Nocturnal Enuresis (NE) is intermittent involuntary voiding of the bladder during sleep in 20% of children aged 5 years or over. For these one in five children who 'wet the bed' it is a young child's worst nightmare particularly as he or she gets older and gets invited to 'sleep overs'. Not only is it a very stressful and socially embarrassing time for the child, it can also become a burden on parents and carers.
In a new study published in Lasers in Medical Science (Jan 2017), researchers have given much hope for these children by using Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or Photobiomodulation (PBM) as it is now known today.
Researchers divided 45 children into three groups of bed wetters aged 5-15 years old.
Group A was managed using a drug called desmopressin acetate which works by reducing the amount of urine produced in the body at night by the kidneys.
Group B was managed with laser acupuncture.
Group C was managed with a combination of both the drug and the laser acupuncture.
All three groups received behavioural therapy. All children were evaluated before and 3-months after the study to record the outcomes, bladder capacity and side effects.
An infrared 905nm laser at 2,500 Hz was administered to the following points (REN2, 3 &4) and UB23, 28, 32 bilaterally and SP6 bilaterally for 1 minute per point. Two treatments per week were given over a 12-week period (24 visits).
A complete recovery was deemed if the child stop wetting the bed 14 nights in a row whilst a partial recovery was a better than 50% improvement.
The aculaser group had a complete recovery in a staggering 73% of children whilst the drug group improved only 20% and interestingly the combined group (drug plus aculaser) only 13%.
The authors concluded that laser acupuncture is a non-invasive, painless tool with no side effects and lower recurrence rate which can now be considered a viable treatment for NE.