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

This Phys.org Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization mentioned above and is provided to you “as is” with little or no review from Phys.Org staff.

More news stories

Personal care product chemicals found in Antarctica

A team of researchers with the Spanish Council for Scientific Research has found small amounts of cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes in soil and plant samples and also in krill and phytoplankton specimens, all ...

A molecular compass for bird navigation

Each year, the Arctic Tern travels over 40,000 miles, migrating nearly from pole to pole and back again. Other birds make similar (though shorter) journeys in search of warmer climes. How do these birds manage ...

Researchers bring clean energy a step closer

For nearly half a century, scientists have been trying to replace precious metal catalysts in fuel cells. Now, for the first time, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have shown that an inexpensive metal-free catalyst ...

Could the Milky Way become a quasar?

A quasar is what you get when a supermassive black hole is actively feeding on material at the core of a galaxy. The region around the black hole gets really hot and blasts out radiation that we can see billions ...