A Brazilian research team reported that acupuncture and electrical stimulation, combined or not, had beneficial effect on motor performance following early developmental disuse(Zanella, Gutierres, and Stigger 2019).
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of scalp acupuncture and electrostimulation, combined or not, in a disuse model consisted of early sensorimotor restriction in rats. Male Wistar pups received sensorimotor restriction from the second postnatal day (P2) until P28. Animals were divided into five different groups (n = 6): control (CT), sensorimotor restricted (SR), acupuncture (AC), electrostimulation (EL), and electroacupuncture (AC+EL). Experimental animals received sham, acupuncture, or electrical stimulation, combined or not, of two scalp regions for 7 days (P29-P35). Before treatment period (P29) and after treatment (P36), animals were evaluated with the narrow suspended bar, horizontal ladder, and stride length tests. SR animals had worse performance in the narrow suspended and horizontal ladder tasks compared with SR animals at P29 (p ≤ 0.005). Significant improvements were observed in both tasks in AC, EL, and EL+AC groups comparing P29 and P36 (p < 0.001). Also, at P35, all treated animals performed significantly better motor tasks compared with SR group (p < 0.05). There was no difference between treated groups. Finally, acupuncture and electrical stimulation, combined or not, have beneficial effect on motor performance following early developmental disuse.