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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Acupuncture is not very effective treatment for major depression

    It might help some people, but more effective options are available.

    151 patients were assigned to treatment for 8 weeks:

    • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)-style acupuncture with manual stimulation for depression,
    • Nonspecific acupuncture, or
    • No treatment.
    • After 8 weeks, everybody got depression-specific acupuncture.

    And the results

    • Both acupuncture groups did better than the group that got no treatment.
    • There was no significant difference in the rate of response between the acupuncture groups (22% and 39%) at 8 weeks.
    • After 16 weeks about half the patients responded to acupuncture.

    The response to acupuncture is disappointing.

    Dr. Irene says that major depression is a very treatable disease using antidepressants and/or cognitive behavioral therapy. The important thing is whether the response to any treatment can be maintained long-term. This study didn’t address that issue. You can visit Dr. Irene’s homepage here and website here.

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness states, “Between 80% and 90% of those diagnosed with major depression can be effectively treated and return to their usual daily activities and feelings.” You can read their informative review with treatment options here.

    2/17/07 14:30 JR

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