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TECHNICAL UPDATES
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 293-300

Acupuncture at Waiguan (SJ5) and sham points influences activation of functional brain areas of ischemic stroke patients: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study


1 School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
2 Department of Rehabilitation, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
3 School of Acupuncture-moxibustion and Tuina, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
4 School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
5 School of Biomedical Engineering, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Xinsheng Lai
School of Acupuncture-moxibustion and Tuina, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510405, Guangdong Province
China
Yong Huang
School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province
China
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Source of Support: This study was supported by the State Plan for Development of Basic Research in Key Areas (973 Program) in China, No. 2006CB504505, 2012CB518504; the Key Subject Construction Project of "211 Engineering" III Stage of Guangdong Province in China; the Guangdong Provincial "College Students' Innovative Experiment Plan" Project in China, No. 1212112038., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.128227

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Most studies addressing the specificity of meridians and acupuncture points have focused mainly on the different neural effects of acupuncture at different points in healthy individuals. This study examined the effects of acupuncture on brain function in a pathological context. Sixteen patients with ischemic stroke were randomly assigned to true point group (true acupuncture at right Waiguan (SJ5)) and sham point group (sham acupuncture). Results of functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed activation in right parietal lobe (Brodmann areas 7 and 19), the right temporal lobe (Brodmann area 39), the right limbic lobe (Brodmann area 23) and bilateral occipital lobes (Brodmann area 18). Furthermore, inhibition of bilateral frontal lobes (Brodmann area 4, 6, and 45), right parietal lobe (Brodmann areas 1 and 5) and left temporal lobe (Brodmann area 21) were observed in the true point group. Activation in the precuneus of right parietal lobe (Brodmann area 7) and inhibition of the left superior frontal gyrus (Brodmann area 10) was observed in the sham group. Compared with sham acupuncture, acupuncture at Waiguan in stroke patients inhibited Brodmann area 5 on the healthy side. Results indicated that the altered specificity of sensation-associated cortex (Brodmann area 5) is possibly associated with a central mechanism of acupuncture at Waiguan for stroke patients.


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