Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Peggy Bosch (Donders Series 192)

26 November 2015
Promotors: Prof. dr. A. Coenen, Prof. dr. G. van Luijtelaar
Needles on the Couch; acupuncture in the Treatment of Depression, Schizophrenia and Sleep Disorders

During the last two decades, the use of acupuncture as an alternative additional treatment in Western medicine has been on the rise, especially among practitioners treating psychiatric patients. Acupuncture is particularly used as a therapy in patients with depression, and recently clinicians have also started to use it to treat patients with schizophrenia. However, solid scientific research on the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of patients with depression and with schizophrenia is scarce, and in particular, research on the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of patients with long-term psychiatric disorders is completely missing. The research question of the present PhD thesis is, therefore, whether acupuncture can be successfully used as an add-on in the treatment of patients with long-term depression and of patients with long-term schizophrenia. However, before testing the possible efficacy of a new treatment, good insight into the patient groups under investigation, patients with schizophrenia and patients with depression, is important. Many patients suffer from depression or schizophrenia for a long time, and these disorders can be seen as chronic when they last at least five years.