fMRI study of effect on brain activity according to stimulation method at LI11, ST36: painful pressure and acupuncture stimulation of same acupoints.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to assess differences in brain responses between pressure and acupuncture stimulation at the same acupoint using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
A total of 10 healthy right-handed volunteers were studied.
fMRI was performed with two different paradigms; namely, pressure and acupuncture stimulation at acupuncture points LI11 and ST36 on the left. fMRI data were analyzed using SPM2.
In comparison with the left LI11 pressure stimulation, both sides of the parahippocampal gyrus, cerebellum, left side of thalamus, and right side of posterior cingulate regions were more activated by the left LI11 acupuncture stimulation. In comparison with the left ST36 pressure stimulation, the secondary motor cortex, limbic system (cingulate gyrus, posterior cingulate), primary visual cortex, pons, and medulla regions were more activated by left ST36 acupuncture stimulation. In comparison with the left ST36 pressure stimulation, both side of BA 4 and BA 6 were more activated by the LI11 pressure stimulation. In comparison with the left LI11 acupuncture stimulation, left BA 6, BA 8, and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were more activated by the left ST36 acupuncture stimulation.
In conclusion, brain signal activation patterns according to the stimulation methods and acupoints were observed to differ. Acupuncture stimulation activated more regions than pressure at the same acupoint. In particular, acupuncture stimulation activated the limbic system, such as the parahippocampal gyrus and ACC.
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ABSTRACT: Most previous studies of brain responses to acupuncture were designed to investigate the acupuncture instant effect while the cumulative effect that should be more important in clinical practice has seldom been discussed. In this study, the neural basis of the acupuncture cumulative effect was analyzed. For this experiment, forty healthy volunteers were recruited, in which more than 40 minutes of repeated acupuncture stimulation was implemented at acupoint Zhusanli (ST36). Three runs of acupuncture fMRI datasets were acquired, with each run consisting of two blocks of acupuncture stimulation. Besides general linear model (GLM) analysis, the cumulative effects of acupuncture were analyzed with analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to find the association between the brain response and the cumulative duration of acupuncture stimulation in each stimulation block. The experimental results showed that the brain response in the initial stage was the strongest although the brain response to acupuncture was time-variant. In particular, the brain areas that were activated in the first block and the brain areas that demonstrated cumulative effects in the course of repeated acupuncture stimulation overlapped in the pain-related areas, including the bilateral middle cingulate cortex, the bilateral paracentral lobule, the SII, and the right thalamus. Furthermore, the cumulative effects demonstrated bimodal characteristics, i.e. the brain response was positive at the beginning, and became negative at the end. It was suggested that the cumulative effect of repeated acupuncture stimulation was consistent with the characteristic of habituation effects. This finding may explain the neurophysiologic mechanism underlying acupuncture analgesia.PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97502. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097502 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to verify the effect of acupuncture on cerebral haemodynamics to provide evidence for the use of acupuncture treatment as a complementary therapy for the high-risk stroke population. The effect of ST36 acupuncture treatment on the hyperventilation-induced CO2 reactivity of the basilar and middle cerebral arteries was studied in 10 healthy male volunteers (mean age, 25.2 ± 1.5 years) using a transcranial Doppler sonography with an interval of 1 week between measurements, and a portable ECG monitoring system was used to obtain ECG data simultaneously. The CO2 reactivity of the basilar and middle cerebral arteries increased significantly after ST36 acupuncture treatment, whereas the mean arterial blood pressure and pulse rate did not change significantly. The high-frequency power significantly increased after ST36 acupuncture treatment, and the percentage increase of high-frequency power correlated significantly with the percentage increase in the CO2 reactivity of the contralateral middle cerebral artery. These data suggest that ST36 acupuncture treatment increases CO2 reactivity, indicating improvement of vasodilatory potential of the cerebral vasculature to compensate for fluctuations caused by changes in external conditions. The increase in parasympathetic tone by ST36 acupuncture treatment is responsible for this therapeutic effect.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:574986. DOI:10.1155/2014/574986 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine there is an optimum time to administer acupuncture at a particular acupoint. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the timing effects of acupuncture at the Zusanli (ST36) acupoint. A total of 10 healthy volunteers and 10 post-stroke patients were recruited. The subjects received acupuncture stimulation at ST36 during two time periods: between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (the AM condition) and between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (the PM condition), seven days later. Blood oxygenation level-dependent signals were captured while the patient was receiving the acupuncture stimulation. The results showed a stronger activation in the AM condition than in the PM condition in both healthy and stroke subjects. The significant regions in the healthy subjects included the prefrontal cortex, cingulum, thalamus and cerebellum; for the stroke patients, the significant regions were the cuneus, supplementary motor area and inferior parietal gyrus. Timing can therefore modulate brain activation patterns during acupuncture in healthy subjects and stroke patients; however, the modulation effect appears to differ between the two subject groups. Further studies are required to explore the timing effects of acupuncture at different acupoints in different populations.Experimental and therapeutic medicine 01/2015; 9(1):59-64. DOI:10.3892/etm.2014.2056 · 0.94 Impact Factor