Acupuncture for treatment of HIV associated acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (Guillain-Barré syndrome) | CCNM

Acupuncture for treatment of HIV associated acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (Guillain-Barré syndrome)

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Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) can be associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Treatment with acupuncture may modulate immune function and restore sensation and motor function to affected areas. To describe an HIV-positive patient with GBS who received acupuncture treatment for amelioration of GBS symptoms. The patient was diagnosed with HIV infection in 1989. In January 1999 at age 40 years, he experienced a 3-week progression to nadir of bilateral paresthesias and motor impairment that ascended to the chest and then to the head, causing palpitations, partial ophthalmoplegia, and impaired taste sensation. Initial acupuncture at bilateral points GB 34, GB 39, PC 6, and KI 3 (addition of GV 4, GV 3, BL 23, and BL 40 later) for 30 minutes each. Improvement in sensation and motor function as well as related GBS symptoms. After 2 acupuncture treatments, the patient reported increased sensation in his feet as well as improved coordination, balance, and confidence in mobility. After 4 treatments, he reported dramatic improvement in sensation. With each subsequent treatment, the patient reported increasing energy and self-confidence. At 3 months, he reported that total recovery was approximately 75%. The most significant change was dramatic improvement in toe flexion, ankle extension, and sensation in his feet. After 1 year of treatment, the patient reported an overall total subjective recovery of 90%, including an absence of motor and sensory impairments.  In this HIV-positive patient, acupuncture appears to have dramatically accelerated recovery from GBS, allowing greater mobility, self-confidence, social functioning, and overall quality of life. Further investigation into the efficacy of acupuncture for GBS is warranted. PMID: 18204101
Title of abstract: 
Acupuncture for the treatment of HIV associated acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (Guillain-Barré syndrome): a case report.
Huff H, Cooley K, Waller N.
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Monday, December 31, 2007
Medical Acupuncture, 2008;20(3):191-5.

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