An increasing number of clinical and animal studies have confirmed that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Moxibustion is reported to be more effective than electro-acupuncture for improving space-recognizing memory ability in aged mice, suggesting that moxibustion is another alternative or complementary therapy used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Yanjun Du and team from Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, China only used suspended moxibustion (also named warming moxibustion, scarring moxibustion, or herb-partition moxibustion) on Baihui (GV20) and Shenshu (BL23) acupoints to observe the action of pre-moxibustion on preventing apoptosis in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease.
The pre-moxibustion group was treated with moxibustion for eight courses (each course lasting for 6 days) prior to the exposure and 14 days after Aβ1–42 exposure. Results showed no evidence of apoptosis in hippocampal neurons, a significantly reduced apoptosis rate of neurons and improved learning and memory abilities were observed in the Alzheimer’s disease model.
In particular, moxibustion prior to Aβ1–42 exposure was more effective than moxibustion after Aβ1–42 exposure in protecting the neuronal structure and lowering the apoptosis rate.
Their findings, published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 30, 2013), indicate that a combination of preventive and therapeutic moxibustion has a beneficial effect for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease development.