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26/11/2006 - Study on Brain Response to Acupuncture by Functional MRI

Country: China

Institute: Fang SH, et al. Sir Run Shaw Hospital Affiliated to College of Medical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou.


OBJECTIVE: To observe the signal changes of brain functional area during needling Sanyinjiao (ST36), Zusanli (SP6) and Yanglingquan (GB34), the three acupoints in three different meridians, in human by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), in order to preliminary explore the neural mechanism of acupuncture.

METHODS: Needling was complemented with 30 s of maneuver applying followed by 30 s of rest as a circle on an acupoint, and at the same time, fMRI was performed once 5 min and 12 s. Then the same program was repeated with the same mode on another acupoint, until ending the experiment.

RESULTS: The commonly activated regions were postcentral gyrus and right inferior frontal gyrus when needling at ST36 and SP6, and the different activated areas included left inferior frontal gyrus, left insula, left inferior parietal lobule, left culmen, left middle temporal gyrus and left middle frontal gyrus, while no cortical signal enhanced region was found when needling at GB34. Signal weakened regions could be found when needling at all the three points, the commonly activated regions were bilateral parahippocampal, hippocampal, callosal gyrus, bilateral praecuneus and cerebellum.

CONCLUSION: Brain response in special regions could be obtained by needling at different acupoints.

Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2006 Nov;26(11):965-8.