Publications by authors named "Aldo Liguori"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Homotopic reduction in laser-evoked potential amplitude and laser-pain rating by abdominal acupuncture.

Eur J Pain 2021 03 12;25(3):659-667. Epub 2020 Dec 12.

Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Background: The neural mechanism underlying the analgesic effect of acupuncture is largely unknown. We aimed at investigating the effect of abdominal acupuncture (AA) on the laser-evoked potential (LEP) amplitude and laser-pain rating to stimulation of body parts either homotopic or heterotopic to the treated acupoint.

Methods: Laser-evoked potentials were recorded from 13 healthy subjects to stimulation of the right wrist (RW), left wrist (LW) and right foot (RF). LEPs were obtained before, during and after the AA stimulation of an abdominal area corresponding to the representation of the RW. Subjective laser-pain rating was collected after each LEP recording.

Results: The amplitude of the N2/P2 LEP component was significantly reduced during AA and 15 min after needle removal to both RW (F = 4.14, p = .02) and LW (F = 5.48, p = .008) stimulation, while the N2/P2 amplitude to RF stimulation (F = 0.94, p = .4) remained unchanged. Laser-pain rating was reduced during AA and 15 min after needle removal only to RW stimulation (F = 5.67, p = .007).

Conclusion: Our findings showing an AA effect on LEP components to both the ipsilateral and contralateral region homotopic to the treated area, without any LEP change to stimulation of a heterotopic region, suggest that the AA analgesia is mediated by a segmental spinal mechanism.

Significance: Although abdominal acupuncture has demonstrated to be effective in the reduction in laser-evoked potential (LEP) amplitude and laser-pain rating, the exact mechanism of this analgesic effect is not known. In the current study, we found that treatment of an area in the "turtle representation" of the body led to a topographical pattern of LEP amplitude inhibition that can be mediated by a segmental spinal mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1701DOI Listing
March 2021

A multi-center international study of acupuncture for lateral elbow pain - Results of a randomized controlled trial.

Eur J Pain 2020 09 30;24(8):1458-1470. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

College of Economics, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Lateral elbow pain (LEP) due to tendinosis is one of the most common musculoskeletal pains of the upper limbs, yet there is no satisfactory treatment. This study was an international, prospective, multi-centre, randomized, controlled, clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture compared to sham laser in the treatment of LEP.

Methods: The study used a parallel and stratified design (1:1 allocation using a computer-generated sequence) and was participant-, outcome assessor- and statistician-blinded. Subjects from 18 to 80 years with unilateral chronic LEP (minimum three months) were recruited at four centres in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Italy. The treatment group received manual acupuncture at acupoints LI 10 and LI 11 on the affected side whereas the control group received sham laser acupuncture at the same acupoints. The primary endpoint was disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) questionnaire score at the three-week post-treatment follow-up visit. Three VAS scales (pain at rest, pain on motion and pain during exertion) were secondary outcomes measures. Ninety-six subjects were allocated to either the treatment group (n = 47) or control group (n = 49) and were all included in the analysis.

Results: At the follow-up visit, we found significant differences in DASH score between the two groups (p = .015). The median change to baseline for the treatment group was -11.7 (interval: -50.83 to 23.33), and for the control group -7.50 (interval: -36.67 to 29.10). The estimated effect size was 0.47, indicating a medium effect. Significant differences were also found for secondary outcome measures for VAS of pain. There were no severe adverse events. Our findings suggest that acupuncture has a moderate efficacy in the treatment of LEP.

Conclusions: Acupuncture was shown to be efficacious in improving the function of the arm associated with lateral elbow tendinosis. Both the DASH score and the pain VAS on two occasions (at rest and during motion) showed a significant change over time indicating acupuncture as a potential treatment for LEP due to tendinosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1574DOI Listing
September 2020

Effects of basic traditional Chinese diet on body mass index, lean body mass, and eating and hunger behaviours in overweight or obese individuals.

J Tradit Chin Med 2016 08;36(4):456-63

Objective: To compare the effects of a basic traditional Chinese diet with a Western standard diet on body mass index (BMI), lean body mass (LBD), and eating and hunger behaviours.

Methods: A sample of 284 patients were randomized into 2 groups: group A (n = 142) followed a basic traditional Chinese diet (BCTD) and group B (n = 142) followed a Western standard diet (WSD). Both diets were set at approximately 1200 calories. The patients enrolled were compared before treatment and 6 weeks after treatment, and then follow-ups were made at 1 year and 5 years.

Results: In the BCTD group, BMI decreased by 0.46 kg/m2 and LBM by 0.25 kg, versus respectively 0.28 kg/m2 and 0.41 kg in the WSD group. Findings of eating self-assessment, hunger measurement and psychophysical indices of health were also in favour of the BCTD.

Conclusion: Outcomes show that the BCTD has a better effect on BMI and LBM, as well as over the medium/long term, and provides stronger psychophysical support to obese patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0254-6272(16)30062-0DOI Listing
August 2016

Acupuncture for Pain in Chronic Pancreatitis: A Single-Blinded Randomized Crossover Trial.

Pancreas 2017 02;46(2):170-176

From the *Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark; †Istituto Paracelso; ‡Department of Anatomic, Histologic, Forensic Medicine and Locomotor System Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, Sapienza University; §Department of Neurology, Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, Rome, Italy; and ∥Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.

Objectives: Many patients with painful chronic pancreatitis (CP) have insufficient effect of treatment, and the prevalence of adverse effects is high. Consequently, alternatives to conventional management are needed. We aimed to study the effect of acupuncture in painful CP.

Methods: This was a prospective, single-blinded, randomized crossover trial. Fifteen patients with CP were assigned to a session of acupuncture followed by sham stimulation or vice versa. Patients rated clinical pain scores daily on a 0 to 10 visual analogue scale (VAS) and completed the Patient Global Impression of Change. For mechanistic linkage, resting state electroencephalograms were recorded and quantified by spectral power analysis to explore effects on central pain processing.

Results: Acupuncture, compared with sham stimulation, caused more pain relief (2.0 ± 1.5 VAS vs 0.7 ± 0.8 VAS; P = 0.009). The effect, however, was short, and after 1-week follow-up, there was no difference in clinical pain scores between groups (P = 1.0) or the rating of Patient Global Impression of Change (P = 0.8). Electroencephalogram spectral power distributions between sham and acupuncture were comparable between groups (all P > 0.6).

Conclusions: The study presents proof-of-concept for the analgesic effect of acupuncture in pancreatic pain. Although the effect was short lasting, the framework may be used to conceptualize future trials of acupuncture in visceral pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000000749DOI Listing
February 2017

A New Method for Sham-Controlled Acupuncture in Experimental Visceral Pain - a Randomized, Single-Blinded Study.

Pain Pract 2016 07 26;16(6):669-79. Epub 2015 May 26.

Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.

Objective: Acupuncture is increasingly used as an alternative to medical therapy for various pain conditions. To study the effect of acupuncture in experimental and clinical studies, a control condition with sham acupuncture is needed. However, as such models have not been established in assessment of acupunctures effect against visceral pain, this study aimed to validate a new method for blinded sham acupuncture in experimental rectal pain.

Methods: Fifteen subjects underwent a sequence of either sham or real acupuncture in randomized order. In the sham arm, a hollow inner tube with a sharp tip was fitted into an outer tube and subjects were blinded to the stimulations. Before and after the intervention, pain was induced by rectal stimulation with an inflatable balloon distended until the subjects' pain threshold was reached. The resting electroencephalogram (EEG) was quantified by spectral power analysis to explore the central nervous system effects objectively. Additionally, after the second study day, the subject was asked to indicate the sequence of interventions.

Results: A significant increase in rectal balloon volume was observed after sham 12 ± 21 mL (P = 0.049) and acupuncture 17 ± 30 mL (P = 0.046). However, the change in volume was not different between groups (P = 0.6). No differences in EEG spectral power distributions between sham and acupuncture were seen (all P > 0.6). The correct sequence of sham and acupuncture was indicated by 36% of the subjects (P = 0.4).

Conclusions: The presented sham procedure provides a valid method for blinding of "sham acupuncture" and may be used in future blinded controlled trials of acupuncture for visceral pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/papr.12309DOI Listing
July 2016

Effect of a basic Chinese traditional diet in overweight patients.

J Tradit Chin Med 2013 Jun;33(3):322-4

Department of Anatomic, Histologic, Forensic Medicine and Locomotor System Sciences, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of a basic Chinese traditional diet (BTCD) in overweight patients on body mass index (BMI), lean mass, sense of hunger, and eating behaviour.

Methods: A total of 694 enrolled subjects (218 male and 476 female) were divided into two groups: group A undergoing a 1200-Kcal BTCD, and group B undergoing a 1200-Kcal standard western diet.

Results: From T0 (before treatment) to T1 (6 weeks after treatment), BMI was lowered in group A from (32.33 +/- 5.51) to (31.96 +/- 5.56) kg/m2, and in group B from (31.62 +/- 6.29) to (31.36 +/- 6.47) kg/m2. After treatment, patients in group A lost more weight (0.37 +/- 0.52) kg than group B (0.26 +/- 0.79) kg (P = 0.0044). From T0 to T1, the mean lean mass of group A decreased from (16.48 +/- 5.50) to (16.27 +/- 5.45) kg. In group B, mean lean mass decreased from (16.93 +/- 6.49) to (16.44 +/- 6.29) kg. The difference was significant (P = 0.0078).

Conclusion: The two diets could lead to lower BMI, improve lean mass as well as eating behaviour and sense of hunger. However, the BTCD was significantly better than the western standard diet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0254-6272(13)60173-9DOI Listing
June 2013

Traditional acupuncture in migraine: a controlled, randomized study.

Headache 2008 Mar 12;48(3):398-407. Epub 2007 Sep 12.

University of Padua - Department of Medico-Surgical Specialties - Sect. Dentistry, Padua, Italy.

Objective: To check the effectiveness of a true acupuncture treatment according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in migraine without aura, comparing it to a standard mock acupuncture protocol, an accurate mock acupuncture healing ritual, and untreated controls.

Background: Migraine prevalence is high and affects a relevant rate of adults in the productive phase of their life. Acupuncture has been increasingly advocated and used in Western countries for migraine treatment, but the evidence of its effectiveness still remains weak. A large variability of treatments is present in published studies and no acupoint selection according to TCM has been investigated so far; therefore, the low level of evidence of acupuncture effectiveness might partly depend on inappropriate treatment.

Design And Methods: A prospective, randomized, controlled study was performed in 160 patients suffering from migraine without aura, assessed according to the ICD-10 classification. The patients were divided into the following 4 groups: (1) group TA, treated with true acupuncture (according to TCM) plus Rizatriptan; (2) group RMA, treated with ritualized mock acupuncture plus Rizatriptan; (3) group SMA, treated with standard mock acupuncture plus Rizatriptan; (4) group R, without prophylactic treatment with relief therapy only (Rizatriptan). The MIDAS Questionnaire was administered before treatment (T0), at 3 (T1) and 6 months (T2) from the beginning of treatment, and the MIDAS Index (MI) was calculated. Rizatriptan intake was also checked in all groups of patients at T0, T1, and T2. Group TA and RMA were evaluated according to TCM as well; then, the former was submitted to true acupuncture and the latter to mock acupuncture treatment resembling the same as TA. The statistical analysis was conducted with factorial ANOVA and multiple tests with a Bonferroni adjustment.

Results: A total of 127 patients completed the study (33 dropouts): 32 belonged to group TA, 30 to group RMA, 31 to group SMA, and 34 to group R. Before treatment the MI (T(0)) was moderate to severe with no significant intergroup differences. All groups underwent a decrease of MI at T(1) and T(2), with a significant group difference at both T(1) and T(2) compared to T(0) (P < .0001). Only TA provided a significant improvement at both T(1) and T(2) compared to R (P < .0001). RMA underwent a transient improvement of MI at T(1). The Rizatriptan intake paralleled the MI in all groups.

Conclusions: TA was the only treatment able to provide a steady outcome improvement in comparison to the use of only Rizatriptan, while RMA showed a transient placebo effect at T1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-4610.2007.00916.xDOI Listing
March 2008

Study of the effects of electroacupuncture in a rodent model of cerebral ischaemia.

Ann Ist Super Sanita 2003 ;39(3):441-5

Laboratorio di Farmacologia, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

The effects of electroacupuncture (EA) has been studied in a model of global cerebral ischaemia performed in gerbils through the bilateral carotid artery occlusion (BCAO). Animals, under isofluorane anaesthesia, underwent 5 min of BCAO and were killed after 7 days. The effects of EA were evaluated both on functional (with electrophysiological recordings of synaptic potentials in hippocampal slices) and morphological parameters (by counting the number of survived neurons in CA1 area of the hippocampus). The results demonstrated that the treatment of animals with EA (5 min before, during and 20 min after BCAO and 30 min per day in the following 5 days) did not modify either the ischaemia-induced reduction of synaptic potentials amplitude, either ischaemia-induced neuronal loss in the hippocampus. We conclude that, at least in this animal model of cerebral ischaemia, EA does not exert a neuroprotective effect.
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January 2005

Study on cytokines IL-2, IL-6, IL-10 in patients of chronic allergic rhinitis treated with acupuncture.

J Tradit Chin Med 2002 Jun;22(2):104-11

Paracelso Institute, Body Corporate of Italian Ministry of Health, Chair of Social Medicine, School of Medicine La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Objectives: To observe the plasmatic concentration of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-2 in the patient of chronic allergic rhinitis before and after acupuncture therapy.

Methods: Cytokine levels were determined before and after treatment in 30 healthy volunteers (Group A) and 90 patients of chronic allergic rhinitis (Group B) with an increased plasma IL-10 level. Group B was then divided into 3 subgroups: 30 patients treated with real acupuncture (Group B1); 30 patients treated with sham acupuncture (Group B2); 30 non-treated patients (Group B3).

Results: The allergic subjects of group B1, compared with controls, showed a significant reduction of IL-10 after a specific treatment with acupuncture (P < 0.05). On the other hand, in those patients treated with sham acupuncture (B2) as well as in non-treated patients (B3), the IL-10 values remained high and unchanged. There was a statistically significant change in IL-2 values at 24 hours (P < 0.05) after real acupuncture (Groups A, B1), however the values remained within normal ranges. The IL-6 do not change after therapy.

Conclusion: The acupuncture treatment can reduce plasmatic level of IL-10 in chronic allergic rhinitis.
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June 2002
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