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Frontiers of Medicine

ISSN 2095-0217

ISSN 2095-0225(Online)

CN 11-5983/R

Postal Subscription Code 80-967

2018 Impact Factor: 1.847

Front Med    2011, Vol. 5 Issue (2) : 141-150     DOI: 10.1007/s11684-011-0136-8
Review |
Acupuncture-related techniques for the treatment of opiate addiction: a case of translational medicine
Jisheng Han1,2,3,4(), Cailian Cui1,2,3,4, Liuzhen Wu1,2,3,4
1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China; 2. Department of Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China; 3. Key Laboratory for Neuroscience, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100191, China; 4. Key Laboratory for Neuroscience, Ministry of Health, Beijing 100191, China
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Drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by withdrawal symptoms that occur during drug abstinence and a high tendency of relapse. Compared with the currently available pharmacological interventions, acupuncture therapy has the potential to help drug addicts stay away from drugs without major adverse side effects. It has taken decades of research to optimize the parameters of electrical acupoint stimulation for detoxification and for relapse prevention, as well as to establish a safe and easy procedure by which drug addicts can use it on themselves. The discovery that acupuncture can trigger the release of opioid substances from the brain in the 1970s provided the inspiration. Following this, basic research on animals made it possible to understand the mechanisms of action and establish the procedure for treating drug addictions. This article reviews the past, present, and foreseeable future regarding the use of acupuncture-related technique for the treatment of opiate addiction from the perspective of translational medicine.

Keywords morphine      dependence      withdrawal      addiction      dynorphins      acupuncture      electroacupuncture      transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS)      enkephalins      endorphins     
Corresponding Authors: Han Jisheng,   
Issue Date: 05 June 2011
URL:     OR
Fig.1  Diagram showing the cue-induced CPP or drug priming-induced reinstatement of CPP was suppressed by EA of different frequencies. While EA of both 2 Hz and 100 Hz can suppress CPP, the mechanisms of action are not identical. PPE: preproenkephalin, PPD: preprodynorphin. Modified from Ref. .
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