Decreased Risk of Dementia Among Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury Receiving Acupuncture Treatment: A Population-Based Retrospective Cohort Study

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Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

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Objective: We conducted a longitudinal cohort study comparing the effect of acupuncture on the risk of dementia in Taiwanese individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design and Participants: A national health insurance database was used to identify 15 440 newly diagnosed TBI patients 20 to 70 years old between 1998 and 2007. Of the identified patients, 6308 received acupuncture following the onset of TBI (acupuncture users) and 9132 patients did not receive acupuncture (nonacupuncture users).

Measures: All enrollees were followed until the end of 2012 to record incident cases of dementia. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to compute adjusted hazard ratios for the relationship of acupuncture use with dementia.

Results: During the follow-up period, 249 acupuncture users and 810 nonacupuncture users developed dementia, corresponding to incidence rates of 6.11 and 9.64 per 1000 person-years, respectively. Use of acupuncture was significantly associated with a lower risk of dementia. Those who received more than 5 sessions of acupuncture benefited most from it.

Conclusions: Adding acupuncture to the clinical management of patients with TBI may benefit these patients by decreasing their risk of developing dementia.


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