Cerebral Hemodynamic Responses Induced by Specific Acupuncture Sensations During Needling at Trigger Points: A Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Study

System Emotional Science, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Sugitani 2630, Toyama, 930-0194, Japan.
Brain Topography (Impact Factor: 3.47). 09/2010; 23(3):279-91. DOI: 10.1007/s10548-010-0148-8
Source: PubMed


Acupuncture stimulation at specific points, or trigger points (TPs), elicits sensations called "de-qi". De-qi sensations relate to the clinical efficacy of the treatment. However, it is neither clear whether de-qi sensations are associated with TPs, nor clear whether acupuncture effects on brain activity are associated with TPs or de-qi. We recorded cerebral hemodynamic responses during acupuncture stimulation at TPs and non-TPs by functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The acupuncture needle was inserted into both TPs and non-TPs within the right extensor muscle in the forearm. Typical acupuncture needle manipulation was conducted eight times for 15 s. The subjects pressed a button if they felt a de-qi sensation. We investigated how hemodynamic responses related to de-qi sensations induced at TPs and non-TPs. We observed that acupuncture stimulations producing de-qi sensations significantly decreased the Oxy-Hb concentration in the supplementary motor area (SMA), pre-supplementary motor area, and anterior dorsomedial prefrontal cortex regardless of the point stimulated. The hemodynamic responses were statistically analyzed using a general linear model and a boxcar function approximating the hemodynamic response. We observed that hemodynamic responses best fit the boxcar function when an onset delay was introduced into the analyses, and that the latency of de-qi sensations correlated with the onset delay of the best-fit function applied to the SMA. Our findings suggest that de-qi sensations favorably predict acupuncture effects on cerebral hemodynamics regardless of the type of site stimulated. Also, the effect of acupuncture stimulation in producing de-qi sensation was partly mediated by the central nervous system including the SMA.

Download full-text


Available from: Susumu Urakawa, Dec 29, 2014
  • Source
    • "" Three different wavelengths (780, 805, and 830 nm), each with a pulse width of 5 ms, were used to detect hemodynamic responses. The details of the head cap and the systems have been described previously (Takeuchi et al., 2009; Takamoto et al., 2010; Takakura et al., 2011). After the recording, the three-dimensional (3-D) locations of the optodes were measured by a 3-D Digitizer (Nirtrack; Shimadzu Co., Ltd.) in reference to the nasion and bilateral external auditory meatus. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate cortical roles in standing balance, cortical hemodynamic activity was recorded from the right hemisphere using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) while subjects underwent the sensory organization test (SOT) protocol that systematically disrupts sensory integration processes (i.e., somatosensory or visual inputs or both). Eleven healthy men underwent the SOT during NIRS recording. Group statistical analyses were performed based on changes in oxygenated hemoglobin concentration in 10 different cortical regions of interest and on a general linear analysis with NIRS statistical parametric mapping. The statistical analyses indicated significant activation in the right frontal operculum (f-Op), right parietal operculum (p-Op), and right superior temporal gyrus (STG), right posterior parietal cortex (PPC), right dorsal and ventral premotor cortex (PMC), and the supplementary motor area (SMA) under various conditions. The activation patterns in response to specific combinations of SOT conditions suggested that (1) f-Op, p-Op, and STG are essential for sensory integration when standing balance is perturbed; (2) the SMA is involved in the execution of volitional action and establishment of new motor programs to maintain postural balance; and (3) the PPC and PMC are involved in the updating and computation of spatial reference frames during instances of sensory conflict between vestibular and visual information.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Source
    • "Huang et al. 2009 [14] P C 6 P C S AWD at PC6 markedly increased TCE values measured at a nonacupoint on the meridian. Huang et al. 2010 [15] P C 6 P C S AWD at PC6 markedly increased TCE values measured at two nonacupoints on the meridian and at PC3. Takamoto et al. 2010[16] # Functional near-infrared spectroscopy AWD decreased oxy-Hb concentration in SMA, pre-SMA, and the anterior dorsomedial prefrontal cortex for all stimulated points. Zhang et al. 2011 [17] SJ5 PET AWD activated BA7, -13, -20, -22, -39, -42, and -45. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective. Despite the systematic literature review of the current evidence, we aim to answer the question " is Deqi an indicator of clinical effects in acupuncture treatment?" Methods. We systematically searched CNKI, VIP, Wanfang Data, PubMed, Embase, and the CENTRAL for three types of study: (1) empirical research probing into the role of Deqi in acupuncture; (2) mechanism studies examining the effect of Deqi on physiological parameters in animal models and human subjects; (3) clinical studies that compared the outcome of acupuncture with Deqi with that of acupuncture without Deqi. Two reviewers independently extracted data, undertook qualitative or quantitative analysis, and summarized findings. Results. The ancient Chinese acupuncturists valued the role of Deqi as a diagnostic tool, a prognosis predictor, and a necessary part of the therapeutic procedure. Findings from modern experimental research provided preliminary evidence for the physiological mechanism that produced Deqi. Few clinical studies generated conflicting evidence of the comparative effectiveness of acupuncture with Deqi versus acupuncture without Deqi for a variety of conditions. Conclusion. The current evidence base is not solid enough to draw any conclusion regarding the predicative value of natural Deqi for clinical efficacy or the therapeutic value of manipulation-facilitated Deqi.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acupuncture therapy has been applied to various psychiatric diseases and chronic pain since acupuncture stimulation might affect brain activity. From this point of view, we investigated the effects of acupuncture on autonomic nervous system and brain hemodynamics in human subjects using ECGs, EEGs and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Our previous studies reported that changes in parasympathetic nervous activity were correlated with number of de-qi sensations during acupuncture manipulation. Furthermore, these autonomic changes were correlated with EEG spectral changes. These results are consistent with the suggestion that autonomic changes induced by needle manipulation inducing specific de-qi sensations might be mediated through the central nervous system, especially through the forebrain as shown in EEG changes, and are beneficial to relieve chronic pain by inhibiting sympathetic nervous activity. The NIRS results indicated that acupuncture stimulation with de-qi sensation significantly decreased activity in the supplementary motor complex (SMC) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC). Based on these results, we review that hyperactivity in the SMC is associated with dystonia and chronic pain, and that in the DMPFC is associated with various psychiatric diseases with socio-emotional disturbances such as schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, etc. These findings along with the previous studies suggest that acupuncture with de-qi sensation might be effective to treat the various diseases in which hyperactivity in the SMA and DMPFC is suspected of playing a role.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Autonomic neuroscience: basic & clinical
Show more