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Vascular cognitive impairment with no dementia (VCIND), manifested mainly as mild impairment of concentration and executive function, is the early phase of vascular dementia (VD). Currently, there is no specific treatment for VCIND. We hypothesize that electrical acupuncture can improve the mental and motor functions of patients with VCIND. Thus, we designed this randomized controlled trial to test this hypothesis by comparing the therapeutic effect of electrical acupuncture versus sham acupuncture in patients with VCIND.
In this single-center 3-year study, 120 eligible patients will be recruited and randomly assigned to receive electrical acupuncture treatment (n = 60) or sham acupuncture (n = 60) for 8 consecutive weeks (24 sessions in total), with the same acupoint prescription (DU20, EX-HN3, DU24, DU17, DU26, EX-HN1, HT7, PC6, GB20, SP6). The primary assessment is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. The secondary assessments are the Modified Barthel Index and Event-Related Potential. All outcomes will be assessed at baseline, endpoint, and follow-up at 8 and 24 weeks after the end of treatment.
If the outcome confirms the effectiveness and safety of electrical acupuncture in treating VCIND, this treatment is expected to be promoted in clinical practice to treat such patients.
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry identifier: ChiCTR-IIR-17011513; Registered on 27 May 2017.