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

    This blog is 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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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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    Acupuncture for depression during pregnancy

    Researchers from Stanford University, in California report it reduced symptoms.

    First, the details.

    • 150 pregnant women with major depressive disorder were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 8 weeks (12 sessions).
      • Acupuncture specific for depression
      • Control acupuncture
      • Massage
    • Junior acupuncturists, who were not told about the treatment assignment, needled participants at points prescribed by senior acupuncturists.
    • All treatments were standardized.
    • The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression was administered by masked raters at the start and after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment.

    And, the results.

    • Women who received acupuncture for depression experienced a significantly greater decrease in symptom severity compared to the other groups.
    • They also had significantly greater response rate vs the other groups.
    • There was no difference in symptom reduction and response in the control and massage groups.

    The bottom line?

    The short acupuncture protocol provided a reduction in symptoms reduction.

    The authors tell us that the response rate was “comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.”

    These study results differ from the findings in a Cochrane review published 2 years ago where the authors concluded, “The evidence is inconclusive to allow us to make any recommendations for massage therapy or depression-specific acupuncture for the treatment of antenatal (during pregnancy) depression.”

    3/17/10 21:07 JR

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