Acupuncture & Brain

Acupuncture stimulation induces neurogenesis in adult brain

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2013;111:67-90. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-411545-3.00004-3.

Acupuncture stimulation induces neurogenesis in adult brain.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

The discovery of adult neurogenesis was a turning point in the field of neuroscience. Adult neurogenesis offers an enormous possibility to open a new therapeutic paradigm of neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. Recently, several studies suggested that acupuncture may enhance adult neurogenesis. Acupuncture has long been an important treatment for brain diseases in the East Asia. The scientific mechanisms of acupuncture treatment for the diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke, have not been clarified yet; however, the neurogenic effect of acupuncture can be a possible reason. Here, we have reviewed the studies on the effect of stimulation at various acupoints for neurogenesis, such as ST36 and GV20. The suggested mechanisms are also discussed including upregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, basic fibroblast growth factor and neuropeptide Y, and activation of the function of primo vascular system.

Book: Neurobiology of Acupuncture  2013
© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Acupuncture; Adult neurogenesis; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Stroke

PMID:
24215918
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

***Acupuncture inhibits microglial activation and inflammatory events in the MPTP-induced mouse model

Acupuncture inhibits microglial activation and inflammatory events in the MPTP-induced mouse model.

Brain Research, Volume 1131, 2 February 2007, Pages 211-219   2007 Feb 2

Jun Mo Kanga, b, Hi Joon Parka, Yeong Gon Choib, Il Hwan Choea, Jae Hyun Parka, b, Yong Sik Kimc, Sabina Lima, b, ,
a Department of Meridian and Acupoints, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
b WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine, East-West Medical Research Institute, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
c Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Corresponding author. Department of Meridian and Acupoints, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea. Fax: +82 2 961 7831.

 Accepted 27 October 2006, Available online 14 December 2006

Abstract

Using a mouse model of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced Parkinson’s disease (PD), this study investigated on the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture by examining whether acupuncture contributed to inhibiting microglial activation and inflammatory events.

C57BL/6 mice were treated with MPTP (30 mg/kg, i.p.) for 5 consecutive days. Acupuncture was then applied to acupoints Yanglingquan (GB34) and Taichong (LR3) starting 2 h after the first MPTP administration and then at 48 h intervals until the mice were sacrificed for analyses at 1, 3, and 7 days after the last MPTP injection.

These experiments demonstrated that acupuncture inhibited the decreased of the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity (IR) and generated a neuroprotective effects in the striatum (ST) and the substantia nigra (SN) on days 1, 3, and 7 post-MPTP injections.

Acupuncture attenuated the increase of macrophage antigen complex-1 (MAC-1), a marker of microglial activation, at 1 and 3 days and reduced the increases in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression on days 1, 3, and 7. In MPTP group, striatal dopamine (DA) was measured by 46% at 7 days, whereas DA in the acupuncture group was 78%.

On the basis of these results, we suggest that acupuncture could be used as a neuroprotective intervention for the purpose of inhibiting microglial activation and inflammatory events in PD.

Effect of scalp acupuncture on the expression of NF-kappaB mRNA, COX-2 mRNA and their proteins in rats with acute cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2009 Oct;34(5):304-8.

Effect of scalp acupuncture on the expression of NF-kappaB mRNA, COX-2 mRNA and their proteins in rats with acute cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury

[Article in Chinese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Acu-morxibustion, Wuhan Hospital of Integrated Chinese & Western Medicine, Wuhan 430022, China. bluesea-zl2000@163.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the possible mechanism of scalp acupuncture (SA) in relieving cerebral ischemia reperfusion (CI-R) injury.

METHODS:

Seventy male SD rats were randomized into sham-operation (sham, n = 10), model (n = 30) and SA (n = 30) groups. The later 2 groups were further divided into 24 h, 48 h and 72 h subgroups respectively, with 10 cases in each. CI-R model was established by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and reperfusion. Electroacupuncture (2 mA, 2 Hz/100 Hz) was applied to “Dingnie Houxiexian” (MS 7) and “Dingnie Qianxiexian” (MS 6) for 30 min, once every 24 h. Changes of the animal behavior were observed by using neurological severity score (NSS), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) and cyclooxygenase (COX-2) contents and their mRNA expression were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques respectively.

RESULTS:

Following modeling, the NSS at 24 h, 48 h and 72 h after MCAO increased significantly, while compared with model group, NSS of SA group at the 3 time-points decreased considerably (P < 0.05, P < 0.01), suggesting an improvement of the neurological functions after SA treatment. In comparison with sham group, NF-kappaB mRNA and COX-2 mRNA, and NF-kappaB and COX-2 protein expression of model group in the infarcted cerebral tissue were significantly upregulated at the 3 time-points (P < 0.01) except NF-KB mRNA at 72 h (no significant change), while compared with the 3 time-points of model group, NF-kappaB mRNA and COX-2 mRNA, and NF-KB and COX-2 protein expression of SA group were downregulated obviously (P < 0.01) except COX-2 mRNA at 72 h.

CONCLUSION:

Scalp acupuncture can suppress cerebral ischemia-induced upregulation of NF-kappaB mRNA and COX-2 mRNA, and NF-kappaB and COX-2 protein expression, which may contribute to its effect in promoting neurofunctional rehabilitation of CI-R rats by reducing cytokines-mediated inflammatory reaction.

PMID:  20128288   [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Changes in regional cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism following electroacupuncture at LI 4 and LI 11 in normal volunteers

J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Oct;15(10):1075-81. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0257.

Changes in regional cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism following electroacupuncture at LI 4 and LI 11 in normal volunteers.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Although numerous trials have demonstrated the clinical effects of acupuncture, the mechanism of its therapeutic effect still remains uncertain. Recent neuroimaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET) have revealed that acupuncture therapy may alter brain activity. This study was performed to evaluate changes in regional cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism following electroacupuncture (EA) in normal volunteers.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Twenty (20) normal volunteers were enrolled for brain SPECT and 13 normal volunteers were enrolled for (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET. A few days after the baseline measurements, EA was performed at two acupoints (LI 4 and LI 11) for 15 minutes and a second brain image was acquired for each subject. We used statistical parametric mapping 2 to analyze the changes in brain perfusion and glucose metabolism.

RESULTS:

Significant increases in perfusion were observed in the left middle frontal gyrus, the superior parietal gyrus, the right superior frontal gyrus, and the middle parietal gyrus. Following EA, glucose metabolism significantly increased in the left superior medial frontal gyrus, the middle frontal gyrus, and the right superior medial frontal gyrus (paired t-test, uncorrected p < 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS:

There were specific increases in both regional cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism following EA in both frontal regions. This common brain response in localized regions was induced from stimulation of specific acupoints (LI 4 and LI 11).

Effect of scalp-acupuncture on plasma and cerebral TNF-alpha and IL-1beta contents in acute cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury rats.

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2008 Jun;33(3):173-8.

Effect of scalp-acupuncture on plasma and cerebral TNF-alpha and IL-1beta contents in acute cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury rats

[Article in Chinese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Acu-moxibustion, Wuhan Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Wuhan 430022, China. bluesea-zl2000@163.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the underlying mechanism of scalp-acupuncture therapy in the treatment of acute cerebral ischemia (ACI) in the rat.

METHODS:

A total of 140 SD female rats were randomly assigned to sham-operation (n=20), model (n=60), scalp-acupuncture (SA, n=60) groups, and the later two groups were further divided into 24 h, 48 h and 72 h subgroups separately, with 20 cases in each. Among them, 70 rats were used for cerebral tissue section, and the other 70 cases for homogenating cerebral tissue. ACI model was established by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAO) for 1 h and reperfusion. EA (2/100 Hz, 2 mA) was applied to bilateral “Dingnie Houxiexian” (MS 7) and “Dingnie Qianxiexian” (MS 6) for 20 min, once daily for 1 d, 2 d and 3 d respectively. The rat’s neurological severity score (NSS) was assessed before and after EA. Blood and brain tissue were sampled for detecting TNF-alpha and IL-1beta contents respectively with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Haematoxylin-eosine (H&E) staining method was used for displaying the inflammatory cells in the ischemic brain tissue.

RESULTS:

(1) After ACI, NSS at each time-point increased significantly, while compared with model group, NSS of SA group decreased apparently 72 h after ACI (P<0.01). Compared with the corresponding time-points of sham-operation group, the number of inflammatory cells, plasma and cerebral TNF-alpha and IL-1beta contents at 24 h, 48 h and 72 h in model group increased considerably (P<0.01, 0.05). In comparison with the corresponding time-points of model group, the number of inflammatory cells at 48 h and 72 h, plasma and cerebral TNF-alpha and IL-1beta contents at 72 h in SA group declined significantly (P<0.01).

CONCLUSION:

Scalp-acupuncture can relieve inflammatory cell infiltration, and reduce plasma and cerebral TNF-alpha and IL-1beta contents in ACI rats, which may contribute to its effect in promoting neurofunctional recovery.

Effects of electroacupuncture on expression of angiogenic growth factors and antiangiogenic growth factors in the brain tissue of the rat after focal cerebral ischemia reperfusion

Effects of electroacupuncture on expression of angiogenic growth factors and antiangiogenic growth factors in the brain tissue of the rat after focal cerebral ischemia reperfusion

Article in Chinese

1Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing University of Medical Sciences, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurology, Chongqing 400016, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the mechanism of electroacupuncture (EA) in improving ischemic stroke.

METHODS:

A Wistar rat model of focal cerebral ischemia reperfusion was made by filament occlusion. The rats were randomly divided into a normal group, a model group, an EA group. EA was given at bilateral “Hegu” (LI 4) in the EA group. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA was detected with in situ hybridization and expression of angiogenin-1 (Ang-1) and endostatin proteins with immunohistochemical method.

RESULTS:

The expressions of angiogenic growth factors including VEGF and Ang-1 in the EA group were significantly increased, while the expressions of endostatin was significantly decreased as compared with those in the model group (both P<0.05).

CONCLUSION:

EA improving ischemic stroke is carried out possibly through up-regulating the expression of angiogenic growth factors and down-regulating the expression of antiangiogenic growth factors.

PMID: 17370499  PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE

 

This article in Chinese

 

 

Effects of Scalp Acupuncture Versus Upper and Lower Limb Acupuncture on Signal Activation of Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) fMRI of the Brain and Somatosensory Cortex

To cite this article:
Seong-Uk Park, Ae-Sook Shin, Geon-Ho Jahng, Sang-Kwan Moon, and Jung-Mi Park.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. November 2009, 15(11): 1193-1200. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0602.

Published in Volume: 15 Issue 11: November 18, 2009

Seong-Uk Park,1 Ae-Sook Shin,1 Geon-Ho Jahng,2 Sang-Kwan Moon,3 and Jung-Mi Park, O.M.D., Ph.D.1
1Department of Cardiovascular & Neurologic Disease (Stroke Center), East–West Neo Medical Center, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Radiology, East–West Neo Medical Center, School of Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Cardiovascular & Neurologic Disease (Stroke Center), Hospital of Oriental Medicine, Kyunghee Medical Center, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea.
Address correspondence to:
      Jung-Mi Park, O.M.D., Ph.D.
      Department of Cardiovascular & Neurologic Disease (Stroke Center)

      East–West Neo Medical Center of Kyunghee University

     134-090, #149 Sangil-dong Gangdong-Gu
      Seoul 134-090  Korea
       E-mail:

ABSTRACT

Objective: The objective of this article is to investigate brain activity of scalp acupuncture (SA) as compared to upper and lower limb acupuncture (ULLA) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Subjects and methods: Ten (10) healthy right-handed female volunteers aged 20–35 were divided into 2 groups: a SA group and an ULLA group. The SA group had needles inserted at the left Sishencong (HN1), GB18, GB9, TH20, and the ULLA group at the right LI1, LI10, LV3, ST36 for 20 minutes, respectively. Both groups had tactile stimulation in the order of the right LI1, LI10, LV3, ST36 before and after acupuncture for a block of 21 seconds repeated 3 times. The blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI was used to observe the brain and somatosensory cortex signal activation.

Results: We compared the signal activation before and after acupuncture needling, and the images showed signal activation after removing the acupuncture needles and the contralateral somatosensory association cortex, the postcentral gyrus, and the parietal lobe were more activated in the SA group. The right occipital lobe, the lingual gyrus, the visual association cortex, the right parahippocampal gyrus, the limbic lobe, the hippocampus, the left anterior lobe, the culmen, and the cerebellum were activated in the ULLA group.

Conclusions: We concluded that there were different signal activations of BOLD fMRI before and after SA versus ULLA, which can be thought to be caused by the sensitivity of acupoints and the different sensory receptors to acupuncture needling.

To purchase this study visit the website Mary Ann Liebert Publishing, Inc

Effects of acupuncture on declined cerebral blood flow, impaired mitochondrial respiratory function and oxidative stress in multi-infarct dementia rats

Neurochemistry International Volume 65, January 2014, Pages 23–29

Effects of acupuncture on declined cerebral blood flow, impaired mitochondrial respiratory function and oxidative stress in multi-infarct dementia rats

Xuezhu Zhang1, Bangqi Wu1, Kun Nie, Yujie Jia, Jianchun Yu

Abstract

Brain energy disorders and oxidative stress due to chronic hypoperfusion were considered to be the major risk factors in the pathogenesis of dementia. In previous studies, we have demonstrated that acupuncture treatment improved cognitive function of VaD patients and multi-infarct dementia (MID) rats. Acupuncture therapy also increased the activities of glycometabolic enzymes in the brain. But it is not clear whether acupuncture treatment compensates neuronal energy deficit after cerebral ischemic through enhancing the activities of glucose metabolic enzymes and preserving mitochondrial function, and whether acupuncture neuroprotective effect is associated with activations of mitochondrial antioxidative defense system.

So, the effect of acupuncture therapy on cognitive function, cerebral blood flow (CBF), mitochondrial respiratory function and oxidative stress in the brain of MID rats was investigated in this study. The results showed that acupuncture treatment significantly improved cognitive abilities and increased regional CBF of MID rats. Acupuncture elevated the activities of total SOD, CuZnSOD and MnSOD, decreased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide anion, regulated the ratio of reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in mitochondria, and raised the level of the respiratory control index (RCI) and P/O ratio and the activities of mitochondrial respiratory enzymes of MID rats.

These results indicated that acupuncture treatment improved cognitive function of MID rats; and this improvement might be due to increased CBF, which ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction induced by ischemia and endogenous oxidative stress system of brain.

To purchase and read the entire document visit the website Science Direct

Acupuncture modulates resting state connectivity in default and sensorimotor brain networks

Journal for the International study of PAIN
Volume 136, Issue 3 , Pages 407-418, 15 June 2008

Acupuncture modulates resting state connectivity in default and sensorimotor brain networks

Rupali P. Dhond,  Calvin Yeh,  Kyungmo Park,  Norman Ketter,  Vitally Napadow

 

Abstract

Previous studies have defined low-frequency, spatially consistent networks in resting fMRI data which may reflect functional connectivity. We sought to explore how a complex somatosensory stimulation, acupuncture, influences intrinsic connectivity in two of these networks: the default mode network (DMN) and sensorimotor network (SMN).

We analyzed resting fMRI data taken before and after verum and sham acupuncture. Electrocardiography data were used to infer autonomic modulation through measures of heart rate variability (HRV). Probabilistic independent component analysis was used to separate resting fMRI data into DMN and SMN components.

Following verum, but not sham, acupuncture there was increased DMN connectivity with pain (anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), periaqueductal gray), affective (amygdala, ACC), and memory (hippocampal formation, middle temporal gyrus) related brain regions. Furthermore, increased DMN connectivity with the hippocampal formation, a region known to support memory and interconnected with autonomic brain regions, was negatively correlated with acupuncture-induced increase in a sympathetic related HRV metric (LFu), and positively correlated with a parasympathetic related metric (HFu).

Following verum, but not sham, acupuncture there was also increased SMN connectivity with pain-related brain regions (ACC, cerebellum). We attribute differences between verum and sham acupuncture to more varied and stronger sensations evoked by verum acupuncture.

Our results demonstrate for the first time that acupuncture can enhance the post-stimulation spatial extent of resting brain networks to include anti-nociceptive, memory, and affective brain regions. This modulation and sympathovagal response may relate to acupuncture analgesia and other potential therapeutic effects.

To download, purchase and read the entire document visit the website –
Journal for the International Study of Pain

About the Authors

    • Rupali P. Dhond

      Affiliations

      • MGH/MIT/HMS Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Boston, MA 02129, USA
      • Department of Radiology, Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, MO, USA

,

    • Calvin Yeh

      Affiliations

      • MGH/MIT/HMS Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Boston, MA 02129, USA

,

    • Kyungmo Park

      Affiliations

      • MGH/MIT/HMS Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Boston, MA 02129, USA
      • Department of Biomedical Engineering, Kyunghee University, Yongin, Republic of Korea

,

    • Norman Kettner

      Affiliations

      • Department of Radiology, Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, MO, USA

,

  • Vitaly Napadow

    Affiliations

    • MGH/MIT/HMS Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Boston, MA 02129, USA
    • Department of Radiology, Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, MO, USA
    • Corresponding Author InformationCorresponding author. Address: MGH/MIT/HMS Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Boston, MA 02129, USA. Tel./fax: +1 617 724 3402.

The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: Limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network modulation

Human Brain Mapping

Volume 30, Issue 4, pages 1196–1206, April 2009

The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: Limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network modulation

Jiliang Fang1,2,*,  Zhen Jin3,  Yin Wang4,  Ke Li3,  Jian Kong2,  Erika E. Nixon2,  Yawei Zeng3, Yanshuang Ren1,  Haibin Tong1,  Yinghui Wang4,  Ping Wang1 and  Kathleen Kin-Sang Hui2

Article first published online: 20 JUN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/hbm.20583

Abstract

Human and animal studies suggest that acupuncture produces many beneficial effects through the central nervous system. However, the neural substrates of acupuncture actions are not completely clear to date. fMRI studies at Hegu (LI4) and Zusanli (ST36) indicated that the limbic system may play an important role for acupuncture effects. To test if this finding applies to other major classical acupoints, fMRI was performed on 10 healthy adults during manual acupuncture at Taichong (LV3), Xingjian (LV2), Neiting (ST44), and a sham point on the dorsum of the left foot.

Although certain differences could be observed between real and sham points, the hemodynamic response (BOLD signal changes) and psychophysical response (sensory experience) to acupuncture were generally similar for all four points. Acupuncture produced extensive deactivation of the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical system. Clusters of deactivated regions were seen in the medial prefrontal cortex (frontal pole, pregenual cingulate), the temporal lobe (amygdala, hippocampus, and parahippocampus) and the posterior medial cortex (precuneus, posterior cingulate). The sensorimotor cortices (somatosensory cortices, supplementary motor cortex), thalamus and occasional paralimbic structures such as the insula and anterior middle cingulate cortex showed activation.

Our results provide additional evidence in support of previous reports that acupuncture modulates the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network. We hypothesize that acupuncture may mediate its antipain, antianxiety, and other therapeutic effects via this intrinsic neural circuit that plays a central role in the affective and cognitive dimensions of pain as well as in the regulation and integration of emotion, memory processing, autonomic, endocrine, immunological, and sensorimotor functions.

Human Brain Mapp, 2009.   © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

To purchase and read the entire document visit Wiley Online Library

Electroacupuncture up-regulates natural killer cell activity Identification of genes altering their expressions in electroacupuncture induced up-regulation of natural killer cell activity.

See comment in PubMed Commons below

J Neuroimmunol. 2005 Nov;168(1-2):144-53.

Electroacupuncture up-regulates natural killer cell activity Identification of genes altering their expressions in electroacupuncture induced up-regulation of natural killer cell activity.

Department of East-West Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea.

Abstract

As an important cellular component of the innate immune system, NK cells constitute a first line of defense against various infections and malignancies. Previous studies have reported electroacupuncture (EA) modulation of natural killer cell (NK cell) activities. Our study confirmed that EA treatment increases NK cell activity using (51)Cr release assay. Furthermore, in order to better understand the activation mechanism of NK cell by EA, we employed a cDNA microarray technique to elucidate how EA alters gene expressions in the spleen of rats. We screened EA responsive genes using a high-throughput screening and identified 154 genes. Among those genes we selected 4 genes that are known to play a crucial role in NK cell activation and examined their mRNA expressions after EA treatment using RT-PCR. Our data shows that EA treatment increased CD94, PTK and VCAM-1 expressions while decreased PTP and SHP-1. These results imply that EA treatment increase PTK expression, which increases NK cell activity, through induction of CD94 while decreases SHP-1, which inhibits NK cell activity, simultaneously so that it activates NK cell with high efficacy. It seems that increased VCAM-1 expression is due to INF-gamma produced by activated NK cell. Increased production of VCAM-1 is expected to play an important role in binding of NK cell to the target cell. The result of our study may provide key insights in understanding the mechanisms of activation of NK cell induced by EA.

PMID: 16154208    [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

 

To purchase a copy of this study visit the website Journal of Neuroimmunology

The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: Limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network modulation

This study was presented in part at:
the Society for Neuroscience Annual
Conference, Oct 2006, Atlanta, GA, USA.

The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: Limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network modulation

  1. Jiliang Fang1,2,*, Zhen Jin3, Yin Wang4, Ke Li3, Jian Kong2, Erika E. Nixon2, Yawei Zeng3,  Yanshuang Ren1, Haibin Tong1,  Yinghui Wang4,  Ping Wang1 and  Kathleen Kin-Sang Hui2

Article first published online: 20 JUN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/hbm.20583   Copyright © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

 

Abstract

Human and animal studies suggest that acupuncture produces many beneficial effects through the central nervous system. However, the neural substrates of acupuncture actions are not completely clear to date. fMRI studies at Hegu (LI4) and Zusanli (ST36) indicated that the limbic system may play an important role for acupuncture effects.

To test if this finding applies to other major classical acupoints, fMRI was performed on 10 healthy adults during manual acupuncture at Taichong (LV3), Xingjian (LV2), Neiting (ST44), and a sham point on the dorsum of the left foot. Although certain differences could be observed between real and sham points, the hemodynamic response (BOLD signal changes) and psychophysical response (sensory experience) to acupuncture were generally similar for all four points.

Acupuncture produced extensive deactivation of the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical system. Clusters of deactivated regions were seen in the medial prefrontal cortex (frontal pole, pregenual cingulate), the temporal lobe (amygdala, hippocampus, and parahippocampus) and the posterior medial cortex (precuneus, posterior cingulate).

The sensorimotor cortices (somatosensory cortices, supplementary motor cortex), thalamus and occasional paralimbic structures such as the insula and anterior middle cingulate cortex showed activation.

Our results provide additional evidence in support of previous reports that acupuncture modulates the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network. We hypothesize that acupuncture may mediate its antipain, antianxiety, and other therapeutic effects via this intrinsic neural circuit that plays a central role in the affective and cognitive dimensions of pain as well as in the regulation and integration of emotion, memory processing, autonomic, endocrine, immunological, and sensorimotor functions.

Hum Brain Mapp, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

To purchase a copy of this study visit the Human Brain Mapping website.

 

 

 

Neuroimaging Acupuncture Effects in the Human Brain

Neuroimaging Acupuncture Effects in the Human Brain

To cite this article:
Rupali P. Dhond, Norman Kettner, and Vitaly Napadow. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 2007, 13(6): 603-616. doi:10.1089/acm.2007.7040.

Published in Volume: 13 Issue 6: August 25, 2007

Rupali P. Dhond, Ph.D.

Massachusetts General Hospital/Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Harvard Medical School, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA.
Logan College of Chiropractic, Department of Radiology, Chesterfield, MO.

Norman Kettner, D.C.

Logan College of Chiropractic, Department of Radiology, Chesterfield, MO.

Vitaly Napadow, Ph.D.

Massachusetts General Hospital/Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Harvard Medical School, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA.
Logan College of Chiropractic, Department of Radiology, Chesterfield, MO.

ABSTRACT

Acupuncture is an ancient East Asian healing modality that has been in use for more than 2000 years. Unfortunately, its mechanisms of action are not well understood, and controversy regarding its clinical efficacy remains. Importantly, acupuncture needling often evokes complex somatosensory sensations and may modulate the cognitive/affective perception of pain, suggesting that many effects are supported by the brain and extending central nervous system (CNS) networks. Modern neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography provide a means to safely monitor brain activity in humans and may be used to help map the neurophysiological correlates of acupuncture. In this review, we will summarize data from acupuncture neuroimaging research and discuss how these findings contribute to current hypotheses of acupuncture action.

To purchase this study visit the website Mary Ann Leibert Publishing, INc

Capturing amplitude changes of low-frequency fluctuations in functional magnetic resonance imaging signal: a pilot acupuncture study on NeiGuan_PC6.

2012 Apr;18(4):387-93. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0205.

Capturing amplitude changes of low-frequency fluctuations in functional magnetic resonance imaging signal: a pilot acupuncture study on NeiGuan (PC6).

Department of Acupuncture, No. 1 Affiliated Hospital, Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou, Henan, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study aims to examine amplitude changes of low-frequency oscillations (fALFF) in the blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal associated with acupuncture on NeiGuan (PC6).

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

Ten (10) healthy adults participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (i.e., nuclear medicine; fMRI) study. During the brain-imaging procedure, the participants were instructed to lie quietly; they did not perform any cognitive task.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Three (3) fMRI scans were conducted for each participant: a first resting-state scan (R1), a stimulating-acupoint scan (AP), and a second resting-state scan (R2) after AP. Individual fALFF maps were calculated for each scan.

RESULTS:

During R1, consistent with previous studies, the default network regions showed significantly detectable fALFF amplitudes. Acupuncture on PC6 increased fALFF amplitudes within the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), occipital fusiform gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex, and precuneus (PCC/PCU). In contrast, during R2, fALFF within PCC is still significantly higher than R1 while ACC and cerebellum showed decreased fALFF.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings imply that stimulating PC6 can change the amplitude of the intrinsic cortical activity of the brain. In particular, a continuous and temporally consistent effect of acupuncture within PCC not the common brain circuit of pain including ACC and cerebellum was observed. Considering the cognitive functions and deficits of the relevant areas in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease, acupuncture on PC6 could potentially affect both psychiatric and neurological disorders. Thus, stimulating PC6 may be a candidate method for improving cognitive impairment.

PMID: 22515798  [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]  PMCID:  PMC3326268

Click below to read the entire study.
Capturing amplitude changes of low-frequency fluctuations in functional magnetic resonance imaging signal a pilot acupuncture study on NeiGuan_PC6

 

Connectomics: A New Direction in Research to Understand the Mechanism of Acupuncture

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 568429, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/568429
Review Article

Connectomics: A New Direction in Research to Understand the Mechanism of Acupuncture

1The Acupuncture and Tuina School, The 3rd Teaching Hospital, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 37, Shierqiao Road, Chengdu, Sichuan 610075, China
2Psychosomatic Medicine Department, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan 610072, China

Received 21 October 2013; Accepted 26 November 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editor: Cun-Zhi Liu

Copyright © 2014 Ruirui Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

 

Abstract

Acupuncture has been used to treat various disorders in China and some other eastern countries for thousands of years. Nowadays, acupuncture is gradually accepted as an alternative and complementary method in western countries for its undeniable therapeutic effects. However, its central mechanism is still unclear. It is especially difficult to reveal how different regions in the brain influence one another and how the relationship is among these regions responding to acupuncture treatment. Recently, by applying neuroimaging techniques and network theory, acupuncture studies can make further efforts to investigate the influence of acupuncture on regional cerebral functional connectivity (FC) and the modulation on “acupuncture-related” networks. Connectomics appears to be a new direction in research to further understand the central mechanism underlying acupuncture. In this paper, an overview of connectomics application in acupuncture research will be discussed, with special emphasis on present findings of acupuncture and its influence on cerebral FC. Firstly, the connectomics concept and its significance on acupuncture will be outlined. Secondly, the commonly used brain imaging techniques will be briefly introduced. Thirdly, the influence of acupuncture on FC will be discussed in greater detail. Finally, the possible direction in forthcoming research will be reviewed by analyzing the limitation of present studies.

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Connectomics_A New Direction in Research to Understand the Mechanism of Acupuncture

* Acupuncture & Cognitive Impairment

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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Sep 17;14:338. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-338.

Acupuncture stimulation improves scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment via activation of cholinergic system and regulation of BDNF and CREB expressions in rats.

Author information

  • 1Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea. bombi@khu.ac.kr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that is widely used to treat various neurodegenerative diseases and effectively improve cognitive and memory impairment. The aim of this study was to examine whether acupuncture stimulation at the Baihui (GV20) acupoint improves memory defects caused by scopolamine (SCO) administration in rats. We also investigated the effects of acupuncture stimulation at GV20 on the cholinergic system as well as the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) in the hippocampus.

METHODS:

SCO (2 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered to male rats once daily for 14 days. Acupuncture stimulation at GV20 was performed for 5 min before SCO injection. After inducing cognitive impairment via SCO administration, we conducted a passive avoidance test (PAT) and the Morris water maze (MWM) test to assess behavior.

RESULTS:

Acupuncture stimulation at GV20 improved memory impairment as measured by the PAT and reduced the escape latency for finding the platform in the MWM test. Acupuncture stimulation at GV20 significantly alleviated memory-associated decreases in the levels of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), BDNF and CREB proteins in the hippocampus. Additionally, acupuncture stimulation at GV20 significantly restored the expression of choline transporter 1 (CHT1), vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), BDNF and CREB mRNA in the hippocampus. These results demonstrate that acupuncture stimulation at GV20 exerts significant neuroprotective effects against SCO-induced neuronal impairment and memory dysfunction in rats.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that acupuncture stimulation at GV20 might be useful in various neurodegenerative diseases to improve cognitive functioning via stimulating cholinergic enzyme activities and regulating BDNF and CREB expression in the brain.

PMID: 25231482 [PubMed – in process]  PMCID: PMC4180318

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Acup stim improves scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment via cholinergic stsyem & reg of BDNF CREB expressions in rats

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Acupuncture vs Acupressure of Brain Activation via fMRI

fMRI study of effect on brain activity according to stimulation method at LI11, ST36: painful pressure and acupuncture stimulation of same acupoints.

J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Apr;16(4):489-95. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0395.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this study was to assess differences in brain responses between pressure and acupuncture stimulation at the same acupoint using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

CONCLUSIONS:

In conclusion, brain signal activation patterns according to the stimulation methods and acupoints were observed to differ. Acupuncture stimulation activated more regions than pressure at the same acupoint. In particular, acupuncture stimulation activated the limbic system, such as the parahippocampal gyrus and ACC.

Acupuncture & fMRI

Bioengineering assessment of acupuncture, part 4: functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Crit Rev Biomed Eng. 2006;34(4):327-45.

Abstract

In the fourth part of this review article, research on the topic of acupuncture and functional magnetic resonance imaging is described. Needle as well as painless laserneedle stimulation have led to significant changes in different areas of the brain. With the help of modern biomedical engineering equipment and neuroscience, some of acupuncture’s secrets have begun to be revealed. The neuro-modulating effects require further investigation in a larger population sample.

PMID: 17206918 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]