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      Effect of Acupuncture on Chronic Pain with Depression: A Systematic Review

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          Abstract

          Background

          Numerous studies suggested that chronic pain and depression were closely related and widespread in the population. When patients have symptoms of chronic pain and depression, the corresponding treatment will become difficult. Acupuncture, a unique therapeutic method of traditional Chinese medicine, has been reported to potentially serve as an alternative treatment for patients with comorbid chronic pain and depression by many research studies.

          Methods

          A comprehensive search was conducted through the online database, including the Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, SinoMed, CNKI, and Wanfang database. Trials were RCTs published in the English or Chinese language, recruiting participants with chronic pain and depression comorbidity. The primary outcomes were the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD). Statistical analyses were conducted using Review Manager 5.3. Each trail was quality appraised with the five-point Jadad Score.

          Results

          7 eligible RCTs involving 535 patients were included. Better therapeutic effect and safety could be observed in the experimental group compared with the control group. There was a significant decrease in the VAS (mean difference (MD) = −0.68 (−1.24, −0.12), P=0.02) and HAMD (MD = −2.18 (−3.09, −1.26), P < 0.00001) scores and the incidence of adverse events between two groups.

          Conclusion

          In the treatment of chronic pain with depression, acupuncture could not only get better clinical efficacy, but also have higher security compared with medicine therapy, which can be used in patients with poorer response to the conventional medication or suffering from serious side effects.

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          Most cited references 49

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          Medications for acute and chronic low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians clinical practice guideline.

          Medications are the most frequently prescribed therapy for low back pain. A challenge in choosing pharmacologic therapy is that each class of medication is associated with a unique balance of risks and benefits. To assess benefits and harms of acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants, benzodiazepines, antiepileptic drugs, skeletal muscle relaxants, opioid analgesics, tramadol, and systemic corticosteroids for acute or chronic low back pain (with or without leg pain). English-language studies were identified through searches of MEDLINE (through November 2006) and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2006, Issue 4). These electronic searches were supplemented by hand searching reference lists and additional citations suggested by experts. Systematic reviews and randomized trials of dual therapy or monotherapy with 1 or more of the preceding medications for acute or chronic low back pain that reported pain outcomes, back-specific function, general health status, work disability, or patient satisfaction. We abstracted information about study design, population characteristics, interventions, outcomes, and adverse events. To grade methodological quality, we used the Oxman criteria for systematic reviews and the Cochrane Back Review Group criteria for individual trials. We found good evidence that NSAIDs, acetaminophen, skeletal muscle relaxants (for acute low back pain), and tricyclic antidepressants (for chronic low back pain) are effective for pain relief. The magnitude of benefit was moderate (effect size of 0.5 to 0.8, improvement of 10 to 20 points on a 100-point visual analogue pain scale, or relative risk of 1.25 to 2.00 for the proportion of patients experiencing clinically significant pain relief), except in the case of tricyclic antidepressants (for which the benefit was small to moderate). We also found fair evidence that opioids, tramadol, benzodiazepines, and gabapentin (for radiculopathy) are effective for pain relief. We found good evidence that systemic corticosteroids are ineffective. Adverse events, such as sedation, varied by medication, although reliable data on serious and long-term harms are sparse. Most trials were short term (< or =4 weeks). Few data address efficacy of dual-medication therapy compared with monotherapy, or beneficial effects on functional outcomes. Our primary source of data was systematic reviews. We included non-English-language trials only if they were included in English-language systematic reviews. Medications with good evidence of short-term effectiveness for low back pain are NSAIDs, acetaminophen, skeletal muscle relaxants (for acute low back pain), and tricyclic antidepressants (for chronic low back pain). Evidence is insufficient to identify one medication as offering a clear overall net advantage because of complex tradeoffs between benefits and harms. Individual patients are likely to differ in how they weigh potential benefits, harms, and costs of various medications.
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            Is mood chemistry?

             Eero Castrén (2005)
            The chemical hypothesis of depression suggests that mood disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which can be corrected by antidepressant drugs. However, recent evidence indicates that problems in information processing within neural networks, rather than changes in chemical balance, might underlie depression, and that antidepressant drugs induce plastic changes in neuronal connectivity, which gradually lead to improvements in neuronal information processing and recovery of mood.
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              Diabetic neuropathic pain: Physiopathology and treatment.

              Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, which affects over 90% of the diabetic patients. Although pain is one of the main symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, its pathophysiological mechanisms are not yet fully known. It is widely accepted that the toxic effects of hyperglycemia play an important role in the development of this complication, but several other hypotheses have been postulated. The management of diabetic neuropathic pain consists basically in excluding other causes of painful peripheral neuropathy, improving glycemic control as a prophylactic therapy and using medications to alleviate pain. First line drugs for pain relief include anticonvulsants, such as pregabalin and gabapentin and antidepressants, especially those that act to inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and noradrenaline. In addition, there is experimental and clinical evidence that opioids can be helpful in pain control, mainly if associated with first line drugs. Other agents, including for topical application, such as capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches, have also been proposed to be useful as adjuvants in the control of diabetic neuropathic pain, but the clinical evidence is insufficient to support their use. In conclusion, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying diabetic neuropathic pain will contribute to the search of new therapies, but also to the improvement of the guidelines to optimize pain control with the drugs currently available.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                ECAM
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM
                Hindawi
                1741-427X
                1741-4288
                2020
                25 June 2020
                25 June 2020
                : 2020
                Affiliations
                1Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
                2Department of Orthopedic, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
                3Department of Nursing, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
                4Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
                Author notes

                Guest Editor: Fengbiao Mao

                Article
                10.1155/2020/7479459
                7334776
                Copyright © 2020 Bin Yan et al.

                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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