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21/01/2007 - Test-retest study of fMRI signal change evoked by electroacupuncture stimulation.

Country: U.S.A

Institute: Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), MA, USA.

Author(s): Kong J, Gollub RL, Webb JM, Kong JT, Vangel MG, Kwong K.


Neuroimage. 2007 Feb 1;34(3):1171-81.

Recent efforts to use fMRI to investigate the effects of acupuncture needle manipulation on the brain have yielded discrepant results.

This study was designed to test the reliability of fMRI signal changes evoked by acupuncture stimulation.

Six subjects participated in six identical scanning sessions consisting of four functional scans, one for each of the four conditions: electroacupuncture stimulation (2 Hz) at GB 37, UB 60, non-acupoint (NP), and a control task of the finger tapping. In the group analysis across all subjects and sessions, both the average ratings on a Subjective Acupuncture Sensation Scale and the average fMRI signal changes (increases and decreases) were similar for GB37, UB 60, and NP. Visual inspection of the activation maps from individual sessions and ICC analysis revealed that fMRI signal changes evoked by electroacupuncture stimulation were significantly more variable than those from the control finger-tapping task.

The relatively large variability across different sessions within the same subject suggests multiple sessions should be used to accurately capture the activation patterns evoked by acupuncture stimulation at a particular point for a specific subject.

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