Acupuncture and the Treatment of Pain

In May of 2010, Nature Neuroscience published a study that linked a molecule called adenosine (aden·o·sine/ (ah-dende-sēn) to the pain-mediating effects of acupuncture. Performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the study involved 1) mice that genetically could not use adenosine, who showed no pain relief with acupuncture 2) mice with normal levels of adenosine who had pain that was reduced by almost 66% and whose levels of adenosine rose almost 24 times over the pretreatment levels, and 3) mice on a leukemia medication known to increase the blood concentrations of adenosine, which tripled the beneficial effects of acupuncture on mice by relieving their pain for an additional two hours.

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