The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Lack of support for acupuncture in epilepsy

     That’s the conclusion by reviewers from the University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital in China in this Cochrane review.

    First, the details.

    • To be included in the review a study had to compare acupuncture to another treatment or assess adding acupuncture to ongoing treatment.
    • 11 small studies of 914 participants were selected.

    And, the results.

    • Combining the results of 4 studies of acupuncture vs a control group revealed no difference between groups.
    • In children treated with needle acupuncture plus Chinese herbs 2 studies reported a reduction in seizure frequency (75%) and seizure duration (50%) vs Chinese herbs alone.
    • Compared to phenytoin (Dilantin), combining the results from 2 studies showed that patients treated with needle acupuncture were more likely to have a 75% reduction in seizure frequency.
    • Compared to valproate (Depacon), combining the results from 3 studies showed that patients treated with catgut implantation at acupoints were more likely to have a 75% or greater reduction in seizure frequency.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “The current evidence does not support acupuncture as a treatment for epilepsy.”

    Interesting, considering all the positive results when compared to drug therapy. The key to their skepticism is due to the poor study design characterized by “generally poor methodological quality and … short follow up.”

    10/13/08 10:38 JR

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