Neuronal activation by acupuncture at Yongquan and sham acupoints for DOC: A PET study

May 16th, 2014
Neuronal activation by acupuncture at Yongquan and sham acupoints for DOC: A PET study
This shows brain activation during acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoint in patients with disorder of consciousness (transverse section). The red color indicates areas of activation. P: Putamen. Credit: Neural Regeneration Research
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that is often used to help improve the level of consciousness in patients with disorder of consciousness (DOC). However, the responses to stimulation of acupoints in patients with DOC are not fully understood.

Hao Zhang and colleagues from China Rehabilitation Research Center found that acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoints induced stronger neuronal activity than acupuncture at the sham acupoints shown on positron emission tomography (PET). These researchers believe that acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoints may increase synaptic activity in some areas of the brain. The putamen, cingulate cortex, frontal lobe and cerebellum are involved in conscious thought.

This may explain the mechanism by which acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoints results in improvement of patients with DOC. These finding have been published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 5, 2014).

More information:
Zhang H, Sun XT, Liu SJ, Chen YM, Ling F. Neuronal activation by acupuncture at Yongquan (KI1) and sham acupoints in patients with disorder of consciousness: a positron emission tomography study. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(5):500-501.

Provided by Neural Regeneration Research

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