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Selected Research Results

Research spotlights of selected studies are shown below. For a full list of published NCCIH Research to-date, see PubMed.

Spotlights for 2024

Multisensory Gamma Stimulation Promotes Glymphatic Clearance of Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease Models
A recent study showed that noninvasive Gamma ENtrainment Using Sensory stimuli (GENUS) reduced the accumulation of amyloid in mice models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) through the brain’s glymphatic system. The study, conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Westlake University in China, and Boston University, was partially funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and published in the journal Nature

February 2024

Neurons Generate Synchronized Rhythmic Waves in Brain’s Interstitial Fluid To Help Clear Metabolic Waste
A new investigation provides evidence that neurons in the brain act as master organizers for clearing the brain of metabolic waste and that they do so by synchronizing their actions to create large rhythmic waves in the interstitial fluid (ISF) during sleep. The study, recently published in Nature, was conducted by researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and partially funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

February 2024

Illustration depicting chronic pain and pain relief skills class

Benefits of a Single-Session Pain Skills Class Last for 6 Months in People With Chronic Low-Back Pain
A single 2-hour pain relief skills class continues to reduce pain catastrophizing, pain intensity, and pain bothersomeness in people with chronic low-back pain after 6 months and is no less effective than an 8-session cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program, according to a study from Stanford University, partly funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. These results, published in the journal Pain Reports, extend the findings of a 3-month evaluation and show that the effects of the pain skills class don’t deteriorate significantly from 3 to 6 months.

January 2024

Collage of people using complementary health approaches

Use of Complementary Health Approaches for Pain by U.S. Adults Increased From 2002 to 2022
Over a 20-year period—from 2002 to 2022—U.S. adults not only increased their overall use of complementary health approaches but were also more likely to use complementary health approaches specifically for managing pain. 

January 2024