ORCCAMIND researches alternative and complementary therapies in neurology – News – Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders
The Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders (ORCCAMIND) is one of 11 new research centers funded by the National Institutes of Health to look at unconventional remedies, also known as complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. To promote collaborative research on neurological disorders, ORCCAMIND links members from 6 institutions, ranging from the Oregon Health Sciences University to the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.
Dr. Dennis Bourdette, who is director of the MS Center at Oregon Health Sciences University, is associate director of ORCCAMIND. “In a number of surveys, 50% of people with MS report having tried CAMs,” Dr. Bourdette said, “and the vast majority report that they derive symptomatic benefit. Rather than dismiss this all as `placebo effect’, we have to acknowledge that some CAM approaches may actually make people with MS feel better. It’s our duty to find out what works and why.”
MS research projects
Two current research projects relate to MS. One is evaluating the benefits of yoga. The other is scrutinizing natural antioxidants, such as vitamin E and alpha lipoic acid, in lab animals with EAE, an MS-like disease. Findings thus far, according to Dr. Bourdette, suggest that certain natural antioxidants have no benefit, while others have modest to dramatic benefits in lab animals. A clinical trial may begin later in 2001.
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