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      Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Effect and Mechanisms of Acupuncture for Ovulation Induction

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          Abstract

          Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age, is characterized by the coexistence of hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries (PCO). PCOS also represents the largest part of female oligoovulatory infertility, and the management of ovulatory and menstrual dysfunction, comprises a third of the high costs of PCOS treatment. Current pharmacological and surgical treatments for reproductive symptoms are effective, however, associated with negative side effects, such as cardiovascular complications and multiple pregnancies. For menstrual irregularities and ovulation induction in women with PCOS, acupuncture has indicated beneficial effects. This review will focus on the results from randomized controlled acupuncture trials for regulation of menstrual dysfunction and for inducing ovulation in women with PCOS although there are uncontrolled trials with nonetheless interesting results. Animal experimental studies will be further discussed when they can provide a more mechanistic explanatory view.

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          Most cited references 201

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          Consensus on women's health aspects of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): the Amsterdam ESHRE/ASRM-Sponsored 3rd PCOS Consensus Workshop Group.

          Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in females, with a high prevalence. The etiology of this heterogeneous condition remains obscure, and its phenotype expression varies. Two widely cited previous ESHRE/ASRM sponsored PCOS consensus workshops focused on diagnosis (published in 2004) and infertility management (published in 2008), respectively. The present third PCOS consensus report summarizes current knowledge and identifies knowledge gaps regarding various women's health aspects of PCOS. Relevant topics addressed-all dealt with in a systematic fashion-include adolescence, hirsutism and acne, contraception, menstrual cycle abnormalities, quality of life, ethnicity, pregnancy complications, long-term metabolic and cardiovascular health, and finally cancer risk. Additional, comprehensive background information is provided separately in an extended online publication. Copyright © 2012 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Neural mechanism underlying acupuncture analgesia.

             Zhi-Qi Zhao (2008)
            Acupuncture has been accepted to effectively treat chronic pain by inserting needles into the specific "acupuncture points" (acupoints) on the patient's body. During the last decades, our understanding of how the brain processes acupuncture analgesia has undergone considerable development. Acupuncture analgesia is manifested only when the intricate feeling (soreness, numbness, heaviness and distension) of acupuncture in patients occurs following acupuncture manipulation. Manual acupuncture (MA) is the insertion of an acupuncture needle into acupoint followed by the twisting of the needle up and down by hand. In MA, all types of afferent fibers (Abeta, Adelta and C) are activated. In electrical acupuncture (EA), a stimulating current via the inserted needle is delivered to acupoints. Electrical current intense enough to excite Abeta- and part of Adelta-fibers can induce an analgesic effect. Acupuncture signals ascend mainly through the spinal ventrolateral funiculus to the brain. Many brain nuclei composing a complicated network are involved in processing acupuncture analgesia, including the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM), periaqueductal grey (PAG), locus coeruleus, arcuate nucleus (Arc), preoptic area, nucleus submedius, habenular nucleus, accumbens nucleus, caudate nucleus, septal area, amygdale, etc. Acupuncture analgesia is essentially a manifestation of integrative processes at different levels in the CNS between afferent impulses from pain regions and impulses from acupoints. In the last decade, profound studies on neural mechanisms underlying acupuncture analgesia predominately focus on cellular and molecular substrate and functional brain imaging and have developed rapidly. Diverse signal molecules contribute to mediating acupuncture analgesia, such as opioid peptides (mu-, delta- and kappa-receptors), glutamate (NMDA and AMPA/KA receptors), 5-hydroxytryptamine, and cholecystokinin octapeptide. Among these, the opioid peptides and their receptors in Arc-PAG-NRM-spinal dorsal horn pathway play a pivotal role in mediating acupuncture analgesia. The release of opioid peptides evoked by electroacupuncture is frequency-dependent. EA at 2 and 100Hz produces release of enkephalin and dynorphin in the spinal cord, respectively. CCK-8 antagonizes acupuncture analgesia. The individual differences of acupuncture analgesia are associated with inherited genetic factors and the density of CCK receptors. The brain regions associated with acupuncture analgesia identified in animal experiments were confirmed and further explored in the human brain by means of functional imaging. EA analgesia is likely associated with its counter-regulation to spinal glial activation. PTX-sesntive Gi/o protein- and MAP kinase-mediated signal pathways as well as the downstream events NF-kappaB, c-fos and c-jun play important roles in EA analgesia.
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              Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have intrinsic insulin resistance on euglycaemic-hyperinsulaemic clamp.

              What is the prevalence of insulin resistance (IR) and the contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic IR in women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) according to the Rotterdam criteria? We report novel clamp data in Rotterdam diagnosed PCOS women, using World Health Organization criteria for IR showing that women with PCOS have a high prevalence of IR, strengthening the evidence for an aetiological role of IR in both National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Rotterdam diagnosed PCOS in lean and overweight women. PCOS is a complex endocrine condition with a significant increased risk of gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Using a cross-sectional study design, 20 overweight and 20 lean PCOS (Rotterdam criteria), 14 overweight and 19 lean body mass index (BMI)-matched control non-PCOS women underwent clinical measures of IR after a 3-month withdrawal of insulin sensitizers and the oral contraceptive pill. In an academic clinic setting, glucose infusion rate (GIR) on euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp was investigated as a marker of insulin sensitivity. PCOS women were more IR than BMI-matched controls (main effect for BMI and PCOS; P < 0.001). IR was present in 75% of lean PCOS, 62% of overweight controls and 95% of overweight PCOS. Lean controls (mean ± SD; GIR 339 ± 76 mg min⁻¹ m⁻²) were less IR than lean PCOS (270 ± 66 mg min⁻¹ m⁻²), overweight controls (264 ± 66 mg min⁻¹ m⁻²) and overweight PCOS (175 ± 96 mg min⁻¹ m⁻²). The negative relationship between BMI and IR reflected by GIR was more marked in PCOS (y = 445.1 - 7.7x, R² = 0.42 (P < 0.0001) than controls (y = 435.5 - 4.6x, R² = 0.04 (P < 0.01)). The study did not use glucose tracer techniques to completely characterize the IR, as well as the lack of matching for body composition and age. IR is exacerbated by increased BMI, supporting intrinsic IR in PCOS. BMI impact on IR is greater in PCOS, than in controls, irrespective of visceral fat, prioritizing lifestyle intervention and the need for effective therapeutic interventions to address intrinsic IR and prevent diabetes in this high-risk population. This investigator-initiated trial was supported by grants from the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Grant number 606553 (H.J.T., N.K.S. and S.K.H.) as well as Monash University and The Jean Hailes Foundation. H.J.T. is an NHMRC Research Fellow. N.K.S. is supported through the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) programme. A.E.J. is a Jean Hailes and NHMRC scholarship holder. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest associated with this manuscript.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                ECAM
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                1741-427X
                1741-4288
                2013
                2 September 2013
                2 September 2013
                : 2013
                Affiliations
                1Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Box 434, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
                2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, First Affiliated Hospital, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Ernest Hung Yu Ng

                Article
                10.1155/2013/762615
                3773899
                24073009
                Copyright © 2013 J. Johansson and E. Stener-Victorin.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review Article

                Complementary & Alternative medicine

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