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: The objective of this study was to differentiate between pain-related and pain-unrelated neural responses of acupuncture at BL60 to investigate the specific effects of acupuncture. A total of 19 healthy volunteers were evaluated. fMRI was performed with sham or verum acupuncture stimulation at the left BL60 before and after local anesthesia. To investigate the relative BOLD signal effect for each session, a one-sample t-test was performed for individual contrast maps, and a paired t-test to investigate the differences between the pre- and post-anesthetic signal effects. Regarding verum acupuncture, areas that were more activated before local anesthesia included the superior, middle, and medial frontal gyri, inferior parietal lobule, superior temporal gyrus, thalamus, middle temporal gyrus, cingulate gyrus, culmen, and cerebellar tonsil. The postcentral gyrus was more deactivated before local anesthesia. After local anesthesia, the middle occipital gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus, postcentral gyrus, precuneus, superior parietal lobule, and declive were deactivated. Pre-anesthetic verum acupuncture at BL60 activated areas of vision and pain transmission. Post-anesthetic verum acupuncture deactivated brain areas of visual function, which is considered to be a pain-unrelated acupuncture response. It indicates that specific effects of acupoint BL60 are to control vision sense as used in the clinical setting.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:804696. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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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 01/2014; 9(5):e97502. · 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 : eCAM. 01/2014; 2014:574986.