsychotics.