Benefits of New “PAP” Acupuncture Method Last 100 Times Longer

By AltMed1-Peggy  

Here’s another news item from the world of acupuncture.

 

A new approach to this 4,000-year-old treatment for pain relief and other problems may prolong the benefits of treatment by as much as 100 times longer than traditional acupuncture, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported in the April 23 online edition of a journal called Molecular Pain.

 

The new element is a substance called prostatic acid phosphatase, or PAP for short. The same researchers had previously tested PAP by injecting into rodent spines and found the substances relieved chronic pan and the effects lasted as long as three days. But that procedure is usually reserved for those in excruciating pain. And, lead researcher associate professor Mark J. Zylka, PhD, said in a UNC news release, “spinal injections are invasive and must be performed in clinical setting.”

 

Zylka became interested in how acupuncture relieves pain. When an acupuncturist inserts a very fine acupuncture needle into a specific spot called an acupuncture point and manipulates the needle to stimulate that acupuncture point, molecules called nucleotides are released and converted into pain-reducing adenosine. The resulting pain relief usually lasts for hours after treatment.

PAP makes adenosine too and when injected in the spine, its pain relieving effects last for days. Zylka wondered if blending the two could boost pain control even more so his team tested the idea by injecting PAP into an acupuncture point behind the knee.

They learned two key things: 

1. When PAP was paired with acupuncture, pain relief lasted 100 times longer than conventional acupuncture. Researchers dubbed the combo “PAPupuncture.”

2. Choosing a different injection site (other than the spine) allowed PAP doses to be increased and as a result, one injection worked to reduce inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain symptoms.

The tests on animals worked so well that human trials are coming up next.

 

Those who want to read the study can click this title: PAPupuncture has localized and long-lasting antinociceptive effects in mouse models of acute and chronic pain, by Julie K. Hurt and Mark J. Zylka, Molecular Pain 2012, 8:28. doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-8-28

 

© 2012, all rights reserved


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