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Mar, 2024 Vol.27 No. 1

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  • Original Article2024-03-31

    Enhanced Drug Carriage Efficiency of Curcumin-Loaded PLGA Nanoparticles in Combating Diabetic Nephropathy via Mitigation of Renal Apoptosis

    Asmita Samadder1*, Banani Bhattacharjee1, Sudatta Dey1, Arnob Chakrovorty1, Rishita Dey1,2, Priyanka Sow1, Debojyoti Tarafdar3, Maharaj Biswas4, Sisir Nandi2
    J Pharmacopuncture 2024; 27(1): 1-13 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2024.27.1.1

    Abstract : Background: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the major complications of chronic hyperglycaemia affecting normal kidney functioning. The ayurvedic medicine curcumin (CUR) is pharmaceutically accepted for its vast biological effects.Objectives: The Curcuma-derived diferuloylmethane compound CUR, loaded on Poly (lactide-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) nanoparticles was utilized to combat DN-induced renal apoptosis by selectively targeting and modulating Bcl2.Methods: Upon in silico molecular docking and screening study CUR was selected as the core phytocompound for nanoparticle formulation. PLGA-nano-encapsulated-curcumin (NCUR) were synthesized following standard solvent displacement method. The NCUR were characterized for shape, size and other physico-chemical properties by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy studies. For in vivo validation of nephro-protective effects, Mus musculus were pre-treated with CUR at a dose of 50 mg/kg b.w. and NCUR at a dose of 25 mg/kg b.w. (dose 1), 12.5 mg/kg b.w (dose 2) followed by alloxan administration (100 mg/kg b.w) and serum glucose levels, histopathology and immunofluorescence study were conducted.Results: The in silico study revealed a strong affinity of CUR towards Bcl2 (dock score –10.94 Kcal/mol). The synthesized NCUR were of even shape, devoid of cracks and holes with mean size of ~80 nm having –7.53 mV zeta potential. Dose 1 efficiently improved serum glucose levels, tissue-specific expression of Bcl2 and reduced glomerular space and glomerular sclerosis in comparison to hyperglycaemic group.Conclusion: This study essentially validates the potential of NCUR to inhibit DN by reducing blood glucose level and mitigating glomerular apoptosis by selectively promoting Bcl2 protein expression in kidney tissue.

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  • Original Article2024-03-31

    Pharmacoacupuncture for the Treatment of Frozen Shoulder: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Ji-Ho Lee1, Hyeon-Sun Park2, Sang-Hyeon Park2, Dong-Ho Keum2, Seo-Hyun Park2*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2024; 27(1): 14-20 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2024.27.1.14

    Abstract : Objectives: Frozen shoulder (FS) is one of the most challenging shoulder disorders for patients and clinicians. Its symptoms mainly include any combination of stiffness, nocturnal pain, and limitation of active and passive glenohumeral joint movement. Conventional treatment options for FS are physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, injection therapy, and arthroscopic capsular release, but adverse and limited effects continue to present problems. As a result, pharmacoacupuncture (PA) is getting attention as an alternative therapy for patients with FS. PA is a new form of acupuncture treatment in traditional Korean medicine (TKM) that is mainly used for musculoskeletal diseases. It has similarity and specificity compared to corticosteroid injection and hydrodilatation, making it a potential alternative injection therapy for FS. However, no systematic reviews investigating the utilization of PA for FS have been published. Therefore, this review aims to standardize the clinical use of PA for FS and validate its therapeutic effect.Methods: The protocol was registered in Prospero (CRD42023445708) on 18 July 2023. Until Aug. 31, 2023, seven electronic databases will be searched for randomized controlled trials of PA for FS. Authors will be contacted, and manual searches will also be performed. Two reviewers will independently screen and collect data from retrieved articles according to predefined criteria. The primary outcome will be pain intensity, and secondary outcomes will be effective rate, Constant-Murley Score, Shoulder Pain and Disability Index, range of motion, quality of life, and adverse events. Bias and quality of the included trials will be assessed using the Cochrane handbook’s risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials. Meta analyses will be conducted using Review Manager V.5.3 software. GRADE will be used to evaluate the level of evidence for each outcome.Results: This systematic review and meta-analysis will be conducted following PRISMA statement. The results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.Conclusion: This review will provide scientific evidence to support health insurance policy as well as the standardization of PA in clinical practice.

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    Original Article2024-03-31

    Suggestion for Objective Evaluation of Comparative Pulse Diagnosis

    Jun-Sang Yu1,2*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2024; 27(1): 21-26 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2024.27.1.21

    Abstract : Objectives: Pulse is a method of Korean medicine diagnosis and is an important clue to detect the organs, nature, and progress of the disease. Pulse examination is included in the basic examination of Korean medicine doctors, but there is no standardized method for diagnosing pulse although the types and methods of the pulse taking are briefly described in the literature, making it difficult to spread the examination method. In this regard, I would like to propose an objective evaluation method.Methods: Although the importance of pulse examination and the method of pulse examination are known in the literature, it is difficult for undergraduate students or inexperienced Korean medicine doctors to access it, so in this paper a method of marking the size of the pulse power in the blank space for objective evaluation was devised and presented.Results: The size of the pulse power should be indicated using the 1-cell, 3-cell, or 5-cell method according to the left and right wrists and the cun, guan and chi on both sides.Conclusion: The method of pulse diagnosis is an important diagnostic method as a verification process for making a Korean medical diagnosis. The remaining Korean medicine diagnostic methods, including pulse diagnosis, also need to undergo objectification. It is believed that the objectification of these diagnostic methods will lead to an improvement in the treatment rate of Korean medicine.

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  • Original Article2024-03-31

    Feasibility of Emotional Freedom Techniques in Patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: a pilot study

    Yujin Choi1†, Yunna Kim2,3†, Do-Hyung Kwon2,3,4, Sunyoung Choi1, Young-Eun Choi5, Eun Kyoung Ahn6, Seung-Hun Cho2,3*, Hyungjun Kim1*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2024; 27(1): 27-37 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2024.27.1.27

    Abstract : Objectives: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent mental health condition, and techniques using sensory stimulation in processing traumatic memories have gained attention. The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a psychotherapy that combines tapping on acupoints with exposure to cognitive reframing. This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility of EFT as a treatment for PTSD by answering the following research questions: 1) What is the compliance and completion rate of patients with PTSD with regard to EFT protocol? Is the dropout rate reasonable? 2) Is the effect size of EFT protocol for PTSD sufficient to justify a future trial?Methods: Thirty participants diagnosed with PTSD were recruited. They received weekly EFT sessions for five weeks, in which they repeated a statement acknowledging the problem and accepting themselves while tapping the SI3 acupoint on the side of their hand. PTSD symptoms were evaluated using the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) before and after the intervention.Results: Of the 30 PTSD patients (mean age: 34.1 ± 9.1, 80% female), 96.7% showed over 80% compliance to the EFT sessions, and 86.7% completed the entire study process. The mean PCL-5 total score decreased significantly after the intervention, with a large effect size (change from baseline: –14.33 [95% CI: –19.79, –8.86], p < 0.0001, d = 1.06).Conclusion: The study suggests that EFT is a feasible treatment for PTSD, with high session compliance and low dropout rates. The effect size observed in this study supports the need for a larger trial in the future to further investigate EFT as a treatment for PTSD. However, the lack of a control group and the use of a self-rated questionnaire for PTSD symptoms are limitations of this study. The findings of this pilot study can be used to plan a future trial.

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  • Abstract : Objectives: Genotoxicity is evaluated through a chromosomal aberration test using cultured mammalian cells to determine the toxicity of no-pain pharmacopuncture (NPP), which has recently been used to treat musculoskeletal pain disorders in Korean medical clinical practice.Methods: An initial test was performed to determine the dosage range of the NPP, followed by the main test. In this study, NPP doses of 10.0, 5.0, and 2.5%, and negative and positive controls were tested. An in vitro chromosome aberration test was performed using Chinese hamster lung cells under short-term treatment with or without metabolic activation and under continuous treatment without metabolic activation.Results: Compared with the saline negative control group, NPP did not significantly increase the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in Chinese hamster lung cells, regardless of the presence or absence of metabolic activation. Additionally, the number of cells with structural chromosomal abnormalities was significantly higher in the positive control group than that in the negative control group that received saline.Conclusion: Based on the above results, the chromosomal abnormality-producing effect of NPP was determined to be negative under these test conditions.

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  • Case Report2024-03-31

    A Case Report of Prolonged Hemorrhage Following Traditional Phlebotomy (Fasd)

    Sajjad Sadeghi1,2*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2024; 27(1): 47-52 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2024.27.1.47

    Abstract : Phlebotomy, a therapeutic method of bloodletting typically performed using a needle, has a traditional technique known as “Fasd.” In this method, blood is extracted by creating a longitudinal incision on a vein (3-5 mm) with a surgical scalpel blade, usually blade No. 11. Due to the incision in the vessel wall, establishing hemostasis is more challenging compared to conventional methods. Hemostasis is usually achieved within minutes after Fasd. We present a case highlighting an uncommon yet significant complication of traditional phlebotomy. A 55-year-old man with no prior medical conditions underwent traditional phlebotomy at an academic traditional medicine clinic. Senior MD-PhD students in Iranian Traditional Medicine, under professor supervision, performed Fasd. A sterile scalpel blade No. 11 was used to create a longitudinal incision of approximately 4 mm on the patient’s median basilic vein in the right hand. After removing 400 cc of blood, a pressure dressing was applied to the incision site. Despite attempts such as hand elevation, ice pack application, prolonged direct pressure, and tight elastic bandaging, bleeding from the incision persisted. After an hour of supportive therapy, hemostasis was eventually achieved within a few minutes using burnt cotton dressing (a traditional method for blood hemostasis). Following intravenous hydration, the patient was discharged in stable condition and reported no issues during the one-month follow-up. The traditional phlebotomy (Fasd) carries the risk of serious complications, including uncontrolled and prolonged bleeding. Further research on the efficacy and safety of burnt cotton dressing for controlling hemostasis is recommended.

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  • Case Report2024-03-31

    A Case Study of Stress-Induced Alopecia Areata Treated with Hominis Placenta Pharmacopunture

    Yeon Woo Song1†, Seo Young Kang1†, Chae Won Kang1†, Seok Hee Kim2*, Kyung Jin Lee2, Yeon Ju Kim3, Jong Uk Kim4*, Tae Han Yook4*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2024; 27(1): 53-57 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2024.27.1.53

    Abstract : The purpose of this study is to report the clinical application of Hominis Placenta Pharmacopunture for Alopecia areata. Patient was diagnosed as stress-induced Alopecia areata 1 years ago. To reduce symptom, we treated a patient 8 times using Hominis Placenta Pharmacopunture. Hominis Placenta was injected subcutaneously into the lesion of head scalp alopecia. According to photographs, the lesion had been replaced with new terminal hair and the size of the lesion had decreased. This case has shown that stress-induced Alopecia areata patient could be treated by Hominis Placenta Pharmacopunture.

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Journal Info

Journal of Pharmacopuncture
Vol.27 No.1
March, 2024

pISSN 2093-6966
eISSN 2234-6856
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  • Case Report2023-03-31

    Suggested Integrative Approach for Hand Abscess with Cupping Therapy: a case study

    Emad Ahmed Fathy Hussein1*, Shahira Hassan Ibrahim Negm1, Tabish Ishaq Shaikh2, Ahmed Helmy Saleh3
    J Pharmacopuncture 2023; 26(1): 94-98 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2023.26.1.94

    Abstract : A forty-three-year-old male patient was diagnosed with an acute abscess in the dorsum of the right hand. On the 5th day of conventional pharmacological therapy the patient was still suffering, and was referred to the Outpatient department (OPD) to evacuate and drain the abscess and treat the edema around the area with Hijama (wet cupping therapy, WCT). The hand abscess was successfully cured within a week using an integrative approach of wet cupping therapy together with conventional drug therapy.

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  • Systematic Review2022-06-30

    Effect of Castor Oil on Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Maryam Moradi1,2, Azin Niazi2*, Ehsan Mazloumi3, Violeta Lopez4
    J Pharmacopuncture 2022; 25(2): 71-78 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2022.25.2.71

    Abstract : Objectives: Post-term pregnancy is a condition associated with increased maternal and fetal complications. Administration of castor oil causes cervical stimulation by increasing the production of prostaglandins. We examined the effects of castor oil on cervical ripening and labor induction through a systematic review and meta-analysis.Methods: The search process was performed to obtain relevant articles from databases including Pubmed, Cochrane library, Scopus, Science direct, SID, Iran Medex, and Google Scholar using the English keywords of cervical ripening, post-term, castor oil, labor induction, Bishop score, and pregnancy considering all possible combinations without time constraints and their Persian equivalents from national databases.Results: A total of eight related articles from the 19 primary studies were extracted and systematically reviewed. According to a cumulative chart, the difference in the post-intervention Bishop score was statistically significant (standard mean difference [SMD]: 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.67-2.11, p = 0.001), indicating an effect of castor oil on increasing the Bishop score. In addition, the difference in labor induction was statistically significant after the intervention (odds ratio: 11.67, 95% CI: 3.34-40.81, p = 0.001), indicating an effect of castor oil on increasing the odds ratio of labor induction (experience of vaginal delivery).Conclusion: This meta-analysis showed that oral administration of castor oil is effective for cervical ripening and labor induction. Midwives should closely monitor pregnant women with prolonged labor and collaborate with obstetricians to employ castor oil as a safe intervention to induce cervical ripening and labor to prevent undue caesarean surgery.

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  • Original Article2022-12-31

    Morphological and Chemical Analysis of Various Disposable Acupuncture Needles Used in South Korea

    Dong Yong Park1†, JiYoon Ahn2†, Hyeon Jeong Park1, Doo Suk Lee2, Dae-Hyun Jo2, Jonghoon Kim2, Choulmin Kim2, Heebum Chung2, Ji Hye Hwang3*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2022; 25(4): 382-389 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2022.25.4.382

    Abstract : Objectives: The Korean Industrial Standard (KS) for sterile acupuncture needles was established in 2009 based on research on the quality control of acupuncture needles. We aimed to determine the quality of acupuncture needles available in South Korea in 2021 by examining their surface condition and chemical composition using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS).Methods: In South Korea, there are 23 brands of acupuncture needles, and we examined 10-15 needles from each brand, resulting in a total of 285 needles. The microstructures of the needles were assessed by SEM. Using SEM images, we evaluated the acupuncture needle tips for the following defects/aspects: scratches, lumps, detached coating, bent tip, and tip sharpness. EDS was used to determine the chemical composition of the selected acupuncture needles.Results: Overall, 88.4% of 285 needles were found to have at least one type of abnormality. The most frequently observed abnormalities were scratches and dents on the surface (68.1%), followed by detached coating (63.2%), and lumps (61.8%); blunt tips were observed in about 24% of them. Of 252 needles with at least one defect, 86.9% had two or more types of defects. The ratio of the number of needles with any defect to that of needles without any defect varied among brands, ranging from 50% to 100%. Regarding foreign materials, higher proportions of Si and O were observed on the needles, indicating incomplete or detached silicone coating.Conclusion: The quality of acupuncture needles varied among brands, suggesting that further improvements can be made through various inspection methods.

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  • Systematic Review2022-06-30

    Effect of Castor Oil on Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Maryam Moradi1,2, Azin Niazi2*, Ehsan Mazloumi3, Violeta Lopez4
    J Pharmacopuncture 2022; 25(2): 71-78 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2022.25.2.71

    Abstract : Objectives: Post-term pregnancy is a condition associated with increased maternal and fetal complications. Administration of castor oil causes cervical stimulation by increasing the production of prostaglandins. We examined the effects of castor oil on cervical ripening and labor induction through a systematic review and meta-analysis.Methods: The search process was performed to obtain relevant articles from databases including Pubmed, Cochrane library, Scopus, Science direct, SID, Iran Medex, and Google Scholar using the English keywords of cervical ripening, post-term, castor oil, labor induction, Bishop score, and pregnancy considering all possible combinations without time constraints and their Persian equivalents from national databases.Results: A total of eight related articles from the 19 primary studies were extracted and systematically reviewed. According to a cumulative chart, the difference in the post-intervention Bishop score was statistically significant (standard mean difference [SMD]: 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.67-2.11, p = 0.001), indicating an effect of castor oil on increasing the Bishop score. In addition, the difference in labor induction was statistically significant after the intervention (odds ratio: 11.67, 95% CI: 3.34-40.81, p = 0.001), indicating an effect of castor oil on increasing the odds ratio of labor induction (experience of vaginal delivery).Conclusion: This meta-analysis showed that oral administration of castor oil is effective for cervical ripening and labor induction. Midwives should closely monitor pregnant women with prolonged labor and collaborate with obstetricians to employ castor oil as a safe intervention to induce cervical ripening and labor to prevent undue caesarean surgery.

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  • Review Article2022-06-30

    Performance of DNA Methylation on the Molecular Pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori in Gastric Cancer; targeted therapy approach

    Sogand Vahidi1, Ebrahim Mirzajani2,3, Seyedeh Elham Norollahi4, Mohsen Aziminezhad5,6, Ali Akbar Samadani7*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2022; 25(2): 88-100 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2022.25.2.88

    Abstract : Gastric cancer (GC) is a significant cause of cancer mortality which has led to focused exploration of the pathology of GC. The advent of genome-wide analysis methods has made it possible to uncover genetic and epigenetic fluctuation such as abnormal DNA methylation in gene promoter regions that is expected to play a key role in GC. The study of gastric malignancies requires an etiological perspective, and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) was identified to play a role in GC. H. pylori infection causes chronic inflammation of the gastric epithelium causing abnormal polyclonal methylation, which might raise the risk of GC. In the last two decades, various pathogenic factors by which H. pylori infection causes GC have been discovered. Abnormal DNA methylation is triggered in several genes, rendering them inactive. In GC, methylation patterns are linked to certain subtypes including microsatellite instability. Multiple cancer-related processes are more usually changed by abnormal DNA methylation than through mutations, according to current general and combined investigations. Furthermore, the amount of acquired abnormal DNA methylation is heavily linked to the chances of developing GC. Therefore, we investigated abnormal DNA methylation in GC and the link between methylation and H. pylori infection.

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  • Review Article2022-12-31

    Therapeutic Potential of Active Components from Acorus gramineus and Acorus tatarinowii in Neurological Disorders and Their Application in Korean Medicine

    Cheol Ju Kim1, Tae Young Kwak1, Min Hyeok Bae1, Hwa Kyoung Shin1,2*, Byung Tae Choi1,2*
    J Pharmacopuncture 2022; 25(4): 326-343 https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2022.25.4.326

    Abstract : Neurological disorders represent a substantial healthcare burden worldwide due to population aging. Acorus gramineus Solander (AG) and Acorus tatarinowii Schott (AT), whose major component is asarone, have been shown to be effective in neurological disorders. This review summarized current information from preclinical and clinical studies regarding the effects of extracts and active components of AG and AT (e.g., α-asarone and β-asarone) on neurological disorders and biomedical targets, as well as the mechanisms involved. Databases, including PubMed, Embase, and RISS, were searched using the following keywords: asarone, AG, AT, and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression and anxiety, epilepsy, and stroke. Meta-analyses and reviews were excluded. A total of 873 studies were collected. A total of 89 studies were selected after eliminating studies that did not meet the inclusion criteria. Research on neurological disorders widely reported that extracts or active components of AG and AT showed therapeutic efficacy in treating neurological disorders. These components also possessed a wide array of neuroprotective effects, including reduction of pathogenic protein aggregates, antiapoptotic activity, modulation of autophagy, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, regulation of neurotransmitters, activation of neurogenesis, and stimulation of neurotrophic factors. Most of the included studies were preclinical studies that used in vitro and in vivo models, and only a few clinical studies have been performed. Therefore, this review summarizes the current knowledge on AG and AT therapeutic effects as a basis for further clinical studies, and clinical trials are required before these findings can be applied to human neurological disorders.

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