Acupuncture fMRI of Stroke Aphasia

An fMRI study showing the effect of acupuncture in chronic stage stroke patients with aphasia.

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2010 Mar;3(1):53-7. doi: 10.1016/S2005-2901(10)60009-X.

Abstract

Acupuncture is used as a treatment in stroke patients with aphasia, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. This study aims to examine the relationship between changes in language function and brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging in chronic stroke patients with aphasia who underwent an 8-week acupuncture protocol. Seven chronic stroke patients were identified from a stroke database of a regional acute hospital in Hong Kong between January and July 2007. Patients were treated three times a week over a period of 8 weeks. Four acupoints were stimulated on the weak side of the patient’s body. No other rehabilitation was given during the study period. Changes in language function were measured by aphasia quotient (AQ) of Cantonese Aphasia Battery (CAB). Functional magnetic resonance imaging blood oxygen level dependent signals were used to demonstrate the correlation between changes in AQ and brain activation after treatment. The patients were divided into well-recovered and poorly- recovered groups based on their CAB scores at entry. The well-recovered group showed significant improvement in CAB scores after receiving acupuncture treatment. A significant correlation between changes in AQ and blood oxygen level dependent activation in the lesioned Wernicke’s speech area was found. These preliminary results suggest that acupuncture may be beneficial to language recovery in chronic stroke patients.

Copyright (c) 2010 Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute. Published by .. All rights reserved.

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