Research: Acupuncture Improves Memory and Cognitive Function -- Alzheimer's Help

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Research: Acupuncture Improves Memory and Cognitive Function -- Alzheimer's Help

Many people come to my acupuncture clinic with poor memory or brain fog, as a side issue to the other bigger issues that we’re addressing.  In Chinese Medicine, memory is often related to kidney function, and by nourishing and building up the kidneys, we will see improvement in memory. 
However, there are also other issues which can cause brain fog or unclear thinking, such as when the “clear yang” can not reach up to the head, which can be caused by several underlying imbalances.  But by stimulating the flow of Qi with acupuncture, this energy is able to flow freely to the head, and the brain is able to function better.

The study quoted here sheds new light on the efficacy of this Chinese medical theory that has been used in acupuncture treatment for thousands of years.  Using MRI technology, the research confirms that memory centers of the brain are activated by acupuncture, which is why acupuncture benefits Alzheimer disease patients and/or other patients with mild cognitive impairment. The fascinating thing is that the two points used in the study, Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4, are a pair of points whose primary function is to stimulate the free flow of energy.  And sure enough, MRI shows that they successfully activate regions of the cerebrum responsible for memory and cognition, meaning that energy is now able to reach the head and brain, in specific areas that are pathologically deactivated in these patients.

The researchers “speculate that acupuncture may have a great effect on patients such as AD (Alzheimer’s disease) and MCI (mild cognitive impairment) through modulating special brain network(s) or brain regional activity.”


Wang Z, Nie B, Li D, Zhao Z, Han Y, et al. (2012) Effect of Acupuncture in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer Disease: A Functional MRI Study. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42730. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042730

Tags: alzheimers memory brain fog cognitive function