Most could not demonstrate improved core autistic features.
1 study reported significant improvement on the Autism Behavior Checklist and significantly better post-treatment total scores.
No evidence that acupuncture improved communication and linguistic ability.
Some benefit in cognitive function and global functioning.
Acupressure + conventional treatment vs conventional treatment alone (2 studies)
Some benefit from acupressure for certain aspects of communication and linguistic ability, cognitive function, and global functioning.
Bleeding, crying due to fear or pain, irritability, sleep disturbance and increased hyperactivity.
No studies reported on quality of life.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Current evidence does not support the use of acupuncture for treatment of autism spectrum disorder. There is no conclusive evidence that acupuncture is effective for treatment of autism spectrum disorder in children and no randomized clinical trials have been carried out with adults.”
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.