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D. E. Brooks, S. L. Cantwell, H. Xie, H. L. Sapp; Electro-Acupuncture to Decrease Intraocular Pressure in Rhesus Monkeys With Chronic Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1281.
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To investigate electro-acupuncture (EA) as a therapeutic option for treatment of glaucoma utilizing two different acupuncture patterns of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).
Twelve male rhesus monkeys which have previously undergone Argon laser photocoagulation of the trabecular meshwork in one eye (OD) to produce an elevation in intraocular pressure (IOP) were used. They were sedated with ketamine and randomly divided into three groups: i) control (no treatment), ii) EA-A (points bilaterally: Liver 3 - Gall Bladder 1, Gall bladder 34 - Gall Bladder 37), and iii) EA-B (points bilaterally: Spleen 2 - Stomach 7, Spleen 6 - Spleen10). EA was applied one time for 30 minutes at 20 Hz. A blinded observer measured the IOP of each eye at times: 1) pre-treatment, 2) one hour after treatment, then 24, 48 and 72 hours post treatment.
The IOP of the glaucomatous eyes significantly decreased to less than half the baseline IOP (baseline mean ± SD: 41.1±8.3 mmHg) in the EA-B group at one hour post treatment (20.9±3.3 mmHg, p<0.05). The IOP of the glaucoma eyes in EA-B was also significantly lower at 24 hours (26.6±9.3 mmHg) and 48 hours (27.9±3.8 mmHg), but was not significantly different by 72 hours (32.6±7.1 mmHg). In EA-A group, there was a variable effect with a larger standard deviation (1 hr: 52.6±14.5 mmHg; 24h: 47.4±7.8 mmHg; 48h: 52.7±11.7 mmHg; 72h: 54.3±9.1 mmHg) and no difference in IOP from baseline (54.4±5.0 mmHg). The OD IOP in the control group did not differ from baseline (45.2±6.6 mmHg) at any time period. No significant difference compared to baseline (15.8±3.5 mmHg) was detected in IOP of the normal eyes (OS) of any treatment group.
Electro-acupuncture applied consistent with TCVM principles can decrease the intraocular pressure in glaucomatous monkey eyes for at least two days in a research setting. It should be further investigated as a therapeutic option for some types of glaucoma.
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