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Medicines 2017, 4(2), 33;

The Effect of Acupuncture on Visual Function in Patients with Congenital and Acquired Nystagmus

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel, Mittlere Strasse 91, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gerhard Litscher and William Chi-shing Cho
Received: 9 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acupuncture – Basic Research and Clinical Application)
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Background: The aim of this study is to examine the short-term effect of visual function following acupuncture treatment in patients with congenital idiopathic nystagmus and acquired nystagmus (CIN and AN). Methods: An observational pilot study on six patients with confirmed diagnosis of nystagmus (three CIN and three AN patients (2♀, 4♂; mean age 42.67; SD ± 20.57 y)), was performed. Acupuncture treatment was done following a standardized protocol applying needle-acupuncture on the body and the ears. The treatment was scheduled with 10 sessions of 30 min duration over five weeks. To assess the effect of the treatment, we performed before, between, and after acupuncture objective measurement of the BCVA (EDTRS charts), contrast vision (CSV-1000, Vector Vision), nystagmography (Compact Integrated Pupillograph), complemented by evaluation questionnaires. A placebo non-acupuncture control group (Nr: 11, 22 eyes; 8♀, 3♂; mean age: 33.34 y (SD ± 7.33 y)) was taken for comparison. Results: The results showed that, following acupuncture treatment, CIN and AN patients showed improvement (SD± mean) in their binocular BCVA (baseline: 0.45 ± 0.36; between: 0.53 ± 0.34 and post-treatment: 0.51 ± 0.28), and in their monocular contrast sensitivity (baseline: 11.29 ± 12.35; between: 11.43 ± 11.45 and post-treatment: 14.0 ± 12.22). The post-/baseline-difference showed a significant improvement in contrast vision and in BCVA for CIN and AN patients, but not for controls (p = 0.029 and p = 0.007, respectively). The effect of the eye showed also, within CIN and AN, significant values for the examined parameters in the post-/baseline difference (p = 0.004 and p ≤ 0.001). Evaluated only binocularly, the respective between-/baseline and post-/baseline difference in the CIN and AN group showed significant values (p < 0.045). Two AN patients reported reduction of oscillations. Among general subjective symptoms, our patients reported reduction of tiredness and headache attacks, improvement of vision, and shorter sleep onset time. Conclusion: The applied acupuncture protocol showed improvement in the visual function of nystagmus patients and thus, in their quality of life. Further studies are mandatory to differentiate which group of nystagmus patients would benefit more from acupuncture. View Full-Text
Keywords: acupuncture; nystagmus; contrast vison; visual function; nystagmography acupuncture; nystagmus; contrast vison; visual function; nystagmography

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Blechschmidt, T.; Krumsiek, M.; Todorova, M.G. The Effect of Acupuncture on Visual Function in Patients with Congenital and Acquired Nystagmus. Medicines 2017, 4, 33.

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