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Chinese researchers who carried out a secondary analysis of data from a trial of acupuncture for Bell’s Palsy have found that younger patients at the acute stage of the disease, as well as those with low BMIs, lower severity of paralysis, and lesions affecting lower nerve segments were more likely to respond to acupuncture. Results from 826 subjects were analysed, of whom 698 (85%) achieved complete recovery (CR). The likelihood of achieving CR was significantly higher if the patient was treated with acupuncture at the acute stage (1–7 days after onset), compared with the recovery stage (21–70 days after disease onset). The likelihood of incomplete recovery (IR) increased by 2.2% with each one-year increase in age, and by 9% with each kg/m2 increase in BMI. Patients with lesions in nerve segments located below the chorda tympani were significantly more likely to achieve a complete recovery than those with lesions located higher up.

Association of Patients' Characteristics with Acupuncture Treatment Outcomes in Treating Bell's Palsy: Results from a Randomised Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Aug 15;2019:6073484