Use of Acupuncture In Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder
This is a study of the efficacy of acupuncture in children with autism.
Procedure: Tongue Acupuncture (Procedure)
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Randomized Control Trial of Using Acupuncture In Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder|
- Ritvo-Freeman Real Life Scale (RFRLS) was conducted on both groups before (Week 0) and after (Week 8) acupuncture.
- Functional Independence Measure for children (WeeFIM) consists of 18 questions concerning on the Functional Independence Measure for children, which was conducted on both groups before (Week 0) and after (Week 8) acupuncture.
- Parental Stress Index (PSI) consists of child domain, parent domain and a total domain, which was conducted on both groups before (Week 0) and after (Week 8) acupuncture.
- Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGIS) is a measure in a Likert scale of 0 – 7, which was conducted on both groups before (Week 0) and after (Week 8) acupuncture.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with unknown etiology. ASD consisted of 3 core features: 1) disorder of language or communication; 2) disorder of social interaction; and 3) obsessive and stereotypic behavior.
Acupuncture had been practiced in China for over two millennia. In Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, nearly 400 acupoints on the body surface are interrelated to various functions. The approach in TCM, in sharp contrast to western medical concept, was a “holistic” approach with a philosophical background of balancing the “Yin-and-Yang”. The main objective of TCM was to improve health of body and mind by deblocking the flow of “Qi” in the body. The pathophysiological basis of TCM aimed to improve “energy” or “body-flow” or “Qi” [“de-qui” in Chinese]. The effect of acupuncture was had been proven in animal and human studies to be due to direct neural stimulation, changes in neurotransmitters such as endorphin, immunological markers or endocrinological signals. Thus, acupuncture is especially effective in chronic disorders, especially neurological ones.
As there is no TCM concept of mental retardation or autism, we propose that ASD is part of the spectrum of the TCM concept of the “Four Delayed Syndrome” in children with “delay in motor skills, speech, hair and teeth eruption” according to TCM concept. Thus, we approach ASD according to TCM concept as part of the lower intelligence due to imbalance of “Heart meridian and Kidney meridian” (i.e. yin-yang imbalance) resulting in communication problem and “Liver meridian” (yin-yang imbalance) leading to behavioral problems.
Our objective is to use a different approach in looking at ASD and to assess the efficacy of TCM model in improving the functional status of these children. Specific acupoints corresponding to various organs and meridians were used for ASD. The organ and meridian concept in TCM model has been as a fundamental basis to improve the behavior, cognition and communicative ability in children with ASD.