The Role of Perioperative Acupoint Stimulation in the Prevention of Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction

Shuai Yuan , Jian-Bo Yu
Department of Anesthesiology, Tianjin Nankai Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China
J Anesth Perioper Med 2016; 3(5): 220- 224 . Published on Sep 18, 2016 . doi:10.24015/JAPM.2016.0029
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Aim of review: In elderly population, postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is a common complication following surgical procedures. In this article, we reviewed the research progress of POCD in the field of traditional Chinese and Western medicine and improved the understanding on the prevention of POCD by perioperative acupoint stimulation so that better perioperative management of patients with risk factors can be achieved.

Method: We first described the concept of POCD, subsequently, reviewed the recent literatures on the effect and potential mechanisms of acupoint stimulation, especially some of the new transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) strategies that may be implemented to prevent POCD.

Recent findings: Perioperative acupoint stimulation have been proven to be related to the improving of blood perfusion of brain and further strengthen the microcirculation and metabolism, and it can also exert anti-inflammation effects and change metabolism of glucose and oxygen in the brain, which can be seen as the evidence for acupoint stimulation to improve POCD under the limited researches yet.     

Summary: Perioperative acupoint stimulation could exert prevention effects on POCD, but further studies are still needed to further elaborate on its potential mechanisms and transfer convincing experimental evidences into clinical therapies.


Citation: Shuai Yuan, Jian-Bo Yu. The role of perioperative acupoint stimulation in the prevention of postoperative cognitive dysfunction. J Anesth Perioper Med 2016; 3: 220-4. doi: 10.24015/JAPM.2016.0029
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